How Extended DISC Methodology Helped Identify And Solve a Motivational Issue in a Key Employee

In our training programmes we often discuss how the Extended DISC® Personal Analysis Report can be used in identifying motivational issues, solving them and thereby improving the retention of personnel.  The following is a good example of how this was achieved in a ensuring a key manager in a large organisation was firstly identified as lacking motivation and the steps taken to address the issues leading to his retention and subsequent promotion.

John seemed to be a contented manager who did not stand out as a “mover and shaker” but nevertheless went about his duties carefully enough to get by.

The company’s management initially had identified John as a future leader and were somewhat disappointed that he didn’t seem to be performing to the level expected.  He was carrying out his duties in accordance with his job description well enough, but wasn’t the standout performer the Managing Director had expected.

John was recommended to the firm by their recruitment company as his qualifications and background seemed to fit the role required but no behavioural style analysis was used in the selection process.  The use of this methodology would not have changed the decision to employ John, but had an Extended DISC® Personal Analysis Report been obtained, the Managing Director would have known from the outset what motivated John, what he would try to avoid and what his development areas were.  Without this information, the managing director relied solely on his experience in working closely with John to help him achieve his objectives.

As part of the annual performance review, the Managing Director decided to engage a human resources consultant, and the consultant recommended the use of Extended DISC® in the process, not just for John, but for the entire staff of 300 plus people.  This provided a reference point for future HR management.

John’s Extended DISC Personal Analysis Report revealed a problem and his Profiles are shown opposite.  Not only did the Profiles indicate an uncertainty of role but it was obvious that he felt insecure and possibly frustrated in his current position.  The Managing Director had not recognised these traits although he had often wondered why John seemed to simply perform his tasks with a lack of enthusiasm and seemed to operate (in the Managing Director’s words) “on automatic”!

John’s Personal Analysis Report offered the reasons for his apparent lack of motivation and the Managing Director, with the assistance of the HR consultant, revised John’s job description to refocus his responsibilities in accordance with the “Motivators” pages of his report.  He began to understand that John’s environment was not changing at the speed he desired, he could see that he was looking for more independence in planning and developing and in identifying goals and searching for them.  He needed to be involved in planning future activities, in organising and developing strategies and policy and analysing results rather than simply reporting to the Managing Director.

The report also pointed out that his current job description which forced John to adhere to strict rules and curtailed his control over his division simply reduced his motivation.  The Managing Director mistakenly had thought that by supporting him through constant intervention was helping him develop and didn’t understand that John needed more independence.

A change in focus and approach worked effectively and a subsequent report six months’ revealed the Profiles shown opposite.


By refocusing John’s responsibilities to take into account his strengths (identified in his Personal Analysis Report) there was a rapid change in John’s attitude and performance.  The “development areas” in his report were also noted and this is where the Managing Director provided the support necessary.

The outcome was a promotion for John and he is now General Manager of the firm working closely with the Managing Director at a level that suits his qualifications, experience and most importantly, his behavioural style.  Finally he is realising his true potential!  

Not surprisingly, the company now uses Extended DISC® in all recruitment situations and where an individual seems to be under-performing, or there seems to be a change in behaviour, an updated Personal Analysis Report is obtained, it is compared to the original report obtained in recruiting (or from the initial report produced by the consultant) and is used in discussing issues with the team member and refocusing their duties to work to their natural strengths.  The retention of staff has improved markedly!