How Businesses Can Help Introverted Employees Thrive
All too often in office blocks around the world, an employee with a quiet demeanor is mistaken for a member of the team that lacks passion and ambition. The dominant desk jockeys who are willing to verbally hijack business gatherings and leap in with their own two cents at every opportunity invariably find themselves climbing the company ladders at a much faster pace than those who wait for their turn to speak. The milieu of business moguls is almost exclusively inhabited by opinionated, bullish personalities – a fact that ought to come as no surprise when you consider the domain. Global business is a ruthlessly competitive environment, and you need a loud voice to make yourself heard above the voluble hubbub.
The Value of Introverts
Boldness, buoyancy, and a touch of bravado aren’t so much aspects of a complete businessperson than they are of one specific attribute: leadership. The capability to confidently control a team, influence decision-making, and spearhead change is an invaluable trait, but it is not the only characteristic that can add value to a company. Introverts are unwilling to express themselves in quite the same way as those who enjoy leading the pack, and are often overlooked and/or dismissed as run-of-the-mill employees by those at the top as a result. But whilst quieter people may lack leadership-like qualities, this does not mean that they don’t have anything to offer. On the contrary, introverts often possess alternative talents that add considerable value to businesses in other, equally important ways. It is by balancing the contrasting capabilities of introverts and extroverts under the same roof that companies can establish a more fulfilling and productive working atmosphere for everyone, which can ultimately lead to greater overall success in the long run.
Creating a Productive Environment for All
Many successful sales floors are built on intense energy and enthusiasm, but not all areas of a company have to pulsate with fervor to yield remarkable results. High-octane environments can intimidate and disillusion more introverted employees, which is why businesses ought to take the time to inaugurate an environment that’s suitable for all. Creating a separate room in the building with library-like rules that encourage peace and quiet can give all members of staff a place to go when they need tranquil surroundings to get things done effectively. Businesses needn’t implement this hushed setting on a company-wide basis to see improvements. Introverts are not social pariahs, and often enjoy conversing with fellow members of staff just as much as the next person. It is the noise and raucousness that can prove perturbing for them. It is simply a case of providing options. By offering a quiet space in the building that staff can use whenever they like, introverts (and even extroverts from time to time) can relax in the knowledge they have a room to escape to whenever they feel like it.
The Importance of Effective Internal Communications
Having a clear, effective internal communications plan can go a long way to playing on introverted employees’ strengths and prevent them from feeling alienated or withdrawn at work. First and foremost, a plan instills productivity, but it also removes the potential for sudden surprises – which are particularly unsettling for introverts who tend to appreciate stability and function best when things go according to a pre-supposed strategy. Building better internal communications also ensures everyone within the company gets to have their say on the surroundings – rather than at AGMs which only offer a suitable platform for extroverts to speak their minds. As Kelly McGuinness in PR Weekly rightly points out, it is the internal communications team who can “make sure all the voices – not just the loudest – are heard”.
Avoiding Leader Overpopulation and Establishing Balance
The top of global business may be dominated by extroverts – or those capable of putting on an extrovert-style performance – but it is important to understand that introverts are no less important to the overall success of a company. Contrary to popular belief in business, quieter members of staff are not people who are unwilling to fight tooth and nail to climb the career ladder. Rather, they are people who do not feel the need to emphatically discuss the ascent. By tending to both the needs of extroverts and introverts, a company can truly thrive – preventing an overpopulation of leaders and achieving a real sense of balance for employees of all types of personalities.
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