How to Involve Introverts in Employee Engagement Strategy at Workplace
Employee Engagement Strategy is the reigning regime for boosting employee satisfaction and retention. Owing to this, companies now have their unique take on it. But, most organization’s Employee Engagement Strategy subconsciously misses the introverted personas in their strategy. This harms engagement. So, today, we focus on how to involve your Introverts in an Employee Engagement Strategy.
What is Employee Engagement Strategy?
In layman terms, it is a plan designed to build healthy interactions and connections among the employees and the company. These strategies build a positive impact on the work environment which drives smooth operations.
An Employee Engagement Strategy takes into account many aspects of an organization in its realm. These are the employees, their personas, motivation, wellness, etc.
It is a culmination of everything that helps work, grow, and make an employee feel valued. This ultimately aids in employee development with a higher rate of retention.
Who is an Introvert?
An Introvert is a person who is mostly quiet and reserved with his/her thoughts and world. They don’t like to socialize in a large gathering of people and enjoy their space and company at most times.
Why Do Introverts Need a Different Approach for Employee Engagement Strategy?
In a sentence, here’s why you need a different approach for introverts.
Most of the Employee Engagement Strategy designed for an engaged workforce is subconsciously extrovert-oriented.
They all revolve around a team, which is often big in the number of participants. This huge gathering in teams is fine for extroverts, but not for introverts. Introverts need their own space with things. As human beings, we are all different, and this is a feature that sets them apart.
Amidst this crowd, the introverts at the workplace often seem to get lost. Due to this nature, they are mostly seen as actively disengaged employees in the workplace.
This hurts their work which ultimately affects the organization. Therefore, you must have a different and effective approach for an employee engagement strategy to encourage introverts towards employee engagement in your workplace.
Ways to Involve Introverts in Employee Engagement Strategies
1. Writing based Communication
Introverts find it better to express themselves through written text than spoken words in working life. This is one of the elements that you must include in your employee engagement plan. Make provisions wherein some of the engagement activities can be done in written other than verbal.
This is because introverts can find it hard to express themselves by speaking to a large group of people spontaneously on a day to day basis. Whereas writing their ideas helps them engage better. It comes naturally to them and brings high levels of engagement in the process.
2. Limited Group Members
When determining teams in your employee engagement activities, make sure to limit the number of participants per team. Introverts thrive in a relatively smaller group of people than larger groups.
Participating in activities within smaller groups of people will improve your employee engagement metrics with introverts.
Employee engagement meetings or any meetings for that matter is a tense moment for Introverts. Often, they find it hard to express themselves in such situations of a large gathering. Also, the presence of managers and middle managers in the room doesn’t do any favors in boosting their confidence either.
While organizing such meetings, be sure to give introverts the chance to speak.
The meetings should not be too loud with employees talking without any system. When employees cut one another in meetings, it creates a chaotic environment. This kind of environment doesn’t allow introverts to thrive. In such scenarios, they won’t interact or interject.
Be sure that the meeting has a few quiet moments where introverts can speak. Also, make it a point to inform beforehand about the meetings/activities to introverts. This gives introverts time to prepare well and engage better in the activity.
4. Time for preparation
Whatever employee engagement activity you plan on doing, be sure to let the introverts know about it beforehand. Introverts like to be prepared as much as they can. This is because they commonly don’t interact and come up with ideas on spot like the extroverts.
They need their own time and space to come up with ideas and how to project them in activities.
5. No to Surprises
No, don’t do this. Introverts are not fond of surprises at all. While a surprise office party for employee engagement will be fine for extroverts, it won’t be for introverts. This is because they like planned aspects and surprises throw them off.
When planning for Employee Engagement activities for Introverts, keep this in mind. Keep them informed as much as possible.
6. Don’t Spring Activities on them
Introverts like to work throughout the day with a clear cut goal in mind. They plan out their tasks and try to complete them in their estimated time. Throwing a new activity into their mix for the day is not the way to engage them.
We guess, by now you know how much introverts in the office like to prepare and plan things.
7. Public Recognition
While extroverts will have no problem with public recognition for their efforts, introverts do. When appreciating an introvert in the workplace, it is much better to do it in person. Rather than announcing to the entire workforce, choose a personal mail as a token of appreciation.
Introverts don't prefer the spotlight. Therefore, your rewards and appreciation program is better suited for them in private. Also, it is better to provide feedback on career development on a one-on-one basis as opposed to a group meeting.
8. Team Building Exercises
Nothing gives them the chills like “team-building exercise”. This is because they have to interact with a large group of people in a spontaneous environment. In this case, try to design the activities with smaller groups of people in mind.
In this case, you can also start with engaging introverts in smaller groups first and then to larger groups. This will give introverts time to adjust to the mix and proceed further. In this way, they won’t feel like such disengaged employees in an activity.
Also, if possible, try to think of activities that an introvert may like in team building. This can be Library Day, Writing Session, etc.
Most of you might think that introverts don’t like to collaborate but that is wrong. Introverts like to collaborate with others in employee engagement activities but with the right order. In collaborating activities, be sure to keep things between a limited number of people.
Things are even much better and fruitful for introverts to engage if it can be a digital collaboration.
10. No-Activity Days
Give introverts a time-out from the activities to avoid employee burnout. This can be a no-meeting day or no-activity day where they can work in their space and time. Space and time alone are very important for introverts to function effectively and efficiently.
Constant employee engagement activities is not an aspect they prefer.
11. Digital Communication Platforms
Consider utilizing proper tools for digitizing communications and activities. This can be an official messaging app that allows introverts communication without being face-to-face with the person. To help you, here’s a list of workplace team chat Apps for effective communication.
Furthermore, digital tools also measure employee engagement which helps evaluate and analyze activities later on.
Following up on the digital tools, it is best to gather input on employee engagement from introverts digitally. You can do this by conducting employee pulse surveys.
These surveys are undertaken and maintained digitally. The digital aspect helps introverts carry out the task at their comfort of time and space. It helps them engage better and give clear feedback.
13. Flexible Timing
Flexible timing is something introverts adore. Often, working in a crowded environment can drain introverts of their energy and intellect. Flexible timing gives them the ability to come in early or leave late with a minimum number of people around.
This helps them work effectively and get most of their work done with ease. You can also consider offering work from home for a few days of the week. This will help them decompose and bring their much-needed emotional connection amidst work with themselves.
14. Leadership Positions
You can get more out of introverts in putting them in engagement activities where they are required to lead. Introverts make some of the best leaders. The main reason for this is because they are good listeners.
Introverts tend to engage and do a great job in leadership positions. Examples of some of these cases are Barack Obama, Micheal Jordan, Elon Musk, etc.
15. Brainstorming Activities
In team building and critical thinking employee engagement activities, be open for written communication. Also, give the introverts a chance to speak at last. Introverts like to listen and react in systematic sessions.
Furthermore, in your next brainstorming employee engagement activity, spill out the topic beforehand.
16. Don’t force them to come out, Encourage them
Of all the mentioned points, chances are you haven’t touched many of those. But, does this mean the introverts in your workplace don’t engage at all? Even besides their nature, they do engage.
It is because, instead of their preferences, they do face challenges head-on and run the extra mile for their work. If something is required from them, they do rise to the occasion. But, it is important here to not force them. You must encourage them to come out and in time, they will.
Introverts are not social pariahs, they just need time to adjust to things.
17. Don’t Stereotype
Don’t stereotype or single out introverts and extroverts in the workplace. Don’t make activities just for introverts or extroverts. Learn to mix both the personas in your employee engagement strategy.
They both are effective employees with their positives and negatives. This is why they must work together to produce the best results in your workplace with positive team dynamics.
There you have it, ways on how to involve introverts in your Employee Engagement Strategy.
You must understand that every human being is different. We all have different characteristics and shine in our ways.
If you want your workplace to shine as well, you must acknowledge this fact. As managers, you must not mistake the silence of introverts for ignorance. It’s their way of taking time to adjust.
We’re not encouraging you to divide employees based on their introversion or extroversion nature. You must encourage them to mingle and form a bond.
But, you must understand they have different ways of doing it.
Now, you might think you have already engaged your employees. But, are they doing it willingly or forcefully? On how to get them engaged willingly and effectively, that was the motive behind this piece.
To bring this towards an end- Some of the world’s top leaders are introverts.
For example, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Abraham Lincoln, Warren Buffet, Eleanor Roosevelt, Larry Page, Steve Wozniak, etc.
We hope you can nurture and mold one or two in your workplace too!