Over 50 million people in the US quit their jobs in 2022. The Great Resignation trend saw record-breaking numbers of employees resign and move to other organizations to take up new opportunities.

This dramatic shift has placed a huge amount of emphasis on providing more learning and development opportunities to existing employees to reduce turnover rates and increase motivation and engagement.

If you’re working on upskilling your employees in today’s competitive job market, here’s how to use the DISC personality assessment to take a more personalized approach to employee development - and boost employee satisfaction in the process.

Top benefits of upskilling your employees

It’s more important than ever to offer employees the chance to upskill in their current roles to increase motivation and employee retention. Here’s what the research says:

  • Gartner’s HR research found that 45% of employees are leaving their current employers for better professional development opportunities.
  • The study also revealed that 94% of employees feel it’s more or equally important now than before Covid-19 to develop skills beyond their existing job roles.
  • According to research from LinkedIn, 94% of employees report that they’d stay at a company for longer if it invested in their learning and development.

When employees feel like they have opportunities to learn and grow with an organization, they’re more likely to stay long-term and be more motivated and engaged with their day-to-day work. Investing in your employees’ development is key for reducing turnover rates and retaining top talent in your organization. 

Upskilling is a win-win for employees and employers, boosting productivity, motivation and retention. But there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to employee training and development.

Why consider employee DISC profiles in training and development?

While many companies take a broad brush approach to employee upskilling, this method doesn’t take into account the different personalities, motivators and preferences of every individual in a team.

If you can appreciate and understand the wide range of personality types at play in your organization, you can tailor your training and development program to deliver maximum impact for every employee. This is where the DISC comes in. 

The DISC assessment is designed to analyze a person’s behavior based on two fundamental spectrums: Task-focus vs. People-focus and Outgoing traits vs. Reserved traits. A person’s preferences according to these two spectrums determine what their DISC letter code will be.

When it comes to employee upskilling, knowing the DISC profiles of every team member can help managers recommend and assign the most effective training and development solutions for each person.

No DISC personality type is better or worse at upskilling and learning. But they each have their own strengths and weaknesses that shape how they like to learn and what type of upskilling opportunities will be most effective for increasing their motivation and engagement. Here’s how to use this to your advantage.

How to use DISC to upskill employees

While the exact methods you use for training and development in your team will depend on your industry, tasks and training needs, here are some ideas to help you use DISC to upskill employees in your organization:

Drive personality types

Employees with a high Drive DISC personality type tend to be competitive, assertive and goal-oriented. If you’re looking to boost retention among the Drive personalities in your team – often the personality types most likely to go looking for better opportunities elsewhere – then you need to make sure your upskilling opportunities are challenging and dynamic.

Drive personality types like to feel like they’re in control, so let them take charge of their learning experience and tailor their training and development path to their own needs and interests. Providing high Drive employees with leadership training is another great way to boost their satisfaction and engagement. If you really want to catch your Drive employees’ attention, make upskilling more competitive – think leaderboards, a scoring system and/or rewards for the highest-performing learners.

Key takeaways:

  • Let Drive types choose their own learning paths.
  • Provide leadership training opportunities.
  • Make upskilling a competitive exercise.

Influence personality types

Outgoing, persuasive and collaborative, Influence personality types will usually favor upskilling opportunities that incorporate teamwork and social learning elements. This DISC type prefers roles where they can communicate and cooperate with others, so learning and development programs that let them work as part of a group or develop their network are likely to catch their attention.

High Influence individuals may also benefit from upskilling opportunities that let them develop key skills like public speaking, relationship-building and sales. Find training paths that let the Influence individuals in your team explore opportunities to meet new people within your organization, interact with customers and clients, and take a social approach to learning.

Key takeaways:

  • Make upskilling social and collaborative.
  • Offer opportunities for relationship-focused skills development.
  • Prioritize group learning exercises and social learning.

Support personality types

For high Support personality types, upskilling is best in the form of structured, supported training that takes a systematic and organized approach to learning. Support individuals appreciate patience. That means that, unlike their Drive and Influence teammates, they won’t necessarily want to participate in group activities and highly competitive learning environments.

Instead, organizations can encourage Support personality types to engage in professional development programs by placing emphasis on emotional intelligence, understanding and thoughtfulness. For instance, conflict-resolution courses might be particularly interesting to Support individuals. When it comes to learning styles, this personality type will probably prefer smaller group discussions, one-to-one feedback opportunities and a more sensitive and nuanced approach to learning.

Key takeaways:

  • Make upskilling supportive and structured.
  • Provide personalized support and feedback.
  • Emphasize emotional learning opportunities. 

Clarity personality types

If you have employees with a high Clarity personality type in your team, make sure you take a detail-oriented approach to upskilling. Clarity individuals like to take work through tasks in a calculated, careful way and when it comes to professional development, they’ll want to know all the details ahead of time. Upskilling programs should be designed to meet their preferences for accuracy, precision and analysis.

To motivate high Clarity individuals, offer them opportunities to upskill in areas outside of their existing job roles like data analysis, project management, and other technical skills. Don’t forget to make sure that any assessments are structured and give them an accurate picture of their newly acquired skills and what they still need to work on.

Key takeaways:

  • Provide analytical and technical upskilling opportunities.
  • Focus on detail and clarity.
  • Prioritize structured assessments. 

Use DISC to boost employee satisfaction

The DISC personality assessment is an effective way to understand the individual needs and preferences of your team members and tailor your learning and development opportunities to every individual. If you can let employees choose their own learning paths, you can increase motivation, job satisfaction and retention rates long-term. The first step is taking a DISC test here

Elizabeth Harris
Elizabeth is a freelance writer and ghostwriter. She’s an anthropologist at heart and loves using social theory to get deeper into the topics she writes about. Born in the UK, Elizabeth has lived in Copenhagen, Frankfurt and Dubai before moving most recently to Budapest, Hungary. She’s an ENTJ with ENFJ leanings. Find out more about her work at bethharris.com