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People + Culture

DiSC styles and working from home: How to manage your team

Manage your team in a way that caters to their individual behavioural and personality differences.

As recruiters, we are well-versed in DiSC styles. When we match a candidate with a job opportunity, we look beyond their skills and experience, considering also the strengths of their personality, how they like to be managed, their motivations and career aspirations. But with remote working on the rise, how do DISC styles and working from home mix?

A brief introduction to DiSC

The DiSC assessment is a tool to explain individual behavioural and personality differences. The test is based on a series of questions that a participant completes. The questions often repeat similar scenarios so it can see if you select the same answer consistently.

The insights from a DiSC profile can improve working relationships by identifying how a person likes to communicate, receive direction or be managed. It can also indicate how best to empower them, make them feel a part of the team, and what their priorities might be.

The name, DiSC, actually identifies the four main styles:

  • Dominance
  • Influence
  • Steadiness
  • Conscientiousness

DiSC styles and working from home will impact each individual in a different way

Remote relationships and DiSC

One of the biggest aspects of work is your relationships. When working from home, the way you engage with your work team will change and so the way you communicate and manage must also change. These changes will be different for each DiSC style.

Here are some tips to manage DiSc styles and working from home:

D style

This style places importance on action and accomplishing goals. They thrive by being set challenges and feeling empowered.

When managing this style, be sure to communicate clear goals, directions and expectations. This style likes the autonomy of working at home (and will do well) but having these firm goals will ensure you both are on the same page.

Reward their accomplishments so they feel valued. It will be a balancing act when you communicate with this style: often enough so you know they are working towards the collective priorities but not too often, so they feel micromanaged.

Woman learning about DiSC styles and working from home

I style

This style places importance on collaboration and likes to feel a part of the team. They are typically extroverts and thrive in roles that focus on relationship-building.

Remote work can affect this style’s innate optimism. Check-in regularly to ensure they are staying motivated and provide avenues so they can better collaborate and socialise with the team. This might mean you engage more in video calls or move towards a public (but remote) facing role so they engage more with clients.

Even more than the D style, this style needs public praise when they achieve their goals. They are enthusiastic types but need a little more management to ensure they stay on track and don’t lose motivation while being outside of a normal team environment.

S style

This style places importance on being dependably cooperative. They are cool, calm and collected, and they like to support their team and the team’s goals.

Those who value steadiness will likely have a difficult adjustment period when transitioning to remote work. Ensure you maintain open lines of communication and have regular catchups booked into the calendar so they feel supported and connected to the new remote culture of the business. This type values one-on-one communication and praise.

While this style finds its new groove working from home, avoid setting harsh deadlines. Set time aside to methodically run through goals and expectations and ensure to provide lots of avenues to this style feels like they are a firm part of the team.

C style

This style places importance on delivering quality in their work. They enjoy a degree of independence and focus on the finer details.

Independent C styles will enjoy working from home. Like D styles, be careful of stifling their autonomy. Book weekly or fortnightly catchups and a regular quarterly stay interview into the calendar and avoid calling meetings with this style at a whim. They thrive off constructive criticism and feedback, so be sure to provide this during these check-ins.

This style is less likely to communicate with other team members, preferring instead to get their work done and manage themselves. You will have to be mindful that this style still gets the opportunity to voice their opinions otherwise they may become discontent.


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