(by Craig M. Jamieson) It’s been right about 3 months ago that I made the decision to invest in becoming a Value Added Associate for Target Training Performance Systems. This is not my first trip to the rodeo. Back around 1990 I offered some similar products from a different firm. Of course, we did not have the internet back then as Al Gore had yet to invent it 🙂 Still DISC has been around for quite some time now and if you were to Google “DISC Behavior Assessments” the results would astound you. O.K., maybe not you but they do me. Seems like everybody is selling some sort of a DISC assessment tool. Some are sneaky about it and seek to separate themselves from the rest of the herd by branding it as something else but, it’s still in many cases DISC.
You can get assessments anywhere from free to very very low cost and then move on up the ladder. Me, I always believe that you do get what you pay for. That being said, if you just want to run a DISC assessment for the purposes of a quick review of that person’s behavioral styles, go ahead and go cheap. If, on the other hand, you recognize that this process will make a valuable business asset even more valuable (your employee) and if you want to minimize the expense associated with hiring the wrong person for the job or moving/having an employee in a job function to which they are not well suited … I would suggest that you may want to dig a little deeper.
In the short time that I have been back, I have been astounded by how people are using DISC products and my astonishment generally revolves around a lack of programs to review, interpret, and implement the benefits that can be derived as a result of running the assessment in the first place. Let’s take a look at all three (we will explore each of these in much more depth in future articles) …
Review: Some folks are running the assessments but they are never actually reviewing the results with the respondent. They take a quick look at it, determine that he or she likely is or is not a good fit (hiring or promotion), and then they call it good. What a terrible waste! By reviewing the report with the person who took it you will get a much deeper understanding of their needs and wants and what your organization is doing, or can do, to fulfill those. Highly beneficial, and revealing, discussions will arise and will be based on subject areas and questions that you would either never think to ask or that you might even be too uncomfortable to approach. Remember, this is not you making a judgement on your employee. This is how the employee perceives themselves.
Interpret: If I read a medical textbook, does that make me a doctor? More importantly, would you be comfortable with me performing heart surgery on you? Of course you wouldn’t! I have neither the training or the experience on how to even interpret, let alone apply, that which I have read. While the reports that we offer are very easy to read and to understand, if you wish to maximize their effectiveness, this will require an investment in your part in terms of training. Fortunately, we offer many cost effective ways to accomplish this task and, depending on your specific needs, investing in this training will not only result in your more effective use of the instruments, it will also likely result in long-term cost savings to your company along the way. Of course, if you would rather not do this yourself, I am here to provide that interpretation for you on an hourly fee basis.
Implement: Implementation is the art of putting that which you have learned into actual practice in a working environment. There are many applications …
- Prehire screening (may include job benchmarking)
- Employee reviews and promotion opportunities
- Developing more effective team communications
- Understanding what motivates and discourages your existing employees
- Long-term employee job satisfaction
- Ensuring that the right person is doing the right job which plays to their strengths
- Uncovering employee goals
- Discovering employee struggles and stress
- Teaching employees how to better serve your valuable customers