The world we live in and our daily work is surrounded with nuance. In the context of personality types, introversion and extroversion is something most individuals experience throughout their lifetime or career, while some having a predisposition for one or the other at different stages of their development.
When regarding these traits at the workplace, there was a societal perception around introversion in that they don’t need the recognition extroverts chase. Even if extroverts can feel more comfortable with recognition, introverts are making just as much or more contributions to your environment daily. Yes, they often can be less vocal about it, but that doesn’t mean introverted employees don’t appreciate and deserve recognition.
Just take a look at Susan Cain’s insightful TED talk, where she challenged and dispelled the many misconceptions surrounding introverts and presented the perspectives and indispensable skills they bring to a team. Remember, the loudest person at the meeting doesn’t always have the best input regarding a problem / solution.
The focus of an organization is to empower both spectrums of personalities within your company. Recognize, analyze, and empower both introverts and extroverts, don’t play favorites. Company strengths and complementary skill sets come with embracing and managing differences and diversity. Introverts and extroverts both have areas of expertise and social skills that can bring valuable contributions to your organization on a daily basis.
With that out of the way here is a good way to recognize the quiet performers in your organization.
Forbes and HBR provide valuable resources on how to bring the best out of your introverted teammates at work. You are still going to need to go the extra mile and figure out how to best establish recognition programs that will put your introverts in the spotlight.
Don’t try to fix introverts, allow them to channel their energy in work they find meaningful. In when a task is completed, use peer-to-peer acknowledgment. While normally you’d want to make it as publicly as possible, consider the fact that maybe an introverted colleague will appreciate the one-on-one approach more and feel more comfortable in the process. Via peer-to-peer recognition, you can have the added benefit of getting their extraverted colleagues to see just how valuable they are. Create authentic employee recognition programs that make introverts appreciated and engaged while considering their inner predispositions of character.
Challenge old company paradigms of appreciation by being mindful of who the individuals in your team are.