Using the DISC Assessment to Improve your Workforce

by Dan Lacy - April 20th, 2012

A recently published study by Gallup International (the research and polling company) found that the perception of the employee’s work (happiness, contentment and motivation) is directly correlated to the company’s bottom line. James K. Harter, Ph.D., is chief scientist for Gallup’s international workplace management practice and has authored over 1,000 studies on work place issues. This particular study
examined data from more than 2,000 business units from: retail, factories and sales offices. The data consisted of satisfaction surveys, employee retention rates, customer loyalty and the financial performance of the business unit.

One outcome of the study indicated that changes made by management to improve the perception that the employee has of his job, greatly improves the performance of the business. In other words when managers boost job satisfaction of the employee, the total organization and their customers benefit. It is often reported that happy employees contribute to the success, bottom line, and happiness of companies. That’s because, I strongly believe, that happy employees are more policy compliant, reative, punctual, ethical, caring, and dedicated to the managers and companies they work for.

This is the last of a series on how to use personality assessments to better understand your employees and improve communications (i.e. employee work satisfaction). We have worked through the four pure personality types: D which is Dominant or highly driven, I which is Influential or highly sociable and great communicators, S which is Steady or very patient and thoughtful and C which is Compliant whose goal is to get it right. You now have realized that one person is typically not just one style; but a combination of normally two and you would be correct. Most people normally are high in two areas and low in two for example: DI, CS, SC, IS, IC, DC etc. Less than 2% of the population is one pure personality type: D, I, S or C.

How do you use DiSC assessments to start, maintain and keep a happy, productive, content and fulfilled workforce? Here are the three areas I found to be most helpful:

People are different

Dr. Peter Drucker often said that understanding the problem is the greatest challenge, after that the answers come easily. People are no different, if we first understand ourselves and the differences in people, working together works better. The better I understand the strengths and weaknesses of each member of my team, the more effective I become. For example, if I ask my highly detailed accounting person to get on the phone and make cold calls – it is going to be a disaster. But if I ask my outgoing, people relating assistant to make those calls, everybody is going to be happy: she will be, my customer and I will get the results I wanted. Management’s job is to maximize human capital. A small investment in a DiSC assessment will help a manager understand and get the most out of an employee.

How you communicate

It seems simple because we have been talking to people all of our lives; but people send and receive communication differently and many times it is not the words that are said but how they are stated. So the person sending the information needs to mirror how the person receiving the information is designed to receive it. For example, if a D talks to a C. D’s are: fast paced, big picture, to the point, want action yesterday. The C receiving the information likes: slow paced, detail, time to think it through before acting. See the conflict. The D is thinking that the C should be up to speed and the C is thinking, I need time and this is too much info to act on quickly. The D needs to pace themselves with the C if they want the C to be comfortable. Same examples can be made for the I to C, S to D, or any combination. It is a fact that each of us are uniquely made and we process information differently. We spend much of our lives communicating to get the things we want, if we know how the other person is wired (know their DiSC), our communication has a much greater shot of being successful.


It is a universal understanding, great people build great businesses; good people build good businesses and mediocre people build mediocre businesses, even a few mediocre people will have a dramatic impact on a good company. We all want to hire great people; but it is a crap shoot today to consistently make good hires. Hiring is a tough job. Simple personality assessment can help in that process. What a personality assessment will tell us about the interviewees:

Ability to work with other. Is the person reserved, quiet, independent or outgoing?

Energy and Drive. Do they have a lot of drive or are they reserved and passive.

Work Style. Do they have a high attention to detail, desire structure and guidance or are they free thinkers and independent.

Problem Solving. Does the person analyze information and develop solutions. Some people are very analytical. Others go with their intuition to interpret information and find solutions.

Dealing with Stress. Some people have a high level of self control and can deal with stress and work in high pressure jobs.

Managing Change. Some people can create change and deal with it very nicely and others struggle with a flexible and changing work environment.

Finally, business is about people and DiSC assessment can help you with:

Increased employee engagement – With a personality assessment, employees can gain an unvarnished, holistic viewpoint of which they are, how they work and how they fit into the culture of the team or organization. Engagement goes up as organizations recognize the uniqueness that each person brings based on their own thinking and behavioral tendencies.

Stronger team dynamics – Utilizing personality assessments in the workplace and with intact teams provides a superior window to view team roles, responsibilities, communication and conflict. Diverse teams can understand how each member brings a distinctive and valuable perspective to the table. Cognitively similar teams can recognize the need to capitalize on their strengths and find ways to overcome areas they may lack.

Increased productivity – Companies who use assessments to their fullest potential will ensure that learning and individual preferences are linked with goals, business objectives and performance management metrics. How? Take personal objectives.knowing an employee’s personality can provide a new way to view his/her objectives and an individualized plan to fulfill them.

Dan Lacy
Growth & Profit Coach, Financial Strategist, Cash Flow Doctor, CEO Mentor
phone: 765-644-8887

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