UCL Human Resources


Grade 5

Supporting Indicators and Steps to Development

The Supporting Indicators and Steps to Development provide examples of typical behaviours that support or hinder the Ways of Working, and ideas for development.

Use these to support activities such as recruitment, appraisals and personal/ professional development. See more below or download the pdf document.

Personal Excellence – Supporting Indicators

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Being committed to UCL and taking pride in your work.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Personal Excellence:

  • Doing the job well but not always seeking ways to improve and develop self and outcomes.

  • Seeking perfection and never being entirely satisfied with your work, meaning your confidence and well-being may be impacted.

Steps towards development: 

  •  Take time to reflect on what you want to be doing in the future. What do you enjoy? Where are you challenged? What development do you need to fulfil your career goals?

  • Look at resources such as UCL Career Frameworks in order to sharpen your focus. Discuss ways to build towards your goals through further challenge in your current role.

  • Discuss with your manager to understand expectations around your work. If you are clear around what is needed, then you will better understand the quality of the work you are delivering.


Contributing to keeping the workplace running smoothly and efficiently.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Personal Excellence:

  • Not noticing or taking actions around small changes that could increase efficiency.

  • Focusing on problems that have little negative impact, and raising them frequently without suggesting reasonable solutions.

Steps towards development: 

  • Take some time to look around the workplace with fresh eyes. Are there obvious problems that you might be able to solve? Or do you tend to leave that to others? Come up with a list and discuss your ideas with your manager and colleagues.

  • Be aware of the negative impact niggling complaints might have on others in the team. Be clear that you do not want to support or contribute to this problem. Instead of complaining encourage and participate in solution-building.

Being able and willing to recognise and report bullying, harassment and discriminatory behaviour.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Personal Excellence:

  •  Not recognising potentially bullying, harassment and discriminatory behaviour in others.

  • Contributing to bullying, harassment and discriminatory behaviour

Steps towards development:

  •  Recognise patterns of behaviour that disadvantage specific groups of colleagues, staff, students and partners. Speak out against bullying, harassment and discriminatory behaviour. If you do not feel confident to do this with your manager then talk to your HR expert, or go through UCL channels such as ‘Report + Support’ and ‘Full Stop’.

  • Observe your own behaviours – have you ever contributed to a situation that inadvertently disadvantages another colleague? Think about how you can positively influence in large or small ways within your team and model a consistent approach towards others.

Understanding personal obligations to, and acting in accordance with UCL’s commitments to inclusion and well-being.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Personal Excellence:

  •  Not understanding what is meant by inclusion or well-being.

  • Understanding what is meant by inclusion and well-being, but not reflecting it in actions.

Steps towards development:

  • UCL is London’s Global University. Our colleagues, students and partners come from all over the globe. Building on our collective knowledge and expertise requires us all to treat each other with respect and fairness. This ensures we can all contribute our best ideas and excel at work. To achieve this, each of us needs to develop our awareness of and commitment to (inter) cultural sensitivity and agility.
  • Upskill yourself on what UCL means by inclusion. Consider key areas where inclusivity issues are directly relevant to your area of work Spend some time learning about UCL’s commitment to inclusion and speak to your HR expert if in doubt. Think about how you and members of your team understand inclusion. Notice patterns of behaviour that don’t adhere to UCL’s commitments.
  • Raise any concerns and make suggestions where you feel your team can improve their response to issues relating to inclusion or well-being. Use UCL channels such as ‘Report + Support’ and ‘Full Stop’ if your concerns are not being addressed

  • Look at the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion website for staff and students at UCL. Here you will be able to find information on issues relating to race, gender, religion and belief, sexual orientation, and disability, amongst other equalities initiatives at UCL. You will also find useful training to sign up to.
Supporting all colleagues, staff, students and partners efficiently and effectively.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Personal Excellence:

  • Relying on stock responses rather than really considering what would be best for the individual situation.

  •  Spending time providing service to certain groups at the expense of others.

Steps towards development:

  •  Review how you respond to requests from colleagues and users and consider whether you could improve your effectiveness. Do you treat all individuals fairly and equally?

  • Are you sure that you are as efficient as you can be? Talk to your manager, colleagues, users and stakeholders to get feedback on your current performance.

  • Observe how more experienced staff respond to enquiries and ask questions about their approaches.

  • Look into customer service training or look at LinkedIn Learning.

Practicing empathy for others in the workplace, trying to understand the needs of colleagues, students, staff and partners.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Personal Excellence:

  • Being more concerned with one’s own work and needs, and letting that get in the way of appreciate the needs of others.

  •  Getting unnecessarily involved with other people’s issues and concerns.

Steps towards development:

  •  Focus on the following three things to make an immediate impact; 
    Listen to others. 
    2. Treat others well. 

    3. Put yourself in someone else's shoes to understand how others may feel.

  • Do not mix up empathy and over-involvement. If you are over-involved you risk enabling the issue and distracting yourself from other things. If you find yourself getting over-involved in issues relating to particular people try to bring a coaching approach where you ask questions to support them to help themselves.

Being able to multi-task, effectively keeping various tasks in hand at the same time.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Personal Excellence:

  •  Wanting to start and finish one task at a time without considering how you can work more than one in parallel.

  • Stretching yourself too far and not letting people know, so that things fall apart.

Steps towards development:

  •  Take a consistent approach to tasks, ensuring you have a way to track each one individually, so that you can do them in parallel. Seek out project training or look on LinkedIn Learning. 

  • Ensure that you are considering your own well-being and reaching out for help when you need it. An early indication that you need support is in everyone’s best interest.

Understanding your responses to stress, and developing personal resilience strategies

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Personal Excellence:

  • Not recognising or acknowledging stress-related difficulties, despite feedback
  • Pushing yourself excessively when you feel stressed, without asking for support

Steps towards development:

  • Coping with stress and change in a positive way is known as resilience. While some people are naturally resilient, resilience can also be built and developed. We are all likely to experience some level of change and stress at some point in our working lives. It can be helpful to reflect on and discuss your own responses to stress and change and your resilience strategies. This can prepare you to quickly recognise and respond to stressful situations when they arise. Part of personal resilience is to recognise early signs of stress and seek support.  Discuss your strategies with your manager and familiarise yourself with the UCL policy on Managing Stress at work. Use LinkedIn learning or resilience training opportunities to understand how different techniques can boost your resilience.


Working Together – Supporting Indicators

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Understanding the importance of building healthy relationships with others in order to do your job well.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Working Together:

  •  Being uninterested in people you need to interact with professionally, or not recognising nuances of building relationships across different cultures.

  • Being overly concerned with building relationships, particularly when not directly linked with your work outcomes.

Steps towards development:

Consider well you work in line with the points below, and which you could work on developing going forward:

  • Make time to build relationships.
  • Demonstrate the ability to work with individuals who are both like and unlike you
  • Develop your people skills.
  • Appreciate others.
  • Be positive.
  • Manage your boundaries.
  • Avoid gossiping.   
Being a collaborative member of your team.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Working Together:

  •  Not seeing the point of participating collaboratively with the team.

  • Being so enthusiastic that it can be disruptive to the team.

Steps towards development:

  • Successful teams collaborate very well together. They work closely on the same goals, treat each member with fairness, have clear expectations of each other, communicate openly and hold meaningful planning conversations and meetings.
  • Think about how you contribute to team collaboration. Do you prefer to work with certain groups of people? Who do you need to collaborate with? What could you do to better support collaboration in the team? Discuss any issues that you observe with your manager and /or colleagues and build on any ideas for improvement. 


Asking questions that challenge the status quo in the interests of continuous improvement.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Working Together:

  •  Constantly and unhelpfully challenging current activity

  • Happy to continue to do the same thing despite believing the process is flawed or over-complicated.

Steps towards development:

  •  Continuous improvement is an ongoing effort to improve products, services or processes. All staff can contribute positively to this, through observing opportunities for simplifying and building consistency in their areas of work and asking related questions.

  • Think about how you talk about issues in the workplace. Is it with a view to improvement, or as a complaint? Asking positive questions around how something can change for the better is a great way to start a discussion, and more likely to lead to better outcomes than continually pointing out weaknesses.

Communicating clearly so that everyone understands your message and intention.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Working Together:

  •  Not recognising the importance of communication, and engendering confusion

  • Trying to communicate but being unable to get your message across effectively to different groups of colleagues, students, staff and partners.

Steps towards development:

  •  Expressing yourself in a positive and clear manner, when speaking and in writing is a key skill for doing your job well. Communicating across cultures is an important part of working at UCL and with internal and external colleagues and partners. Good communication is about understanding instructions, acquiring new skills, making requests, asking questions and relaying information with ease and appreciating the communication needs of different individuals and groups. 

  • Communication can often take practice. Remember that listening and asking good questions are a key communication skills. Think about the areas you feel that you are strong on, and where you feel you could develop further. Look on LinkedIn Learning, or seek out communication training. Discuss strategies to develop with colleagues and your manager.

Actively seeking out feedback and opportunities to develop.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Working Together:

  •  Complaining about lack of progression without taking any personal action

  • Wanting to repeat the same tasks continually with no thought as to how to develop self or outcomes.

Steps towards development:

  •  Everyone at UCL has a responsibility to be their best in the workplace. Part of this means understanding your strengths and weaknesses and finding ways to build on and ways to develop them. This could be with the intention to progress in the organisation, or to improve capability and competency in the current role.

  • Seeking feedback on your current performance is a good place to start. Speak constructively to colleagues and your manager about how they view your strengths and areas for development and use that to build a development plan. Set goals. Write down your objectives and find ways to address them through LinkedIn Learning, formal training, mentoring etc. Check out the UCL Learning and Development Portfolio for ideas. Ensure you can apply learnings to everyday activities.

Achieving our Mission – Supporting Indicators

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Understanding how your work fits in with others’ and its importance in the wider context.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Achieving our Mission:

  •  Seeing your work as independent from wider outcomes

  • Not taking an interest in how your work connects with others.

Steps towards development:

  • No matter what you do at UCL your works supports the overall UCL mission. Are you familiar with these goals? Can you see how you contribute to what the institution is doing? There is plenty of information on the website about UCL's mission and the important work that supports it.

  • Spend some time looking at this and considering your work in this context. Talk to your manager and colleagues in your area about how they see their work connecting to yours to the wider work that UCL does.

Being open to change, and role-modelling simple consistent approaches.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Achieving our Mission:

  •  Being unclear on the reasons behind change or how it could make outcomes simpler and more consistent

  • Supporting or suggesting innovation and change that complicates things

Steps towards development:

  •  Our work life is subject to continual change – whether it be in people, processes or technology, change is constant in all our jobs.

  • Your ability to be open to change is important for team success. Think about how you naturally respond to change. Do you genuinely think positively about how it could work, or do you instinctively shy away from it?

  • Challenge yourself to be open to change and to think about the advantages it might bring. Try writing a pro and con list in order to get a true picture of the potential benefits or disadvantages with regards to your work and time. Aim to prioritise simplicity and consistency as a change driver. Share your thoughts with your manager and colleagues in a constructive way.

Understanding your objectives and making realistic plans to deliver them.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Achieving our Mission:

  •  Being unclear on your objectives, despite having discussed them ahead of time.

  • Continually making finding that you are not able to deliver on agreed objectives.

Steps towards development:

  •  How clearly do you understand your current objectives and your path to achieving them? Are they realistic and achievable? Do you fully understand what is expected of you? If not, you should discuss openly as soon as possible with your manager before getting to a position where you are unable to deliver them.

  • Set some time aside to have a proper conversation, explaining what the issues are and what you need in order to deliver the objectives in question. Prepare for that conversation by writing down your understanding of your objectives and how you are planning to deliver them.

Following an agreed plan and knowing how to finish a job on time, asking for help if needed

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Achieving our Mission:

  • Not attempting to fully establishing what is expected for you to deliver.

  • Putting yourself under pressure to finish a task to pre-agreed deadlines, at the expense of the quality of the task and of your personal health or work life balance.

Steps towards development:

  • Make sure you seek to fully understand what is expected of you. Write up a plan and double check with your manager and colleagues that you understand your steps and priorities clearly. Clarify and communicate this plan on a regular basis if you have a longer term project or ongoing work. The earlier you identify any potential issues the better for everyone. Talk to your manager and colleagues if you foresee any problems in timely delivery. Get some tips about good planning techniques at LinkedIn Learning.