Updated November 23, 2022
With 77% of people stating that they would consider an organisation’s company culture before applying to a job, and a toxic company culture being the top reason many people recently left their jobs, company culture is more important than ever.
Yet, the culture in a company is hard to define and unify. With so many different people with different personalities, skills, behavioural styles, and goals, how can everyone be brought together under a single culture in the workplace?
That’s where psychometric testing comes in. DISC is a personality assessing software that enables people to understand their own and other’s behaviour, clearing any confusion and making room for clarity and insight – perfect for unifying your team and its effectiveness.
But how exactly can DISC improve corporate culture? Here’s everything you need to know about using DISC assessments to boost company culture and why it’s important.
What is company culture?
Company culture is defined as the shared values, characteristics, behaviours, and attitudes of an organisation and its employees. Also sometimes referred to as organisational culture, workplace culture, or corporate culture, company culture is embodied in the way that employees interact with each other, the type of leadership style used, and the decisions made within the company.
Company culture varies between different types of organisations. While some companies promote a culture of openness, others cultivate a more hierarchical management culture. For some companies, flexibility is at the core of corporate culture, while others might put a special emphasis on teamwork. In short, company culture is defined by the particular values and goals of each individual brand.
Some types of company culture include:
- Hierarchy culture: a traditional type of workplace, hierarchy culture means that the business has a strong structure and there is an expectation that people will stick to their defined responsibilities.
- Clan culture: common in family-owned and small businesses, clan culture means that the employees operate like a family in the workplace. Unlike hierarchy cultures, clan cultures emphasise support and equality.
- Market culture: also called market-driven culture, this culture is all about getting to market. A market culture is results-driven, hard-working, and competitive.
- Purpose-driven culture: in contrast to a market culture, a purpose-driven culture is about shared goals and ideals. The company’s purpose might include giving back to the local community or giving a proportion of profits to charity.
Why is company culture important?
Employee engagement and motivation
One of the key reasons that company culture is vital is that a good company culture leads to engaged and motivated employees. When the values and goals of an organisation are aligned with its people, employees are happier and more willing to go the extra mile in their work. They’re more likely to feel a sense of belonging in their team and to feel like they are an important part of the organisation. For engaged employees who go above and beyond in their roles, a great company culture is essential.
A great company culture can boost productivity on an individual level because engaged employees are more encouraged to work hard and do their best. Although corporate culture is hard to measure accurately, its results in improved performance for the business can be seen on a company-wide scale.
Employees don’t want to leave organisations with a great workplace culture and high levels of employee engagement. In the midst of a talent shortage and high levels of turnover, with 40% of employees reporting that they are thinking about leaving their jobs in the next 3-6 months, retention is more important than ever.
With more than 3 in 4 people considering company culture before applying for a job, being able to boast a great culture is vital for your recruitment efforts. In fact, a survey by Glassdoor found that the majority of respondents rated company culture as more important than salary to their job satisfaction. To recruit successfully and secure the best talent, a great team culture is a useful asset.
So, how can you improve the company culture at your organisation? One key way is to use the power of DISC.
The DISC assessment explained
The DISC assessment is a form of psychometric testing that seeks to categorise an individual’s personality into four main categories: Dominance (D), Influence (I), Steadiness (S), and Compliance (C). People with the Dominance style tend to be assertive and competitive; Influence types tend to be energetic and people-focused; Steadiness personality types are reliable and moderate-paced; and Compliance types (also sometimes called Conscientiousness types) are analytical and meticulous.
While individuals often have traits associated with multiple of these categories, the assessment seeks to identify their dominant personality trait and provide insight about how these different types act in the workplace. This allows the building of balanced teams, the recruiting of the right people, and improved communication between everyone in the organisation. In fact, many organisations now use DISC to improve company culture and team cohesion in their business, with clear benefits to productivity and retention as a result.
DISC theory was first posited by the psychologist William Moulton Marston in his 1928 book, The Emotions of Normal People. This was an emotional and behavioural theory that sought to categorise people by one of four main traits: dominance, inducement, submission, and compliance. Inspired by this theory, the industrial psychologist Walter Clarke created the first ever DISC assessment in 1956. This was a questionnaire which would be used by businesses in their hiring process. Since then, the assessment has been developed into the modern form used by more than a million people worldwide each year to identify their individual DISC personality profile.
How DISC can help you unify your company culture
With all your employees exhibiting different work styles, behaviours, preferences, and goals, how do you get everyone to conform under one company culture? You don’t have to. Being a unified team with a great culture doesn’t mean that everyone has to have the same personality; it means everyone has to understand and value their own and others’ personalities, learning how to better work together.
A psychometric assessment such as the DISC behavioural profile gives your team the tools to understand and analyse qualities within yourself and within other people, enabling you to interpret the intentions of others and bridge any gaps of indifference, enhancing the positives and lessening the negatives. No one needs to necessarily change their character or personality, simply a change in outlook and people skills which will in turn conduct and harmonise a successful and unified team who understand each other and accept each other’s differences.
Let’s look at some examples of how the assessment can boost self-knowledge and encourage the development of a great team culture in the workplace.
By understanding the DISC profile of themselves and their coworkers, employees can learn how to communicate better. Here’s an example:
Perhaps you have a team where a person with the Compliance profile has to work closely with an Influence type. While Compliance types are task and detail-oriented, logical, and independent workers who like to work pragmatically, Influence types are energetic, people-oriented types who enjoy motivating others and glossing over the details.
The difference between these DISC personalities can lead to communication problems between the two, with the C type wondering why their I type coworker isn’t interested in the nitty gritty of a project, and the I type wondering why their C coworker doesn’t want to chat about off-topic subjects and prefers working alone. Without an understanding of the ways these DISC profiles differ, both employees may feel that their coworker doesn’t really hear what they are saying.
However, when these individuals undergo a DISC assessment and start to learn more about their own and their coworkers’ behavioural styles, they can learn how best to communicate with each other. For example, the best way for I types to communicate with C types may be to ask lots of questions, show interest in the details of the project, and gently guide their coworker towards the big-picture. On the other hand, C types may realise that to communicate best with their I type coworkers they will need to communicate in a casual and friendly manner, reducing their discussion of the specifics and engaging in some chit-chat before getting down to business.
This is only one example of how employees with different DISC profiles can learn to better communicate with each other – now imagine this improved communication extended to your entire organisation. With all employees learning to adapt their communication style to different people, the organisational culture can blossom into a more open and collaborative environment.
Reduce conflict and boost team spirit
Another way that using a DISC assessment and training can improve company culture is by boosting team spirit by helping employees value each others’ contributions. This is because employees who do not understand their coworkers’ personalities and behaviours may struggle to see the value in each others’ work.
For example, consider the ways that two seemingly opposing DISC profiles, Dominance and Steadiness, may view each other’s work styles if they do not understand their DISC types. While D types are risk-taking, independent, goal-driven, and assertive, S types prefer stability, structure, and working collaboratively with a team. Without understanding the differences in their approaches, the Dominance type may think of the Steadiness type as unimaginative or lacking motivation, while the S type may think of the D type as an unnecessary risk taker or poor team player. This may lead to conflicts or ruptures within the team, with each believing that the other isn’t working effectively.
However, with the DISC assessment and training, employees can learn that no personality profile is better than the others and each has its unique strengths and weaknesses that can be brought to the team. Understanding this can help S and D types better understand the value that each provides, increasing their appreciation for each others’ roles and reducing the risk of conflict. With everyone on the team understanding the unique benefits that each person’s personality profile brings, teams can gain a new sense of team spirit that binds the group together and increases motivation.
Company culture is all about people; a strong culture is one where people feel like they belong and are accepted for who they are. Embedding a deep understanding of different personality types and behaviour styles allows teams to take company culture to the next level for improved engagement, performance, retention, and recruitment.
Interested in using DISC to enhance your company culture? Why not start with one of our DISC reports that illuminate the personalities of your people. Choose from the CORE DISC report, the PORTRAIT report, the LEADER report, or the GROUP report, depending on the needs and budget of your organisation.
Or, if you want to go further to use DISC to enhance your work culture in the long term, why not use our DISC trainer certification to embed the values of DISC in your organisation? With trained professionals who understand and can guide your people through DISC, you can gain new insights and build a stronger and more resilient company culture. Or, check out our training and consulting services to better apply the tried-and-tested DISC model to your workplace.
Want to learn more about using DISC to enhance company culture in your organisation? Get in touch with DISC Group today.