Good Planning & Quick Thinking
An Insurance Company was undergoing major restructuring. Its employees processed claims under tight deadline pressure.
From the start, it was obvious that the organization had severe morale problems. The picnic to launch the initiatives was a sparsely attended affair. The few employees who showed up were encouraged to mingle and get to know their colleagues. To the alarm of the event’s organizers, however, most picnickers just took their food back to their cars to eat by themselves.
The causes for the company’s problems included such familiar issues as unclear goals, different behavioral roles among the staff, and the employees’ lack of knowledge about their own behavioral styles. However, a less common factor was also complicating the employees’ lives: the fear of change. The workers were in denial about the company’s restructuring and the effect it would have on them.
The workers insulted themselves and said, “I don’t have to listen to any of that.” The people just shut down, and when they were thrown into the restructuring, they were enraged.
DiSC was embedded as the cornerstone of the solution. Even with DiSC as a sturdy base there was a need to utilize other tools. The Time Mastery Profile and the Team Dimensions Profile were also added to the curriculum.
The employees were introduced to the DiSC model. The insights that DiSC provided were extraordinary, but even more important was the fact that the participants could now employ a common language for the remainder of the training.
To supplement the teambuilding track, the Team Dimensions Profile was introduced. Participants learned about the Z-Process and their preferred role, which were helpful insights that doubled as catalysts for constructive discussions about effective teamwork and productive environments. The point was to get participants to think about each other as vital member off a cohesive team, rather than as barriers.
To strengthen the management-training track the Time Mastery Profile was also introduced. The insights that the Time Mastery Profile provide are common sense but not common practice.
The different instruments broadened the participants’ perceptions, making it easier to reach the goal of effective facilitation. The employees better comprehended their own motivations and behavior, and they identified possible causes for miscommunication among themselves. In fact, some participants took the training so much to heart that they even applied their new skills to their personal lives, learning how to resolve conflict with their spouses, children, and friends.
As a result of the improved communication and enhanced teamwork, conflict and stress at the organization decreased. And more important, the morale of the workers surged. In contrast to the disastrous picnic that had launched the programs, the party featured almost full attendance with active engagement and interaction among the employees. The workers finally saw one another as valuable colleagues rather than obstacles. They saw the need for better communication and effective teamwork.
Best of all, no one took their food back to their cars.
DiSC Case Study from Inscape Publishing