After the last two years of COVID lockdowns, the move to work from home and sticking with a hybrid model or returning to the workplace, plus the great realignment of people priorities, there seems to be a renewed focus on workplace culture and team building. Have we forgotten how to work together after being home for the last two years?
Rebuilding and/or enhancing culture and bringing our people back together is more than just a few social events, team lunches, chats around the water cooler and revisiting our values. Culture is also about our workplace interactions; how we work together as a team to be effective, how we collaborate, as well as understanding ourselves and each of our team members and how we can complement each other’s work styles. Tools such as DiSC® are a great way to help our people strengthen workplace relationships.
A lot of businesses first ask me about using tools such as DiSC® as part of a recruitment process. There are many different tools when it comes to profiling and assessment, and which tool to use depends on what you are trying to measure/assess and how or what you are going to use the information for. DiSC® sometimes receives a bad reputation because of the free tools available on the internet; however, the tool we use at Inspire HQ uses adaptive testing, sophisticated algorithms and has been developed over forty-plus years of research. The reason I like DiSC® is that it’s easy to read and interpret your profile and others’ profiles, and you don’t need to be a psychologist to understand it or apply the learnings.
DiSC® is a valuable tool to use as part of a recruitment process to be able to understand the candidate’s preferences and tendencies, however, the value in DiSC® is continuing to use the tool throughout the employee lifecycle. This tool is extremely valuable in helping them understand how they relate to others, which leads to actionable strategies to help improve self-awareness, interactions and ultimately, performance.
Which is why DiSC® is also a really valuable tool for enhancing culture. If we understand ourselves better and then those we work with, we can improve working relationships, play to each other’s strengths, and better support each other’s limitations. We can start to understand why someone behaves in a certain way in certain situations. It helps to build awareness with our team members that their greatest strength can also be their greatest weakness. For example, if your natural tendency is to move at a fast pace, you like to push yourself and are ambitious, it’s important to be aware of your team members that prefer a steady pace, like time to consider options and to be mindful of not leaving those team members behind.
At Inspire HQ, we use DiSC® as part of the recruitment process, but also extensively throughout the employee life cycle. I have observed so many ah-ha moments when working with team members to understand their own DiSC® profiles and when learning about their colleagues’ profiles. It often explains why team members come at projects from very different angles or have different perspectives, and why sometimes there can be frustration or butting of heads because of the difference in tendencies and priorities. When team members understand how each other like to work and operate, it leads to understanding rather than frustration and perceiving that the other person is being difficult. When our team members have this level of awareness of themselves and their colleagues, they can then play to each other’s strengths, increase effective collaboration and achieve better outcomes.
In my experience, from using DiSC® in my workplace and facilitating many team DiSC® workshops, the real value comes when you’re able to keep DiSC® front of mind and build it into your day-to-day conversations; not just using it to recruit a team member or running a workshop on it then putting it in the bottom drawer and forgetting about it. Talking about your own profile and team member’s profiles regularly and using it for simple things, like who might be best to have work on a project to have a mix of the profiles or talking about it when trying to build a relationship with a client and using it in conversations about opportunities for development and learning is when you really start to get real value from the DiSC® tool. As part of the DiSC® suite of tools, there are also profiles specifically for leaders and managers to help them understand their style in leading and managing, directing and delegating, motivating and developing team members.
Culture is key in employee engagement and retention, and now more than ever given the challenges in finding talent. If you are looking for another way to help build culture, develop your people and build a great workplace, DiSC® is a tool well worth exploring.