Take Advantage of Extended DISC® in your Health and Wellness Programme


As an employer, employee health and wellness does more than ensure your employee morale is high. Promoting wellness at work can boost employee productivity, too. Happier and healthier employees regularly outperform those who are in organisations which do not promote health and wellness.

Extended DISC® is a highly useful tool to use as part of a health and wellness programme. In this webinar, we discuss how Extended DISC® Reports contribute to healthier and more productive workplaces, including:

  • Enhancing team cohesion
  • Identifying signs of stress
  • Removing stress triggers
  • Introducing DISC specific motivators to the workplace

DISC Profiles are a great way to recognise behaviours that are not contributing to overall wellness and help to discover achievable solutions.

Many traditional corporate wellness programs, some say well being, some say wellness I’ll use both through today’s webinar, they only used to recognise the physical component of health. Okay, it’s better than doing nothing, but this means that programs are missing out on significant opportunities and other aspects to impact their organisations positively. When I say positively impact, I mean more than just employee morale but organisational bottom-line too. Employee well-being significantly affects the bottom line, and there’s proof of it. So, these days health and well-being programs recognise and hopefully include other dimensions of employee wellness. Organisations frequently incorporate many aspects of an employees life and their work happiness. 

Promoting wellness at work is well documented, and it’s essential to boost employee productivity. It’s shown that happier and healthier employees regularly outperform those that are in organisations which do not promote health and wellness, especially during business times of trial. We are in one of those are right now. Considering on an average, adults spend at least one-third of their work-life in the workplace and statistics even show that on average 22 percent of employees work at least 50 hours plus per week, then this makes the workplace a critical zone to feel both healthy and well. Today we are going to discuss how to use Extended DISC® in the health and wellness area. We go beyond concentrating on health alone.

An ideal program needs to connect all of the components of employee wellness. Depending on which methodology you use, you may have four to ten dimensions of well-being. A new program tends to include physical, financial, emotional and social well-being, but many can also include occupational, intellectual, spiritual and more! I’ve chosen eight interrelated dimensions to focus on today. You don’t have to use this many, but a lot of programs do. Of course, there’s considerable overlap between each component or dimension influences the others. For example, suppose an employee is out of kilter on the financial dimension. In that case, it’s most likely that they’re also feeling emotional or likely quite physical aspects of is that. These aspects are then going to be out of kilter as well. It’s obvious when one dimension is lacking as it’s difficult for the employee to perform at their best, the effects can be quite noticeable. However, it’s even more dangerous are when employees hide the effects. That’s where Extended DISC® is such a useful tool for picking up those subtleties of what’s causing those effects. So, take a look at these aspects of health and wellness you’ll agree all might be less obvious and you need a tool like Extended DISC® to bring them to the surface, so you can discuss and deal with them.

There are so many things that we can choose, but we’re going to focus on these today. Extended DISC® is a highly useful tool to use as part of health and wellness. Not only does it give us a starting point on where teams are at, but it can provide us with information about how individuals are feeling about themselves. Extended DISC® also shows us things like stress triggers, avoidance areas, motivators, communication issues that are

in an individual. An employee’s ideal manager or leader also contributes toward wellness as the employee can experience stress if they do not get the right support from a manager. Extended DISC® also includes things like what an employee’s ideal work environment is. This tool can give us pertinent feedback from the ground up and wherever we need it to be. 

Many organisations say to me ‘Becky I’ve got a growing issue with absenteeism’ or maybe it’s a team cohesion issue. Check out your health and wellness program and see well first of all that you have one but then it explores these kinds of problems and doesn’t put a plaster on them with only the physical health dimension. I say all the time, and I’ll say it again, the better the wellness of staff, the more the bottom line is positively affected. Richard Branson said it this way ‘take care of your employees well, and they’ll take care of your business well.’

Extended DISC® and FinxS Assessment tools can highlight so many aspects that can be used in health and wellness programs. I literally don’t have time to mention them all. Today we’re going to have a look at a few primary aspects and drill down on a couple of issues that they can highlight. We will discuss motivators, they’re very subtle, and they can reduce motivation in themselves, identifying signs of stress, stress triggers and the causes and release of stress, as well as enhancing team cohesion. 

Motivators of the DISC Personality Types

There are so many descriptions of what motivation is, in its simple form, it’s the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way towards the desired goal. We cannot observe motivation, but we see it every day by noting how people choose to act. It’s why we behave in specific ways at work or home. Motivation is what drives us to what to make that last sale or what drives us to help someone beyond what they’ve asked. However, if we’re operating consistently outside what motivates us, then this can often lead to things going sideways. For example, a receptionist who is asked to cold-call to help get leads because she appears to have the most spare time. The sales manager who is busy behind their computer because meeting customers is demanding and draining. It’s human nature to want to operate in the area where our motivations are real. 

I could give you several examples of when excellent customer service support people were thrust into direct selling. Or dominant drivers who were promoted to management when history has already shown team members did not last long with a dominant type of management culture. In a broader company scale, here are a few examples from my own experience recently about motivating and wellness inside a corporate company. There’s an ecology division of a large company that felt they wanted to take on commercial opportunities to pay its way. The staff felt so passionately about ecology that they didn’t want to sacrifice anything they were doing for the dollars to get it tighter and more consumable. This issue added a personal tension as well as a constant operational priority issue. Corporate wellness took a considerable dive, and absenteeism went up. Another example, is of a group of educators who each believe their way of handling students worked the best. They became quite anxious as they disagreed with what their peers were doing. The team became uncoordinated, disrespectful, and non-supportive of each other. Almost any business is going to have some tension we can’t stop that tension being there, but that’s when individual behavioural styles are tested, and team cohesion can crack. 

DISC profiles are a great way to recognise behaviours that are not contributing to overall wellness and to help discover achievable solutions for them. DISC tools can do this at an early stage in the health and wellness program before some of these significant cracks become huge. 

In the DISC Assessment, we receive the individual’s unique motivators on a page to read over and discuss with them. Today we will discuss the motivators of the four primary personality profiling types. High D’s for example, are motivated by things like competition, goals, changing routines and straightforward results. High I styles are motivated by having fun, looking good, influencing, socialising, recognition, acceptance and not too much detail. High S styles they’re motivated by being part of a group or team, being realistic and practical, doing what is familiar to them and being supportive to others. High C’s are motivated by process-oriented goals, finishing tasks, following through, achieving high-quality results, knowing the details, and taking time to do it right.

Demotivators of the DISC Personality Types

While not being motivated can lead to feelings of discontent, what demotivates us as an individual can lead to stress and further health issues. For example, a situation I came across the other day was the dream promotion. On paper, this person’s new promotion looks fantastic! They would receive a new salary and other benefits like petrol vouchers or interesting challenges that look like that complete package. Yet somehow this person that got this promotion didn’t gel with the role. They felt dissatisfied, and they felt demoralised. But, they just couldn’t put their finger on what were the causes of why they felt so demotivated and felt so flat in their new position. I have to say that, that particular person took a whole lot of mental health days since their promotion. The people around him became impacted by how he was feeling.

Here’s another situation, you’re hired to lead a team, but no matter what you do, you can’t seem to raise the team morale. You know that you need to inspire them because of possible consequences of employee demotivation. Your inspiring talks that you’re doing and are perceived as though you’re interrupting the team. They don’t quite look like they believe in what you’re saying. There is lots of absenteeism and productivity has decreased. You feel exhausted as you’re trying too hard with all your energy going out with motivating people. You’ve also fallen behind on your tasks, you then feel stressed that the team is still unmotivated and unproductive. That’s a little summary of something that genuinely goes on in teams and businesses. 

What does demotivates us isn’t always evident to our leaders. Think about the subtle demotivators of the DISC styles. The example on the current slide may not feel comfortable with lots of details. In addition, they aren’t comfortable with holding others accountable, so they don’t say anything as they don’t want to upset anyone. Maybe they have a fear of criticism of their work, so they feel a bit paralysed to get into a project as quickly as their manager wants them. The manager may push them to get going, but they seize up even more. They may not like taking the lead in public or sharing too much information, as maybe they feel they might lose control of the quality. So they stop communicating and stop being part of the team to work on it by themselves. There are quite a few subtle demotivators that can affect people. We don’t always pick those up but using tools like Extended DISC® or FinxS tools in health and wellness programs allow you to pick these up a lot sooner and incorporate them in a good program that’s a lot more holistic. 

We sometimes skip over the demotivators page in the Extended DISC® report, a little too quickly. When we assess someone, you will receive a page that’s full of factors that will reduce motivation. It’s useful to focus on these as much much as possible when creating a health and wellness program.

How the Ideal Workplace and Ideal Manager affect Motivation

An individual’s working environment and their manager can drastically affect motivation. I know some of you like a lot of autonomy from your manager and a quick check-in now and then, maybe a lot of freedom to do projects on your own. Others love a good solid relationship with their manager as they might prefer to talk on a more personal informal level. Maybe they prefer a little bit more accountability than micromanaging and they like strong, well-defined guidelines to help them prioritise issues. Others want to engage in one-on-one talks, talk through detail, they need deadlines, i.e. ‘how should I do this,’ they will likely check in a few times during the day. 

Innovative health and wellness programs prepare managers for these different relationships with their team members and not just for the sake of the employee. Insights like this can help the manager grow as well. I think I find this interesting because I work with so many managers that say “why does Suzy come and ask me three or four times a day about how to do things and why?” If the manager was better prepared, he would have understood that Suzy needs to check-in because she’s experiencing something new or there’s a fear of making final decisions because there could be mistakes, as Suzy might be a c-style. An excellent wellness program has both big-picture development strategy as well as unique and subtle behavioural insights right the way through it.

Workplace Stress Indicators in Extended DISC® Assessments

A good program includes the causes of stress for an employee. The information about stress regarding an employee is so helpful. You can try to avoid it and put processes in place, or if an employee is already feeling stressed, then profiling also shows us how to reduce stress.

The standard DISC assessment includes the stress pages, and I can’t help but feel that these pages are underutilised even though they generate so much useful information about the person’s well-being. These pages are really about the wellness of the person. The pages can indicate things like stress causes, their stress signs and the release of stress. Imagine incorporating or just having a discussion about these pages and incorporating it into a health and wellness program customised for that person or customised for the broader team. So many of my clients I consider effective leaders make these pages absolutely critical to view and almost invariably stress issues are linked to other aspects of overall health programs as well. 

A manager I worked with who didn’t believe in the actual company product, made his team feel undervalued and untrusting of that particular product, which was an interesting situation to uncover. The individuals felt undervalued, and the manager did not support the struggling sales rep with good visual aids. These things can happen when good leaders don’t look at the causes and signs of stress. 

Health and Wellness programs cannot avoid every stress indicator, but it sure helps when you can identify stress instigators and put in support. Don’t forget that many of the assessments also have an overuse Extended DISC® Diamond and you can see that on my slide there on the bottom right. The Diamond helps us to understand where this person’s stress is or what it might look like in effect as well, so let’s look at the example. This person seems to be in the ‘I’ quadrant, so they tend to be a high ‘I’ style. One of the indicators is typically going to be that they come across as unorganised or impulsive when they are under stress. You can have a look at the high ‘C’ styles, and you can see that they’re overly critical, takes distance to people and does not accept weakness.

Extended DISC® Workpair Analysis

I’ve concentrated on how Extended DISC® helps with the indicators that you can incorporate into health and wellness programs at an early stage. I also need to remind you what other reports can be useful, such as the Workpair Assessment and the Open 360 Report. I like these as they provide specific insights into relationships as well as raw feedback. The Workpair analysis combines two people working together to gather additional insight needed to understand why they might be clashing when they complete projects or activities together. A paired comparison report like this adds considerable detail to specific attitudes, behaviours, and different tasks and understanding how to work together. Insights from the Workpair report will decrease conflict and tension among employees leading to positive workplace culture and employee well-being. 

Open 360 Review

360-degree reviews, especially the blind spot report, are incredible at giving raw insight into the manager’s perspectives on a variety of areas. You can assess an individual alongside their peers, subordinates and managers views as well. You can use open questions or graded questions to highlight issues of imbalance. You can quickly highlight issues of imbalance, using the coloured traffic light system, which will indicate the size of the gap in perception. 

In a wellness program as part of incorporating a 360 review can lead to a radical change in behaviour. It can identify where there might be a need for new processes to help reduce stress or promote wellness for an individual and their mental state. Restructuring is a big one. I’ve seen a couple of situations where stress and conflict have occurred as a result. Understanding each other every time will lead to a healthier discussion and better well-being of all the parties involved. Using assessments in this way can highlight both motivating attitudes of an individual and areas of stress. For some, this might be the first opportunity they’ve ever had to discuss any blocks or any open or emotional matters to them. Specific reports on management, leadership, customer service, sales, there’s a mighty long list, the ability to take particular competencies from those add personalised behaviour types and look at ratings. They generate considerable discussion and development planning of it of any individual well-being program. I genuinely do say that what I’m discussing adds to the culture and the health of the organisation. Extended DISC® reports highlight both attitudes and individual areas under stress, and usually, it’s the blocks that it does tend to emphasise.

You can see here an effective health and wellness program is more than just about individuals; it’s about the organisation’s energy, how it operates and how it interacts, we know it as the company culture. When the culture cracks and there is a problem, then we can investigate any or all individual aspects. Things like physical, financial health, mental health, all those types of things are overlapped and are affected. What Extended DISC® does as a tool is it gives insight into those subtle issues at an early stage so we can incorporate them into a health and wellness program. Those little cracks can be quite serious issues later on if they’re not addressed. So a health and wellness program that thoroughly investigates and addresses individuals needs, things like relationships, motivational issues, behavioural issues etc., it highlights and exposes these in a manner that can be dealt with cleanly and openly. That’s the benefit of using tools like Extended DISC® and FinxS in a health and wellness program.

I didn’t want to go into vast amounts of detail I want to say from my point of view, wellness programs can be massive to implement depending on how many facets you wish to use. I know for sure that any tool that can highlight subtle issues early like the FinxS and Extended DISC® workplace assessment tools are so needed in wellness programs. Some companies do focus just on physical aspects. However, more successful programs are the ones that link everything together. For those of you out there developing wellness programs, there are many tools that you can use. Don’t forget company surveys can be excellent, especially when starting a wellness program from scratch. A survey will engage where people are as a whole and then often administering a survey at the end as well gives you a bit of a progress report for how people are feeling.

I hope you enjoyed these few insights into some tools that you could use to incorporate into wellness. Thank you very much for joining me, especially with the state of the current global situation. Keep safe, and I will see you next month. Catch you later. Bye.