Posted at 10:23 AM
Communication and teamwork are two of the most critical components of any organization, regardless of its mission. Without communication and teamwork, it’s almost impossible to achieve or sustain operational excellence. For the Department of Commerce, operational excellence is defined as “strengthening the Department’s capacity to achieve its objectives, maximize return on program investments and deliver quality, timely service.”
One of the ways that the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is focusing on operational excellence is by completing individual DISC Behavioral Assessments.
DISC is a personal assessment tool used to improve work productivity, teamwork and communication; and to increase employee engagement. The assessment is based on the DISC theory developed by psychologist William Moulton Marston, and focuses on four behavior types: Dominance, Inducement, Submission, and Compliance (DISC).
The assessment provides a personalized profile of an employee’s behavioral work style and common language they can use to better understand themselves and others. The results can in turn be used by both managers and employees to improve performance management and operational excellence.
One of the major benefits of the profile is that it can help both employees and managers increase their self-knowledge, develop stronger communication and problem-solving skills, minimize team conflict, and improve overall teamwork.
MBDA’s senior leaders were the first to take the assessment in May as part of their performance management training. The team found their individual results to be highly informative and beneficial to enhancing their own leadership development. As a result, they extended the opportunity to the entire MBDA staff to take the assessment and learn about their own work behavior profiles.
In addition to operational excellence, MBDA senior leaders also wanted to take a proactive approach to addressing areas of improvement identified in the Agency’s Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEV) results—specifically improved communication and performance management. The DISC tool provided an opportunity for the Agency to address these issues from a personal standpoint.
So far, more than half of the Agency has participated in the online assessment. After completing the assessment, each employee receives their individual profile in a report format that details their general characteristics, communication styles, areas of improvement and other insights. The report is designed to focus on four dimensions of behavior: how someone responds to problems and challenges, how they influence others to their point of view, how they respond to the pace of the environment and to the rules and procedures set by others.
Employees do not have to share their profiles, but they are still encouraged to communicate with their managers, ask questions and discuss their assessments.
MBDA is also offering in person training sessions that employees can attend after completing their assessment. The sessions are designed to help managers and employees understand their DISC profile, and identify ways they can use it to maximize their on-the-job performance. The assessment and training session is not mandatory; however MBDA is encouraging all staff members to fully participate in both to take full advantage of the personal and professional benefits. For more information about MBDA, visit www.mbda.gov.