Find out what a DISC assessment is and the top reasons to use it to use DISC in your organization.
DISC assessments can help your employees work together as a team while pushing your organization toward new heights. No matter which industry you are in, a DISC assessment will benefit with training, corporate culture, productivity, morale, and much more.
What is a DISC Assessment?
DISC is an assessment intended to identify individuals’ behavioral styles. There are no right or wrong answers with DISC questionnaire, as it is not a test.
DISC assessments measure how employees respond to rules, the environment, other people, and problems and challenges. The goal of the assessment is to determine which behavioral traits motivate employees so workplace communication styles can match the motivating factors, for a best fit.
The acronym stands for dominance-influence-steadiness-conscientiousness (or compliance). These four words describe the behavioral traits held by your employees:
- Dominance (D-style) - Decisiveness, control, and authority motivate dominant workers. People who are dominant usually have a "problem solving" attitude, rise to a challenge, and thrive in a competitive workplace environment.
- Influence (I-style) - Outgoingness, enthusiasm, and spontaneity are key character traits of influencers. Employees who are motivated by influence share a love of talking and interacting with others, but may have difficulty staying focused.
- Steadiness (S-style) - Steady employees are supportive, patient, and prefer focused work over multitasking. Think of the great listeners in your office, or those who work tirelessly toward a shared goal.
- Compliance (C-style) - Compliant or conscientious employees like to understand rules and are highly organized and detail-oriented. These employees may be reluctant to make quick decisions as they want to make the correct ones to improve the organization.
The DISC assessment identifies employees’ relative comfort levels, or preferences, among each D, I, S, and C style. While employees generally have one dominant style, the other behavioral styles play a role too. Someone may be highly steady and dominant, meaning they respond to both challenges and the environment, and are less affected by rules, procedures, and the influence of others.
While there are other personality tests out there, many consider DISC the best pick for workplaces. The DISC assessment focuses on interpersonal communications, whereas the Myers-Briggs personality test focuses on how people process information internally. Thus, DISC is a more practical tool for use within the workplace.
DISC is an accurate yet flexible assessment tool
While there are many tools for employee assessments, DISC stands apart because it is accurate, flexible, and intuitive.
Once you are familiar with DISC, you can see the behavioral styles at play and find blends and variations (no two influencers are exactly the same). You can even guess at someone's DISC style by observing their behavior in interviews, reading their emails, or seeing the end result of a work project. Because you can readily spot DISC types (as compared to Myers-Briggs, for one), it's a great took for using even when you are stressed, tired, angry, or on a tight deadline.
Using DISC to communicate clearer
For many companies, a desire to improve workplace communication is the main motivator for using DISC. These four behavioral styles are very different from one another. What works for communicating to a compliant employee will ruffle the feathers of a dominant worker. Take the case of a new policy that affects all employees, such as one for requesting time off. Policy rollout will go better if you keep in mind your workers' behavior traits and communication styles.
Consider that dominant workers want straight talk, no chit chat. If disagreement arises, prove your point with facts. Dominant individuals prefer to be a part of the decision-making process. Influencers, in contrast, want to chit chat and connect before moving into serious conversation topics. They can feel rushed and ignored if there is no small talk. Influencers also want to know that others are on board before they lend support. Steady employees need a little warm-up before discussing serious matters, too, and they like to dialogue about major changes. Above all, these employees want reassurance their role is safe and their team is treated fairly. Compliant employees want to see all the facts and figures before moving confidently forward, so don't go into these conversations unprepared. These aren't the workers with whom to just casually discuss potential changes. They expect follow-through on details, especially since once they are your compliant folks.
Using DISC to reduce judgment
To work effectively, employees and managers must make quick decisions about projects, personnel, and deliverables. Judgments can seem inevitable, but they can also breed mistrust.
DISC provides a level of nuance for decision-making that opens up understanding because it gives colleagues a window into how behavioral styles influence an employee's decision-making. For example, a compliant manager who always does things "by the book" will know to get buy-in from a popular employee before approaching the influencers on staff about a policy shift they may have overlooked due to disorganization. The ensuing conversation is then less charged with strong emotions, because all sides understand the other's perspective.
Using DISC is cost effective
DISC assessments are a cost effective way to better understand the interpersonal dynamics of your workplace. As such, these assessments appeal to organizations that want to make change yet cannot afford the time or money to bring in a consultant or host a multi-day staff retreat.
Once you understand how your employees communicate, and how these behavioral styles are at play within a department or a company, you can make positive changes to communication in the workplace. These changes have a ripple effect throughout the company, providing benefits such as improved morale, more effective leadership, better interpersonal relationships, and higher job satisfaction.