Managing any staff members remotely can be a challenging task, but staying in contact with the introverts of the office is even trickier yet.
While these are the kinds of staff members who are built to thrive in a remote environment, it also means they can slip under your executive’s radar.
The Australian HR Institute has come up with a few tips to help your boss look after their office introverts.
Dr Andrew Spark from the Queensland University of Technology says that introverts normally gravitate towards analytical roles that are based in written communication. While this works, it also means they struggle when it comes to speaking up or voicing their opinions.
This is why it’s important to help your boss create a level of rapport and trust between themselves and their introvert employees. Introverts might prefer one-on-one, face-to-face conversations rather than being thrust into a group video call and expected to voice their opinions.
Once that trust is built, quieter employees will feel more comfortable if managers speak and relay their views on their behalf.
Lauren Piro, people and culture director at Quiip, has been working with her team of introverts for over a decade.
“I think it plays well to my strengths that I understand a little more about introversion and that it’s not a lack of social skills or a lack of communication skills. To get the best out of a team member, we require a little more space, a little more time,” says Piro.
Piro says it’s important to remember that introverts often prefer to spend time crafting their response and can be overwhelmed by instant messaging. It may take them some time to reply or communicate, the same goes for in-person or virtual meetings too.
“I think moving to written communication wherever possible is helpful. If you are going around the meeting and asking everyone to talk, perhaps don’t start with the introverts. Give them more time to consider their answer.
“Avoid putting them under the spotlight directly wherever possible. I know many introverts are not comfortable with being the focus of attention,” says Piro.