Keep Everyone Happy by Making Your Office Extrovert-Friendly

Eight hours marooned in a cubicle is torture for extroverts but most people prefer the collaborative and convivial work atmosphere they crave.

learn more about Heather R. Huhman

By Heather R. Huhman • May 4, 2015


Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Think about what a traditional office looks like. Each employee is given their own cubicle or office to work independently. But is this helping the extroverts?

Extroverts get their energy from being around and working with other people. For extroverts to be successful, they need a workplace that promotes open communication and collaboration, not inhibits it. Without the ability to interact with others, extroverts begin to feel less engaged in their work and burnout quickly.

Focus on providing these five things in the office to prevent extrovert burnout:

1. Assign group work.

Have employees work together on larger projects. Each employee should bring a different strength to the group. Because extroverts work better with other people than on their own, group work will create a collaborative environment that helps them excel.

Individual work leaves extroverts bored and uninspired. Working as a member of a team presents the opportunity for extroverts to use their natural skills and preferences in the workplace.

Have employees in the same department work as partners to complete their tasks. If the task is more complex, increase the group size by combining teams. This way, collaboration will always be a part of an extrovert's job.

Related: 5 Ways to Work With Extroverted Employees

2. Provide praise.

Everyone needs positive feedback, but especially extroverts. They respond more strongly to external motivation and rewards than introverts, according to a June 2013 study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

Extroverts need to hear positive feedback on their work because they are highly sensitive to situations that produce a reward. Feedback that is mostly negative, or no feedback at all, gives extroverts the impression they aren't valued.

Managers need to recognize the positive efforts their employees are making, or they risk extroverts becoming disengaged in their work.

3. Host social events.

In April, the Society for Human Resource Management's Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement report found 48 percent of employees view having a good relationship with their co-workers as very important. This is especially true for extroverts. Arranging social events inside and outside of work gives extroverts the social interaction they enjoy, and will look forward to each week, while creating a positive work atmosphere.

Create an open environment across departments by hosting a social hour at the end of the day every Friday. This will allow co-workers who don't typically work together to build stronger work relationships with everyone in the office and get extroverts out of their lonely cubicles.

In addition, provide an opportunity for co-workers to bond outside of the office. Employers don't need to pay for the company outing, but they should facilitate the initial planning to keep all employees informed. Use apps like Hyphen to get anonymous employee feedback on where the next monthly event should be.

Related: Tone It Down: 5 Introverted Lessons for Extroverts

4. Provide professional development opportunities.

Extroverts are good at processing new information and enjoy applying their new knowledge immediately. Professional development opportunities allow extroverts to challenge themselves in a way that benefits their long-term success at work.

Establish a mentorship program in the company. This provides a collaborative learning experience that helps extroverts stay engaged in their work. Assign a mentor to each new employee. After the new employee has worked for the company for a few years, assign extroverts the mentor position. Mentoring should be an ongoing process throughout an employee's career.

Bring in outside experts to host a collaborative workshop for employees to learn new skills that will help them perform their job better. Workshops that allow opportunities for discussion instead of being lecture-based will help extroverts get the most out of the workshop.

5. Enable employees to come to brainstorming sessions prepared.

One of the main causes of employee burnout is work overload. Sitting in a cubicle alone can cause extroverts a large amount of stress. Brainstorming sessions allow them to explain and bounce ideas off of other co-workers to find solutions to their problems.

Allow everyone in the office a chance to brainstorm on their own before coming together as a group. Schedule an allotted time for everyone in the brainstorming session to provide their opinion without interruption. Not only will this help extroverts use their strengths, but also it can improve brainstorming sessions.

Related: Do You Really Need to Be an Extrovert to Be a Super Salesperson?

Heather R. Huhman

Career and Workplace Expert; Founder and President, Come Recommended

Waldorf, Md.-based Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager and president of Come Recommended, the PR solution for job search and HR tech companies. She writes about issues impacting the modern workplace.

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