Using DISC to Increase Employee Satisfaction


Employee satisfaction is a critical component of any business. Happy employees are more productive and less likely to leave their jobs. There is no doubt that employee satisfaction has a massive impact on the bottom line. Employee turnover is a high cost to businesses as they re-hire for the role and induct the new employee. Excellent employee satisfaction increases productivity, saves time and money, and sets you apart as an innovative company with a great culture. Think about the likes of Google and Apple as an example. So how do we increase employee satisfaction?

DISC is a personality assessment tool that can be used to identify the needs of employees and improve satisfaction levels. By understanding employee personalities, businesses can create work environments that are better suited to their needs. This leads to happier, more productive employees and reduces turnover. 

It isn’t news that distracted people are less productive than those who are motivated and engaged in their work roles. Bain & Co estimated that dissatisfied employees were only 71% as effective as satisfied employees but that those who were fully engaged were 44% more productive than the “satisfied” employees. And inspired employees produced 125% more than “satisfied” employees!

Dr Rowarth logically suggests that it takes three dissatisfied employees to create the same output as two satisfied employees and that one inspired employee will create more output than three that are dissatisfied or two that are satisfied. And of course, if over three-quarters of the workforce are sufficiently dissatisfied to be looking for a new job, productivity must be seriously affected.

Hudson reported that 13% of new employees had left their job within three months of starting, and the three main reasons for leaving were poor culture fit (30%), the manager was not what they hoped (36%), and the job was not what was expected (62%). Many employees identified that their reason for leaving was that they weren’t challenged because the role had been “oversold”.

We were aware that dissatisfied employees were not as productive as engaged employees. However, when this situation was bought to our attention, we weren’t aware of just how significant the drop in productivity could be. Neither was one of our consultants, John. 

Interestingly however, John had arrived at virtually the same conclusions when he was consulted by a medium-sized Australian manufacturing company who were having difficulty in retaining new recruits. His research into this specific case demonstrated the importance of compatibility (team fit), communication with departmental managers, job fit, and ensuring the candidate’s behaviour was suitable for the specific role advertised.

When engaged on this specific assignment, John was advised that 23% of new recruits had left the organisation within six months of commencement, citing the four main reasons above. 

John’s client had not been using any psychometric tools in recruitment, and his first step was to obtain a DISC assessment from the entire staff, including managers. He then produced team reports for each department and management reports for each departmental manager, comparing the managers’ styles after assessing their performance.  

He ensured behavioural reports were obtained for all new candidates during a six month period, and by using the information contained in the reports during the selection process, the retention rate improved remarkably reducing the number who left within three months to zero!

Better still, after working with the departmental managers in transferring dissatisfied employees into roles that better suited their style (through analysing the competencies required for roles and comparing them to their preferred style), employee productivity improved (according to management) by 17.5%.

When you understand more about people and how they are ‘wired’, it makes communication so much easier. It also allows you to predict what someone is likely to do or say in any given situation – which comes in very handy when trying to resolve conflict! Not only this but DISC personality typing is one of the most popular ways to understand how people process information and make decisions. Each DISC personality type responds best to different motivational methods. In order to get the most out of your team, it’s important to understand what type of motivator each employee prefers. 

There is much more to this case of course, but we know of so many situations where productivity, job satisfaction and a happy workplace has been the result of sound HR advice and the use of Extended DISC® methodology in focusing on team fit, job fit, communication and the specific behavioural styles of managers and staff.

If you would like to know more about using Extended DISC® to boost employee satisfaction, motivation and productivity, contact us.