Employee recognition is closely correlated with engagement and employee retention. That being the case, your organization would be wise to recognize your employees for a job well done on a regular basis.
Unfortunately, your employees aren’t carbon copies of one another. Every company has its share of extroverts and its share of introverts. And, as much as a hassle as it might be, you can’t recognize their efforts in the same manner.
The Difference Between Introverts and Extroverts
While an extrovert may enjoy a high five or a compliment voiced in a public setting, such forms of recognition will likely make introverts uncomfortable — leaving them in a worse position after their efforts are recognized.
Introverts thrive in lower-stimulation environments. So even if your idea to give your introverted rock-star employee an unannounced award is a noble one, you should probably reconsider before you embarrass them in a public setting.
When extroverts do a great job, they may well take you up on an opportunity to talk about their recent wins and share their visions for the future. Introverts, on the other hand, would likely be mortified to be asked to speak in front of a sizeable group.
How exactly can you recognize the efforts of your introverted employees in a way that actually works? There are a number of different tactics you can try:
1. Send a personal email or write a thank-you note
Recognition doesn’t always have to include a whole lot of pomp and circumstance. Introverts don’t like it when they’re in the spotlight. When you want to let them know they’ve done a great job, simply write them a note or send them an email. Be quiet about it.
2. Advocate on their behalf
Step up to the plate for introverted employees who deserve it. Since they keep to themselves, they're unlikely to brag or boast about their biggest accomplishments. Let other managers know about their victories. You can also give them additional responsibilities.
3. Recognize them in comfortable groups
If you know that your introverted employee is in a smaller group with familiar people — say, in a meeting with their immediate team — you can stop by and briefly compliment them. But don’t make it a huge deal.
4. Let them work from home
Introverted people prefer quiet spaces. If your introverted worker has been killing it and you want to recognize their efforts, let them work from home. If you already have a remote working policy, let them work from home more often — or at least give them the option.
5. Encourage your other employees to recognize their efforts
You could always track down one of your employee’s work friends and tell that person to be your messenger for recognition. Compliments and congratulations are likely to be better received when introverts are comfortable.
Recognizing the hard work of your introverted employees isn’t a difficult thing to do. You just need to be aware of the fact that extroverts and introverts thrive in different settings and prefer different kinds of rewards.
The last thing you want to do is end up discouraging your workers while actually attempting to motivate them. The good news is that by understanding the differences between extroverts and introverts and rewarding workers appropriately, you’re certain to encourage them.