Updated: Apr 23
There has been a lot of buzz around the term “employee engagement” since Gallup released their 2017 edition of the State of the Global Workplace report. The aggregate data collected from 2014 through 2017 exposed the staggering numbers of worldwide employee engagement at just 15%, with U.S./Canada leading at 31%. One of the main strategies to increase employee engagement in companies is to provide training and development that fosters a culture where continuous development occurs. This sends a message to employees that the organization values them and believes in their potential.
A successful training course, such as the DISC training, can help your workforce dive deep into issues surrounding your employees’ engagement. The DISC can help managers recognize and praise their employees, bolster relationships, improve communication, and foster personal growth and development. For a refresher on the DISC, read our previous article on Using DISC Behavioral Styles to Motivate Employees.
Recognition and Praise
Receiving recognition and praise is an essential need for employees. It shows them that their efforts matter to someone, which gives them instant motivation and propels them to do a better job in the future. However, this may be difficult because you can’t recognize employees in the same way due to individual differences and preferences. To make recognition personal and effective for everyone, you must first understand what motivates each individual. An effective approach is to analyze each person’s DISC style. If the person is more extroverted, such as the D’s and the I’s, they would prefer to be recognized with high appraisal, such as, presenting them with a token of recognition in front of their colleagues. On the other hand, this could make the S’s and the C’s a little uncomfortable. These individuals might prefer a more personal style of recognition, such as a one-on-one meeting or a well thought-out email expressing gratitude. Gaining insight into each employee’s unique style can help you understand how others prefer to be recognized.
Effective Communication and Building Relationships
One of the most important takeaways from the DISC is learning how to adapt and blend your style to improve communication with others. Breaking down communication barriers is key to building a better team because it gives individuals knowledge around the best ways to do quality work with their peers. By focusing on the differences and similarities between each other, people can see how each individual prefers to be approached in the work setting and what is the most effective way to communicate with them. For example, the D’s might tell you that they want to be approached with straight to the point solutions and do not want to spend a lot of time talking about one’s personal life. I’s, on the other hand, prefer communication to be lighthearted, personal, and fun before jumping into work-related conversations. The S’s prefer a more relaxed and calming tone but with a lot of context about the problem because they want to know the bigger picture. And lastly, the C’s prefer to talk about the details and the perfect plan to solve the problem at hand. By recognizing what is the best way to communicate effectively in the workplace, employees can work together as a team, and become more committed to doing quality work and having quality relationships.
Personal Growth and Development
One of our previous articles, Are You Leading Your Employees Down the Right Path?, highlighted the importance of personal growth and development. If employees have opportunities at work to learn and grow, they will increase their enthusiasm toward their work. Using the DISC to understand employees’ strengths, managers can assign projects accordingly – with a better understanding of how each individual defines success. For example, if one of your employees’ is a high D, let them lead the next team meeting or present their project to the company. If they are a high C, give them a project that they can work autonomously on, which shows that you trust them and that you believe in their ability. These small gestures and freedoms can be easily given to employees if you understand what personal goals they have and what strengths they bring to the table. By focusing on employee’s strengths, you are not only increasing their engagement, you are also recognizing the talent in your workforce and capitalizing on it.
Employee engagement should be a focal point in your organization as evidenced by the very low percentages of employees engaged at work. Your company could improve these rates by investing in training and development in a variety of topics, including the DISC training course. This training is one of the more popular courses that teaches how to step back and carefully analyze yourself and others when communicating and leading in various situations. It focuses on the strengths and weaknesses of each DISC style and uses this information to improve communication and enhance individual and team performance.
This is the second article of our three-part series on the DISC, and we will be launching a new article at the end of each month. If you are interested in learning more about the DISC, we have created a brief PowerPoint presentation on the DISC that you could use in your organization. If you are interested in taking a free DISC Assessment to learn about your own style, please click the above link to be connected to one of our consultants.