While most managers are beginning to accept the realities of the evolving remote work revolution, it is important to not lose sight of how to manage certain employees properly — especially from a distance.
Introverts may be the ones who got the best end of the deal when the world began shifting to working more remotely. They get to work in the comfort of their homes and enjoy the quiet solitude that they thrive and perform great work in.
While this is true, it does not necessarily mean that these workers should just be left on their own to perform work on their own terms. There are still some methods that managers should keep in mind when managing introverts.
Identifying Introverted Tendencies
Every organization has some introverts, as about 20% of the population identifies as introverted. Most people are not complete introverts but do have introverted tendencies.
This makes identifying key introverted traits essential to understanding which employees of yours may fall under this category. One important tip is to understand that these introverts work better in detail-oriented positions and analytical projects that require focus and attention rather than a team effort.
While this can work well in certain situations, it is important to recognize that these individuals may not speak up as much as others during meetings or in team-based tasks.
It’s important for managers of introverts to work with these employees to look at ways that they might be able to get the most out of their unique strengths.
Consider Different Communication Methods
It can be easy in this new remote work revolution to rely on group Zoom meetings to communicate with employees and stay on track.
While this is a great step, it can also alienate employees who may not gravitate towards being the center of attention within these large group meetings.
We recommend integrating some one-on-one meetings on top of group meetings to allow these employees the safe space they need to discuss the issues they need.
Engaging with employees at this level requires trust and a good rapport with them so that they feel comfortable enough to open up to you face-to-face.
Perform Communication Surveys
Another useful tactic that can help introverted employees feel heard is to conduct annual communication surveys that aim to figure out how employees feel about the methods of communication available to them.
This can be helpful for managers to learn about what methods are working and which aren’t, while also detailing some potential methods that have been overlooked.
This gives employees the option to decide the medium they prefer and how they might respond. Pay attention to trends such as employees who prefer written methods over group meetings and others that you may identify and adjust accordingly.
Adopt Asynchronous Communication Methods
Introverts are unique in the fact that they most often require some additional time to process and prepare a response. Whether it be a meeting or an email, introverts will often take more time than their extroverted counterparts to respond.
It is important to not limit the method of communication to just those who respond in group meetings or who prepare long and fluffy email responses all the time.
Try to avoid putting introverts under the spotlight or forcing them to respond or perform without preparation, especially in a group setting. This approach will not get your organization the most productivity from introverted employees.
Using Introverted Strategies to Your Advantage
It is essential to discuss the topic of extroverted and introverted employees openly within your organization. Introverts just need a little support and direction, and they can be among the most creative and productive employees amongst your teams.
Taking advantage of the strengths of both introverts and extroverts will net your business the highest productivity from its employees.
HR Search and Rescue is a full-service HR consulting firm that specializes in helping businesses solve difficult workplace situations. Our team of experts strives to help provide professional assistance and help create a safe and healthy work environment. Contact our independent HR consultants online to learn more about how to manage introverts remotely and for any additional advice.