How DISC can Influence Workplace Culture


Workplace culture is a hot topic in the business world today. Many people are talking about the importance of creating a positive work environment and how it can lead to improved productivity and employee satisfaction. But what does workplace culture actually mean? And how can you create a positive culture in your own workplace? In this blog post, we will explore workplace culture and discuss how DISC profiling can help influence and improve it.

What is Workplace Culture?

Workplace culture is a term that is often heard but not well understood. What does it really mean? Workplace culture encompasses everything from how employees dress to how they interact with one another.

Workplace culture can be defined as the shared values, beliefs, and behaviours characterising a company or organisation. It is the ‘personality’ of a business, and it shapes how employees interact with each other and with customers. Positive workplace culture promotes collaboration, creativity, and respect. It is a place where people feel valued and motivated to do their best work.

One of the most prominent mistakes organisations make is letting their workplace culture form naturally without defining what they want it to be.

Why is Workplace Culture Important?

Positive workplace culture is important for several reasons:

  1. It can lead to improved employee satisfaction and retention. Employees who feel valued and motivated are more likely to stick around than those who do not feel engaged with their work.
  2. Positive workplace culture can improve productivity. When employees feel good about coming to work, they are more likely to be productive and produce high-quality work.
  3. Positive workplace culture can attract new talent.

Top candidates will want to work for an organisation that values its employees and has a healthy workplace culture.

How to Create a Positive Workplace Culture

So, how can you create a positive workplace culture? Here are some tips:

  • Encourage open communication: Encourage employees to share their ideas and suggestions openly. Create an environment where people feel comfortable giving positive and negative feedback.
  • Foster collaboration: Workplaces that encourage collaboration between employees tend to be more creative and productive. Encourage team working and provide opportunities for employees to learn from each other.
  • Promote respect: Respect is a fundamental part of positive workplace culture. Treat all employees fairly, and promote an environment of mutual respect.
  • Value diversity: A diverse workforce can bring different perspectives and skills to the table. Encourage employees to celebrate their individual differences, and create an inclusive environment where everyone feels welcome.
  • Encourage employee development: A workplace that invests in its employees’ development is more likely to retain them. Offer opportunities for training and development, and provide support for employees who want to progress in their careers.

What is Extended DISC® and How Does it Influence Workplace Culture?

DISC profiling is a tool that can be used to help improve workplace culture. Extended DISC® is a model of human behaviour that divides people into four main personality types: D (Dominance), I (Influence), S (Steadiness), and C (Compliance). Each style relates to a distinct set of behaviours that emerge spontaneously in our interactions with others and help define our worldview. When we behave in our natural style, we spontaneously generate energy. However, behaviours that are inconsistent with our natural wiring tend to deplete our energy.

Each of the styles can be described as follows:

  • D: Results-oriented, bottom-line, direct, risk-takers, independent
  • I: People-oriented, enthusiastic, motivational, optimistic, social
  • S: Harmony-seeking, calm, empathetic, patient
  • C: Accuracy-focused, systematic, logical, analytical, questioning

Each style adds something unique to the organisational culture. Let’s explore the DISC profile types from a team or organisational perspective with that in mind. Imagine an environment comprised of people with just one style:

The “D” culture: This workplace would be characterised by an intensive focus on results. Decisions would be made quickly and decisively. While the strengths of this group would include vision and execution, a group of D’s may sacrifice accuracy for speed. Meetings may be long and drawn out because everyone has strong opinions and wishes to share them. The expression, “Too many chiefs” would probably capture the essence of how they worked together.

The “I” culture: The most striking element of this workplace would be its high morale. I’s effortlessly use humour to deflect stress. In addition, there would be no shortage of positive feedback. The key challenge in this workplace would be inattention to processes that ensure quality and the spontaneous manner of making decisions. Team meetings would likely lack focus and could easily stray from the intended topics.

The “S” culture: Given the S’s desire for harmony, this culture would be characterised by teamwork and trust. However, conflict may be suppressed in the name of “getting along.” The desire for stability would limit innovation or even the exploration of new approaches for fear of upheaval and change. On the surface, there would appear to be little conflict. However, underneath, people may feel bottled up. Ironically, in such ‘safe’ environments, employees are often afraid to express themselves, leading to buried stress. Meetings for this group tend to be polite gatherings where disagreement or conflicts rarely surface.

The “C” culture: The C environment could be described by the carpenter’s motto, “Measure twice, cut once.” It might take a while to make decisions or create change in this culture, but quality results are likely once implemented. This environment will feature clearly defined processes and systems where people will steadfastly follow the rules. Under high stress, a group of C’s will require copious data analysis before reaching a decision, a dynamic that can often lead to analysis paralysis. Overall, a C dominated atmosphere is likely to be more on the serious side. Team meetings will feature much detail and a lot of questions.

People are a significant factor in determining the culture of the workplace. The people you hire and their beliefs, attitude toward work, and personalities affect the types of interactions that occur. Workplaces that use DISC profiling often find that it helps to improve communication and collaboration between employees. It can also help create a more positive workplace culture by promoting respect and valuing diversity.

How do Different DISC profiles Interact with Each Other in the Workplace?

We already know that different people have diverse tastes in movies, mobile phones, music, and fashion, to name a few. The same is true for communication. Some people prefer shorter sentences. Some people want to interact on deeper emotional levels and tell stories. Others want facts and proof to back up what you’re saying and may want you to slow down so they can think about it. When interacting with DISC profiles in the workplace, it’s vital to understand their differences and how they behave.

  • D-types are typically ambitious and results-oriented. They like to take charge and be in control. D-types can be seen as bossy or pushy, but they are usually very confident and outgoing.
  • I-types are typically friendly and sociable. They like to be involved in everything that is going on, and they enjoy networking and socialising. I-types can be seen as chatty or gossipy, but they are also usually very creative and good at coming up with new ideas.
  • S-types are typically calm and patient. They like to work steadily towards their goals, and they prefer stability over change. S-types may be seen as stable or unadventurous, but they are also usually very reliable and good at following instructions.
  • C-types are typically logical and analytical. They like to plan everything in advance, and they prefer to stick to tried-and-tested methods. C-types might be seen as pedantic or inflexible, but they are also usually very detail-oriented and good at problem-solving.

When DISC profiles are combined in the workplace, it is essential to remember that each personality type has its own strengths and weaknesses. It is vital to create an environment where everyone feels understood, valued and respected and where everyone can contribute their own skills and ideas. DISC profiles are an effective way to facilitate a shared understanding of one another. By doing this, you can create a workplace culture that is positive, productive, and inclusive.

What are some common challenges that arise in workplaces with different DISC profiles?

One challenge that can arise is that D-types may feel like they always have to take charge, while S-types may feel like they are not being given enough responsibility. Another challenge is that I-types and C-types may have difficulty communicating with each other, as I-types tend to be more emotional and C-types tend to be more logical. However, by understanding the different personality types and learning how to communicate effectively with each other, these challenges can be overcome.

How to Improve Workplace Culture Using Extended DISC®

If you want to improve workplace culture, DISC can be a helpful tool. By understanding the different personality types of your employees, you can learn how to better communicate with, motivate, and manage them. You can also create a more positive and productive environment by promoting respect and valuing diversity. Workplaces that use DISC profiling often find that it helps to improve communication and collaboration between employees.

How can Managers use Extended DISC® to create a More Productive and Positive Work Environment?

Managers can use Extended DISC® to create a more productive work environment by ensuring a blend of DISC profiles across their teams and organisation. A well-balanced organisational culture taps into the strengths of each style. Such an environment would simultaneously place value upon:

  • Results (D)
  • Morale and the environment (I)
  • Relationships and service to others (S)
  • Quality and processes (C)

If any one of these elements are missing, the team will operate less effectively, and success will be more difficult to achieve.

Another way managers can use Extended DISC® to create a more productive and positive work environment is by using it to help with communication. Managers can learn to communicate better with their employees by understanding their different personality types. They can also use Extended DISC® to help resolve conflicts between employees. Additionally, managers can use DISC to help motivate and manage their employees more effectively.

There are multiple benefits to creating a positive work environment! Please contact us if you want more information about using Extended DISC® to develop or improve your workplace culture. We would be happy to help!