DiSC Assessment: Delivering Performance Feedback to Employees Using DiSC®

In the workplace, a manager's jobs include many responsibilities, such as being accountable for staff and providing feedback on performance.  However, some managers are hesitant to deliver performance feedback due to concerns about how the feedback will make their employees feel, how the employees will respond to the feedback and their lack of experience giving feedback. 

One of the biggest areas of opportunities to effectively deliver performance feedback to your employees is to understand how to empathically provide feedback to employees, establish a framework for providing feedback, and provide employees with clear performance expectations. 

Utilizing tools such as the GROW (Goal, Reality, Opportunities, and Will) coaching model to communicate your feedback, and DiSC profiles to help you provide feedback to your employees will lead to a fruitful performance discussion.  Managers who utilize DiSC personality assessments can better manage their employees, ensuring that everyone is a productive member of the team.

This article will help you understand how you can take these tools and have an honest discussion with your employees about their performance at your company.

Performance reviews are essential in supporting the development of your employee.  These are meant to be unbiased and helpful assessments of how an employee is performing within the company.  These discussions serve as a benchmark to understand if the employee's performance is aligned to the goals established and serve as an opportunity to learn if the employee requires support to get back on track.  During these discussions, you will:

  • Recap the goals that were agreed to for the year
  • Have the employee outline how they are progressing towards the achievement of their goals
  • Offer support to your employees to help them get back on the right track
  • Provide an overview of how you and other key stakeholders have experienced the employee

The feedback discussion will be an opportunity to have an open and honest conversation with your employees about their performance, the success that they have received thus far, and any areas of opportunities for improvement.  These are just some of the critical discussion topics that are essential in a performance review discussion.  It may be difficult to keep track of all of this performance information without the help of a specific tools, but it is imperative that you find an effective method to do so because employee reviews are essential to the productivity of your company.

Completing the DiSC assessments usually requires ten minutes of undisturbed time.  Using the information received, you should see data that lets you know more about your employees such as where they fall on the DiSC model, what their priorities, motivators, and stressors are.  The data provided in the DiSC assessment report will help you understand how to structure a feedback conversation with the employee. 

Different DiSC personality types require a different approach to help employees process the information in a way that they can understand and make the right behavioral shift necessary to enhance performance.  Performance feedback should be equally balanced with data to demonstrate what an employee is doing well in their role and the areas of where the individual can improve. 

In addition to providing feedback during the annual and bi-annual process, performance feedback should be provided timely, outside of the annual/bi-annual process, to address performance issues real-time.  Balancing the delicateness of giving feedback can be managed in a manner that is respectful and encourages the individual to make the positive behavioral change.

Now that you understand your employees' DiSC profile, it is imperative to have a plan on how to structure the performance conversation with your employee.  The GROW coaching model is a simple, yet memorable, approach to providing performance feedback. The focus of GROW coaching is to help employees to achieve their full potential and grow by providing real-time feedback.

The “G” in GROW focuses on establishing the goals.  In performance coaching, as the manager, you will address the initial goals agreed upon by the department and the employee’s individual goal.

The “R” in GROW focuses on the reality.  The reality provides the opportunity to address any changes in the business direction or the individual’s performance.  In some organizations, individuals are on an annual/bi-annual performance preview cycle, and over time the established goals for their department experience significant changes.  Your feedback session with your employees will provide you with an opportunity to keep them up to date on any organizational changes, share the new reality, and renegotiate performance expectations.

The “O” in GROW focuses on the opportunity for the employees to achieve their goals.  The manager operates as a support for the employees helping the employee move forward with existing opportunities or assisting the employee in identifying a new path of options if changes are required.  This process may lead to the negotiation of new goals, identification of critical resources or key projects to sponsor the employee for development.

The “W” in GROW focuses on the Will and the Way Forward. After discussing the goals, reality, and opportunities with the employee, the will forward is the agreement on the next steps, and the manager and employee agreeing how the employee will move forward. This way forward will be measurable, and the employee will be held accountable for achieving the established goals outlined and agreed upon in the performance discussion.

As you can see, developing a useful model for coaching and utilizing a DiSC profile is a great tool to help you better manage the performance of your employees and achieve business goals.  DiSC personality profiles allow you to understand your employees' DiSC personality types, and identify ways to fully optimize your employee's performance by understanding their behavioral style, priorities, motivators and stressors, and their overall impact on your company. 

As a manager, you need to fully unleash the potential of each employee in the workplace, and through effective coaching and a deep understanding of their DiSC personality type, the best is yet to come.  Using tools such as DiSC can provide you with the extra edge needed for exceptional performance.