How To Manage Employees Who Are Shy?

Shyness_Lili Vieira de Carvalho

Shy employees and quiet employees are not the same. They are two very different kinds of employees.


When a person is shy, they are not comfortable with speaking up for a variety of reasons that can range from not being comfortable around people, feeling awkward and anxious, etc. Quiet people on the other hand do not speak not because they are afraid of speaking, but because they feel like they don’t have anything of value to add to the conversation. A quiet person may not say much, when they do say something, they want it to be meaningful and relevant and they have usually put a lot of thought into it.

As a manager, one of the things you must learn to do is recognize the personalities the personalities your team members possess.

That is when you will be able to play to their strengths and recognize their weakness.

In this post, we are going to focus on managing shy employees. Sometimes the shyest of employees can be a hidden genius or a miracle worker. All they need in order to shine is a little nudging. Here are 5 ways how you can manage employees who are shy.

Don’t Put Them On The Spot

Some people thrive in the spotlight regardless of how its thrust on them, shy people on the other hand will just retreat deeper into their shell. They hate being the centre of attention and will be stressed out and worried.

Don’t Point Out Their Shyness

Just don’t. It’s not cool. People don’t enjoy being shy. Not being able to express an opinion without anxiety or not feeling confident are just some of the issues shy people deal with. Trust me; shy people have noticed they are shy. They probably are even working on trying to be more open and assertive. When you notice shy employees taking part in a conversation or expressing an opinion, respond positively to it.

New Ways of Communication

Face to face communication does not always work with shy employees. But digital communication on the other hand is a different ballgame. It’s easier to communicate on the internet (also the reason why people delight in being internet trolls).

Pro-Tip – Engagedly’s social feature allows for seamless communication among employees, no matter where you are located. Want to take a look at it? You can request a demo from the Engagedly team here!

Give Them Time

Most people are not good with coming-up with amazing ideas on the spot. Especially shy employees. They do not thrive under pressure. You can slowly teach them to not fear pressure but when you want them to be creative, give them some time to mull over the ideas. Most shy and quiet people work the best when they can mull over ideas by themselves.

Supportive Environments

To manager your shy employee better, ensure they are in an environment where they are not overwhelmed. Talking to people, addressing large groups of people are all things shy employees are not comfortable doing. Even if they power through and somehow manage to do it, the experience is going to be anxiety-filled with them. They are better suited to research-based, one on one jobs that involve mindful work as opposed to talking with people.


 How would you help shy employees integrate better? Engagedly’s social feature can make communication between employees so much easier. Request a demo to know more about it!

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