UCL Human Resources


UCL Core Behaviours Framework Line Managers’ Guidance Notes

These guidance notes are designed to help you use the UCL Core Behaviours Framework with your team members. You should read them alongside the UCL Core Behaviours Framework document, which contains full details of each behaviour, and the accompanying Overview document.

A separate Team Member’s Guidance Note has been produced for reference by all staff when using the Framework and you should familiarise yourself with this prior to meeting with your team members.

Why should I use the UCL Core Behaviours with my team members?

The Framework is designed to provide your team and you with a development tool. It provides you with a non-prescriptive guide to a range of behaviours, the use of which will help your team members conduct and develop themselves in a way that should both enhance their work interactions with colleagues and also have positive implications for the way in which they achieve their objectives. It can also help your team members consider those behaviours they may require for the purposes of career progression and to seek out opportunities to develop these.

Using the Framework with your team members can therefore help you create a team where each individual possesses the behavioural skills needed to meet the requirements of their role and where team members are encouraged to think about their longer-term career options and the behavioural skills they may require to fulfil these.

How can I develop my understanding of the UCL Core Behaviours?

You should familiarise yourself with the UCL Core Behaviours by reading through the Framework, the accompanying Overview document and this Guidance note, to develop your understanding of what is meant by each behaviour and which might be appropriate for your team member(s) to further develop and how they might go about doing so.

You might also want to discuss the Framework with your line manager and/or Head of Department, to ensure consistent support and development of the Core Behaviours across the wider team.

How can the UCL Core Behaviours help me plan individual and team development activities?

The UCL Core Behaviours Framework can support you with both formal and informal individual and team development.

Formally, you can use the Framework when considering team members’ individual development needs as part of the appraisal process, or when considering the overall behavioural skills mix of your team and how best to strengthen some aspect of this, e.g. team collaboration.

Informally, the Framework offers you a development-oriented language which you can use when working with colleagues, whether members of your team or more widely. Doing so may help individuals draw attention to those behaviours which could enhance the quality of a work activity or which could make the benefits of this available to a wider group of people, e.g. communicating research outcomes or encouraging colleagues to consider the wider, institutional, implications of their actions.

Practically, how can I use the UCL Core Behaviours with my team and team members?

To help you identify and plan suitable development activities for your team and team members’ current role(s), you should consider the following approach:

  • What is it that your team and team members need to achieve over the next one to two years? You will probably be aware of this from your local strategy and operational plan, however if in doubt you should consult your line manager to discuss.
  • What core behavioural skills do your team members require to perform their roles, both to meet the demands of the next year or two and also to deliver any day-to-day aspects of their role?
    In addition to what you have observed and identified in conversation with team members, individuals’ Job Descriptions will help identify some of the behavioural skills required to undertake the role.
  • Using the Framework, consider those Core Behaviours where some additional development would benefit your team member(s), taking account of:
    o The level at which the behaviour should be developed, i.e. self, team or institution.
    o What you would like the team member(s) to do differently or improve upon – the behavioural statements may help you define this.
    o How you will know if your team member(s) have successfully developed their behaviour.
  • Once you have identified the Core Behaviours that you want your team member(s) to develop you should look at how best this can be achieved. In some cases it may require the person to attend a course, in another it may be something that the person can develop in discussion with another colleague. You should remember that the required experience can also be gained outside of UCL, e.g. within a local community group or society.

To identify and develop the Core Behaviours that team members require for a future role, the approach is similar to the above and you might want to work with your team member to:

  • Identify those Core Behaviours most likely to be required in a future role, including any that might not be contained within the UCL Core Behaviours Framework.
  • The level at which these may be required, i.e. self, individual or institution.
  • The context within which the person may need to express the behaviour

Once you have identified with a team member those behaviours where development is required you should ensure that these are recorded on the person’s Personal Development Plan (PDP).

How do the UCL Core Behaviours link to the Appraisal process?

All professorial and other Grade 10 staff must consider how they have used the UCL Core Behaviours when completing the appraisal process.

Staff with line management responsibilities and who do not hold a Grade 10 position should also consider the UCL Core Behaviours when completing their appraisal.

If you are appraising a team member who meets either of the above criteria, then you should make use of the Core Behaviours Framework within your appraisal discussion, including coverage of the how the person has gone about meeting their objectives in addition to what has been achieved. Consideration should also be given as to whether the individual has any behavioural development needs, the meeting of which could enhance the quality of their work, the ability with which they lead and manage their team or how they interact with their colleagues.

How can I ensure that my team members get the most out of using the UCL Core Behaviours?

It may sound something of a truism, but the more thought that goes into how your team members and you apply the Framework, the more you will benefit from doing so. In particular, you might want to encourage your team members to:

  • Familiarise themselves with the document, with a particular focus on the level(s) that most apply to their role (self, team and institution).
  • Consider those Core Behaviours they would most like to develop and/or where they see the greatest benefit in doing so.
  • Think about the kind of development activities they would like to pursue, e.g. attending a course or perhaps having a discussion with a peer.

You might also want to:

  • Use the Framework when helping team members create their Personal Development Plan (PDP).
  • Incorporate the language of the Framework into your development conversations with your team members.
  • Use the language of the Framework in your day-to-day leadership and management activities.

What should I avoid doing when using the UCL Core Behaviours with team members?

The Framework is designed to provide your team members and you with a development tool. It aims to guide you towards identifying those behaviours where further development will most support the team member’s current performance and/or help them realise their career plans.

You should therefore:

  • Avoid limiting your discussion to activities suggested by the Framework, especially if you can think of other ways in which to describe or develop the behaviour and which makes better sense for your team member and what they want to achieve.
  • Avoid focusing solely on the ‘ineffective behaviours’. You do want to encourage your team member to avoid these behaviours, however you also want to encourage them to develop the ‘effective’ ones.
  • Avoid limiting any proposed development activities to those offered by UCL. In many ways the Core Behaviours are generic in nature and team members may be able to develop their behavioural skills outside of the university, e.g. as a school governor, or may access externally-generated learning, such as available online or through participation in external, public programmes.

Where can I gain further information?

If you have any questions about the UCL Core Behaviours or how to use them you should refer in the first instance to your line manager and to the Overview document. If you still require further information then please contact a member of UCL’s HR Organisational Development or HR Consultancy teams.