Engaging Introverted Employees 💙

Engaging Introverted Employees 💙

When designing inclusive employee events, we often forget about an overlooked population in the workplace: introverts.

Most employee events are subconsciously extrovert-oriented. In fact, the most basic key indicator used to measure a successful event is the number of participants that attended. While a huge gathering full of co-workers might be the perfect space for extroverts to engage, introverts are typically more comfortable interacting with smaller groups of people and prefer less stimulating environments.

Introverted employees are no doubt valuable members of the team that can contribute to company culture just as much as extroverts. So how can we create intentional events to help them engage in the workplace?

💙 Host Smaller Events

Design events and activities with smaller groups of people in mind. What might this look like?

  • Set an event capacity and establish a waiting list in case people’s plans change and spots free up
  • Create breakout rooms or divide participants up physically into teams during bigger events
  • Host multiple identical sessions of the same event with a limited number of participants in each
  • Plan events specifically intended for a small amount of people, such as 1:1 Speed Mingling

Smaller events don’t just benefit introverts! Interacting in smaller groups can create deeper, more meaningful, and more intimate connections for everyone at the workplace.

💙 Create Social Events with Structure

Social events, such as a happy hour, office party, or company dinner, are a great avenue for your employees to come out and enjoy their time together. However, the unstructured socializing of these events can be draining for introverts. To make these events less overwhelming, you can:

  • Arrange seating plans so that participants are sitting with new co-workers; this avoids participants sticking to their friends at events and risking leaving others out in conversations
  • Create an event schedule, such as planning for participants to switch tables every fifteen minutes, which makes forming new connections easier for those who are less confident approaching new people or groups on their own
  • Plan icebreaker activities and games to facilitate interactions, such as two truths and one lie
  • Have a designated quiet zone with low-key activities such as chess or board games, so participants can take a break from socializing if needed

💙 Host Less Stimulating Events

While the rowdier office parties and socials are great, there are plenty of large-scale events that you can host that require less social stimulation. These events can provide an opportunity for introverted employees to attend, but still be in their own space if necessary. Ideas include:

  • Cooking class
  • Guided meditation or yoga session
  • Watch party for a film or documentary
  • Guest speaker workshop or panel
  • Team volunteering, such as litter-picking at a local park

💙 Conduct Feedback Post-events

One of the best ways to create events with your introverted employees in mind is to pulse-check after each event. That way, you can get tangible feedback on what went well, and what could be improved for future events. You can ask valuable questions to understand what helps drive employee connections and facilitate interactions such as:

  • Which aspects of the event helped you connect with others?
  • How can we make the event more engaging and connecting for next time?

💙 Introverts@

Your introverted employees should feel empowered to host their own initiatives and events. If your workplace events tend to be more extrovert-oriented, encourage individuals to create their own Introverts@ ERG to plan intentional events with an introverted audience in mind.

💙 Block off Meeting-free Zones

Schedule a recurring meeting- and activity-free time zone each week to ensure that introverts can have a time-out from social interaction. It’s important to dedicate time to recharge and avoid social burnout. Giving privacy and downtime across the workplace will benefit all employees as well, not just introverts - it ensures that everyone has at least a few hours each week to focus on tasks individually.

Related content