Bringing Out the Best from Your Quiet Employees

Being shy isn’t a personality flaw. Your introverted employees don’t need to become more extroverted to be valued on your team. But you may have to determine new strategies to bring out the best input and productivity from your quietest employees. Before you throw in the towel on your introverted team members, consider these tips to work with them instead.  

Give Them Time to Think 

Your quieter employees don’t like to be put on the spot. They need time to process and create a response, When you stand over their shoulder and expect them to answer right away, you can be contributing to their anxiety responses and causing them to retreat more. Instead, when you have a question or need input, ask them to get back to you by a specific time that allows them to carefully think about how they want to answer.   

Respect Their Space 

An introverted employee also needs their space and their privacy. If they feel like they’re constantly being invaded, it will create more tension. Allow them to work on their own, don’t crowd them, and give them access to places where they can be alone. Shy employees don’t work well in large, open spaces. They want a desk or office of their own that they can customize to work for them.  

Use Email, Texting, or other Virtual Communication Tools 

Introverts are often much better at non-verbal forms of communication. Some may even have debilitating phone anxiety. This doesn’t mean they can’t function in an office; it just means they will want to use different tools to get the same results. Email and texting are great options for them. And they may even prefer video conferences over phone calls so they can see body language when talking to someone.  

Be Their Advocate 

Because extroversion is seen as the default in our society, what your shyer employees need is an advocate in management. Someone who will speak up for them instances of bullying in the workplace or when they may be looked at as “weird” by their peers. Knowing this is not the case and your introverted employee is talented and productive, you can become their translator to more extroverted team members.  

Do you want to hire the best thinkers for your open positions? 

Contact Nextaff to see how we can help today.  

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