There are people that enjoy working by themselves, and there are others that thrive in working with others.
If you haven’t caught on already, that’s the difference between introverted and extroverted type personalities. It can be difficult to find a balance between the two types as workplace is primarily a social space - especially in the restaurant INDUSTRY.
However, it is up to the manager, or the person in change, to understand that different individuals have different modes of socializing. Here are two crucial tips on how to manage introvert and extrovert restaurant employees:
There is an unfair stigma around the personality of an introverted individual and it's untrue! Introverted does not mean shy, rather they just don’t react to social rewards or situations the same as extroverts do. Being an introvert doesn’t mean the individual is any less capable of doing things an extrovert can. It also doesn’t mean that they don’t enjoy interacting with others, or have a lack self-esteem. They just simply find pleasure in other things.
Science Alert has put together a perfect “sciencey” explanation between the two:
Understand Your Team
Observe what kind of individuals you have on your team. Take note on those who enjoy having short conversations with multiple guests, or a long one with a few. Look at employees who create lasting impressions on guests with their conversation or with their service. In the restaurant industry, extroverts often thrive in dealing with and serving large parties. Introverts are more likely to excel behind the bar, or with individual parties. How often have you had a quiet server receive the kindest compliments, and how often do sociable servers are praised for their friendliness? It is crucial to understand that different individuals excel in different roles and situations.
The top three of the richest people in the world are introverts. Need I say more? There is an underlying assumption that extroverts make better employees but that’s not the case. Both personalities have different work ethics to offer. Bartenders are usually people who listen well, enjoy conversation with two to three people, and are okay with manning the bar alone.
Servers are usually enjoys chatting and socializing with people, and has the ability to easily open up! With that being said, the dichotomy between the two is not simply shy vs outgoing.
The key is to let the employee be an introvert or extrovert, while as a manager, you should provide equal opportunity. If you have a meeting, and would like some feedback from everyone on the team, extroverts are likely to provide answers during the meeting. Take the initiative to seek introverted employees after the meeting and speak to them one on one. Or send them a follow up message to see if they have anything to add. It's more likely that they’ll voluntarily provide you with an answer in an environment their comfortable in!
“Extroverts might be the loudest ones in the room, but that doesn’t mean that their ideas should be taken by default." - Jacob Shriar, Office Vibe
Being an introvert does not mean that the individual’s work is not as good as an extrovert, and being an extrovert doesn't mean you're loud and obnoxious. As an restaurant owner, its crucial to understand your employees, to help them succeed and to optimize your labor!