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Inscape Publishing Work Expectation Profile Helps Increase Employee Satisfaction

A long-term care facility wanted supervisory skills training.  Many of the supervisors had been promoted into their management responsibilities because of their job-knowledge but lacked experience with managing people.

There was a rift between management and employees; the mentality of the organization was ‘us versus them.’  The two groups lacked mutual respect, and employees felt they had no input in the organizational culture or recent events within the community, such as team meetings or committee projects.  The management team included 15 people, with a total employee base of 100.

Oftentimes management used their title and authority for control instead of involving their staff in decisions.  The facility needed to consider the needs of every employee, including food service, environmental services, maintenance, marketing, and nursing.  The resentment among the employee group had increased turnover and reduced morale and productivity.  The organization needed to focus on employee satisfaction and lean how to motivate everyone more effectively. 

The management team first needed to understand what was important to them in their work; this set the tone and helped participants understand that everyone has work expectations, though they might differ greatly within an organization.

First, the management group completed the Work Expectation Profile.  They realized the tool’s usefulness to them and understood how beneficial it would be to their employees.

Then the employees completed the Work Expectations Profile to open a dialogue with their managers about their needs.

Next they held a 90-minute overview of the Work Expectations Profile with the employees.  During this session, the group participated in several effective activities.  The employees were asked to post their three highest expectations plus their lowest expectation on a flipchart.  This way, they were able to see what the team was saying as a whole. 

After the flipchart activity, there was a breakout session to develop specific strategies for the team’s top expectations.  Addressed, for example, were the different ways to handle Recognition; some people might want a simple ‘thank you’ while others want recognition of their skills.  This offered a broad perspective to supervisors, helping them understand that motivation couldn’t be “one size fits all.”  To retain their staff, they needed to understand that it’s not all about the paycheck.  There are other factors that lead to dissatisfaction: lack of recognition or teamwork, etc.

The group also discussed a four-quadrant model in terms of employee motivation and productivity. This opened a discussion about lack of productivity; without supervision or appropriate feedback, employees lose motivation. To increase effectiveness and ensure motivation, the managers needed to initiate one-on-one discussions with their employees. 

As a result of these discussions, the managers committed to meeting with their employees one-on-one in the two months following the training session in order to discuss the results of the assessment.  As part of the initial session with managers, the employees were prepared for these one-on-one sessions by introducing coaching skills: listening, thanking your employee for input, etc.  A coaching discussion was practiced using role-plays and a sample agenda.

This three-part training process has been used with a number of clients to improve relationships between supervisors and employees.  After these meetings, the managers shared what they learned with one another to identify organizational themes.  They developed an action plan for the entire organization with regard to employee expectations.  In addition to addressing issues and problems, the employees learned a lot about what they like in their jobs.

This training was prompted by the organization’s strategic plan.  They had a number of ambitious goals, but the management team realized they couldn’t accomplish their objectives without the support of their staff.   In one year’s time they were able to improve employee and resident/customer satisfaction on their annual survey, obtain more cooperation within and between departments, and reduce employee and manager retention.  They reached a number of their long-term goals, including 100 percent occupancy, because they created a strong, healthy relationship between managers and employees.


Inscape Publishing Case Study