Are you ignoring your introvert employees?

Don't forget to recognise quieter team members who are excelling at their jobs

Are you ignoring your introvert employees?

Extroverts may have more visibility during team meetings but don’t forget to give due recognition to the quieter team members. Extroverts may be expressive and have more presence during those virtual meetings, but leaders should be “very cautious” about showing preference over employees when recognising their hard work, said Cary Shek, vice president people & culture at Klook.

“We may tend to recognise extroverts over introverts because of their visibility during meetings,” she said in a recent panel discussion. “But we need to be very conscious about our own bias and give credit where credit’s due.” For example, in a group setting like team meetings, just because an employee’s more vocal about their achievements or progress, it doesn’t mean that others in the team are any less productive. Introverted employees may simply be more comfortable sharing their input or ideas in a private chat with their managers.

Read more: How to encourage staff to speak up during video calls

Shek reminded leaders to be conscious of personality differences amongst team members and to avoid equating a particular behaviour to an employee’s potential or performance. “Leaders have to take the time to understand and listen to their people,” she said. Actively demonstrating an interest in employees can make all the difference in managing performance, she added.

April Wan, VP, global head of HR at Razer Inc. agreed with the importance of being inclusive when managing employees. For instance, leaders should be aware how they’re acknowledging the efforts of front-end staff like salespeople or client-facing associates versus backend employees. It is easy to spot and call out top performers in front-end roles, but leaders should make sure they have an overview of the entire chain of operations.

Read more: How to succeed at work as an introvert

“While the frontliners are busy doing their job, there are actually a group of back-office people who are supporting them to make sure [that] business results [remain] phenomenal,” Wan said during the O.C. Tanner webinar. These ‘behind the scenes’ functions may be just as integral in processing the big business deals.

“From a job function perspective, we can look at it from a very wholesome perspective and make sure that people are not forgotten,” she said. “Let’s not forget [employees who] have contributed in their own ways. Now hitting a target is not a bad thing – it’s something to be recognised as well. Going and above – definitely worth the celebration. But let’s not forget those who are actually doing what they should be doing and doing that well.”

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