A company’s employee engagement strategy is crucial for achieving optimal employee retention and satisfaction. HR executives know that people streaming through the organization come in all shapes and sizes — and I’m not talking about their physiques.
Indeed, candidates’ emotional and behavioral characteristics are diverse on so many levels. For example: Outgoing personalities generally slot in well to sales positions, while those who are more laid back tend to connect to administration, production, and other technical jobs.
It may seem like such a detailed segmentation of engagement methods to boost employee satisfaction is going overboard, but that’s not the case. As you go through this article, you’ll see that molding your approach for introverts is, indeed, a genuinely worthwhile exercise.
What is meant by the term “introvert?”
Introverts are reserved, reflective people who keep their thoughts buried pretty deep, projecting their personas as quiet and somewhat withdrawn. Some introverts don’t like socializing — they’re comfortable in their own space, away from gatherings.
How does an employee engagement strategy come into the picture?
An employee engagement strategy is a complex plan that secures healthy staff interactions and a robust corporate culture. Management puts together these plans to build a positive work environment. Such plans require a proven employee survey tool to develop acceptable metrics that reflect:
- Real-time motivation
- Work reviews
- Project harmony metrics
When all these cogs mesh, employee retention increases. In addition, the employee engagement survey helps HR focus on different personality types.
Why should my approach toward engagement be different for introverts?
The first thing to be aware of is that most company engagement strategies fit extroverts much better. That’s because we construct them by subconsciously believing that all employees are ready to speak their minds and want to connect as much as you do. Unfortunately, the reality is vastly different: On average, introverts make up 30 percent to 50 percent of your employees.
Projects, by their nature, involve group work and dynamic interaction between team members. It suits the extroverts, but introverts generally feel like a fish out of water in these situations. They often retreat to the sidelines, participating as little as possible. Introverts become actively disengaged employees at these times. To deal with these personality differences, your approach should also be significantly different.
How do you know who’s an introvert — and who’s not?
HR needs to know much more about the people working for the company. Every time they devise an employee engagement survey, the surveyors should think through their questions carefully. I recommend deploying the latest in employee engagement software for formats that deliver relevant answers. It’s the most cost-effective way to help introverts become high contributing members of the team.
Why is an employee engagement survey critical when it comes to staff feedback from introverts?
Introverts shy away from verbal communications, preferring to write things down. Therefore, select an employee survey tool that allows individuals to express themselves through the written word (versus telling you about it verbally). Indeed, your entire employee engagement platform depends upon:
- Employee engagement software that connects with introverts
- Employee survey software that can pinpoint the right introvert question sets for the most revealing answers
- Creating spontaneity from written feedback versus trying to extract it from group interaction
This is another significant consideration when developing your employee engagement platform for introverts. The bottom line is that introverts function far better in company cultures where a relatively smaller group of people drive a project or program.
So, educate group leaders on drawing introverts into expressing their ideas, thus boosting their confidence, and lean more toward organized meeting agendas versus unstructured free-for-all interactions. Also, try to keep things calm and orderly, even in stressful situations, allowing everyone to have their say.
Introversion doesn’t mean a reluctance to collaborate with others. Rather, introverts welcome and relish it. Just keep things orderly and limit the project groups to small numbers.
Another thing we learn from an insightful employee experience survey is to prepare, prepare, prepare! That means giving introverts notice of meeting agendas, so they can enter the meetings with well thought-out ideas. This is, of course, the polar opposite of extroverts and more flamboyant personalities, who relish the spontaneity involved in throwing out new concepts on the spur of the moment.
Moreover, try to curtail sudden surprises (like an impromptu office celebration) as much as possible. If you anticipate emotional disruptions, bring them under the spotlight as early as possible. The same goes for sudden operational shifts. Don’t just spring them on an introvert if you want a positive reaction.
Your employee engagement platform will inevitably utilize recognition as a way of connecting with staff. Of course, that’s vital when looking at motivational programs. However, while extroverts love the limelight and public announcements, introverts often retreat in panic. As a result, the accolades you shower on them with good intentions may not be well received. To an introvert, a personal one-on-one meeting, an email, or a meaningful reward will gain a lot more mileage.
Surveys and digital communication platforms
Thoughtful managers know that working with introverts can be just as engaging as working with extroverts. When working with introverts, face-to-face communications should take a back seat to team chat forums and other SaaS-driven apps.
In the sections above, I’ve referred to numerous feedback options that can be obtained through an employee experience survey. It can’t be overstated how employee survey software can help the introverted employee express him or herself. When given the time and space to answer vital questions, introverts can provide a wealth of information. And, in some cases, the addition of anonymity may foster some tremendous insights that you might not otherwise collect.
Remote working and flexible timing
Remote work is perfect for the introvert. There’s nothing they like better than working within their rhythm, unrushed, with no group pressure. Home offices are just what the doctor ordered for reclusive personalities, as are hours before or after the madding crowd leaves the office.
Introverts are generally great leaders
Because they’re fantastic listeners, introverts can grow to become effective leaders. Extroverts tend to follow their guidance once they realize that still waters run deep. Take Bill Gates and Warren Buffet as excellent examples of industry captains who keep a low profile. Routinely, they let their teams take the limelight, although their contributions are inevitably in the mix and driving things forward.
Other introvert engagement methods that work
Give introverts space even when you most want to pull them in, and don’t overemphasize the stereotypical personalities in your company. A corporate culture where varying personalities are a natural part of everyday events is the best route to improved productivity. If introverts don’t feel singled out — or that things are skewed specifically for them — they will find a functional level and contribute in their own way. In the end, a balanced approach toward differing personality types should do the trick.
SoGoSurvey understands employee engagement software from every angle — whether it’s for extroverts or introverts. We can put you on the right path to employee retention and help maximize your ROI. Connect with us to learn more!