By Nicole Hall
According to TINYpulse, only one out of four employees feel fully recognized for their work. Companies that offer recognition programs can decrease their employees’ attrition and improve employee productivity.
Keeping in mind, though, that up to half of the population consider themselves introverts, a good manager will realize a “one-size-fits-all” strategy cannot be used, and instead will implement customized recognition programs that give recognition to “quiet performers” in a way that best suits these employees’ personality type.
Let’s Define Introverts
Introverts are sometimes described with negative words: shy, loner, lacking enthusiasm and ability. Such perceptions are too superficial. The following positive statements are closer to truth:
Introverts get energy from being alone. This is why introverts sometimes need a quiet or isolated space to achieve their best work productivity. This is also the reason they don’t always do small talk in the kitchen—it’s not because they’re trying to avoid someone.
Introverts are good listeners. They make great team players and moderators at meetings.
Introverts are not attention seekers. They tend to be thoughtful leaders.
Introverts don’t say everything they think. Their quiet time is used to generate new ideas and innovative approaches. They will speak when they have something important to say.
Introverts are passionate. They can be deeply passionate about topics they care about, just as much as extroverts.
Introverts tend to think before they act. Before responding, they observe, think, and analyze situations.
Large crowds, unprepared public speeches, and being the sole focus of a group’s attention can be onerous for introverts. The worst ways a manager can choose to recognize introverts are:
Making an unexpected awards ceremony in front of a whole office. While introverts aren’t necessarily shy or antisocial, putting an introvert in the spotlight can cause discomfort and lots of stress. While extroverts get energy from everyone’s attention, it takes effort for an introvert to look calm and confident.
Creating a wall of fame in the office. Especially with photos, especially not approved by the introverted workers.
In contrast, some of the best practices to encourage and inspire introverts include:
Personal emails recognizing accomplishments. Even writing a simple thank-you note on Post-it note will work.
Peer-to-peer recognition. This is a great way to show workers how they are appreciated by their colleagues.
Becoming a behind-the-scenes advocate. You don’t have to gather a big crowd to speak about an introvert’s contribution to a work project. Talk them up behind their backs; promote their skills and work among other employees.
Offer special perks. There are some introvert-specific perks that work as wonderful rewards: offer work-from-home days or create a quiet space in the office for some alone time.