UCL Human Resources


Grade 6

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

Click to find steps to development.

Being consistent and doing what you say you will do.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Personal Excellence:

  • Being inconsistent in what you say what you will do, depending on who asks you.

  • Getting overloaded and not always finishing what you say you will do because you agree to do too much

Steps towards development: 

  •   Focus on being very clear about what you can provide to people with the time you have available. Push back and discuss with your manager in the early stages if you can see a potential problem looming. Be open to re-prioritising based on that discussion. Develop your project skills by finding a way to properly organise your time. Seek out some training on time management, or look on Linkedin Learning.


Having a positive and helpful approach to work.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Personal Excellence:

  • Treating work as a chore rather than a source of pride.

  • Sticking to tasks when you're over stretched and you may be risking negative personal or professional consequences if you carry on.

Steps towards development: 

  • How do people see you at work? It is often hard to know whether you come across in the way you would like to. Seeking feedback is a good way to find out. Talk to your colleagues and your manager to assess where you may need to focus.

  • If you find yourself being unhelpful and negative in a way that feels difficult and unlike your usual response it may be that you are feeling over-stretched. Talk to your manager about how you are feeling and how it is making your respond to others, and work to find ways to ease work pressure.

Taking proactive steps where you see an opportunity to fulfil a need.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Personal Excellence:

  •  Waiting to be told what to do without taking any personal initiative.

  • Consistently taking proactive steps at the expense of set objectives and wandering off course from your main priorities.

Steps towards development:

  •  Have a conversation with your manager or relevant stakeholders about where and when they would expect you to act on your own initiative, and when they would want you to consult.

  • Experiment with suggesting an answer rather than stating problems. This will signal your proactivity. Ask for explanations around decision-making rationales so that you can understand the thinking and come up with a proactive ideas for next time.

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 / team – this will impact all areas of employee life from recruitment and progression to how you run meeting agendas. 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.
  • Raise any concerns and make suggestions where you feel your team could do better in response to inclusion or well-being agendas.

Delivering work to agreed standards.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Personal Excellence:

  •  Not really focusing on the quality of outcomes, and making continual mistakes that imply a lack of attention.

  • Spending too long on individual pieces of work because you want to make it ‘perfect’.

Steps towards development:

  •  Reflect on the quality of your work, ideally through seeking feedback. Is it first-time right in terms of accuracy? Are you rushing to finish your work at the expense of accuracy/quality? Consider whether you are satisfied with your standards, and what might prompt any mistakes – is the work too difficult, too fast-paced, too complex? Are you taking on too much? Are you disinterested in the subject area?

  • Once you are clear about where you might improve the quality of your work, discuss your issues with your manager, and seek out advice or training to support your needs.

  • Be clear about other people’s expectations around your work. Have upfront conversations around what you can achieve in the time window you have. Agree on what level / amount of work is expected, so that you are clear and confident in recognising when it is ready to deliver.

Responding to colleague, student and stakeholder needs with the intention to provide an excellent service.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Personal Excellence:

  •  Providing late or incomplete responses, ones that do not solve the issue.

  • Responding with little flexibility or appreciation of the context of the issue.

Steps towards development:

  • Gain an understanding of what excellent service in your area should be. Without this baseline it is hard to measure how you are performing. Talk to your manager about conversations or training you might need to get up to speed. Excellent service is underpinned by a commitment to treating people fairly and with respect.
  • Consider how your responses are landing with your stakeholders. How might you adjust your responses next time to reduce ambiguity and email/phone traffic? Do you feel you have a good relationship? Do you say yes as frequently as you could? Do you favour one group over another? Try to get some feedback around how you are perceived in terms of service and discuss with your colleagues or manager. 
Planning effectively so that work is delivered and others are not delayed.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Personal Excellence:

  •  Getting side tracked with other issues and holding others up by not delivering on time

  • Being over-ambitious as to what can be delivered in the time-frame, meaning that things can get very stressful at the last minute

Steps towards development:

  •  Consider how you might use project management techniques to improve your planning abilities. Plan time to do your work in your diary at the beginning of the week. Seek out training or look at LinkedIn Learning. 

  • Communicate with the team and with anyone that may be impacted by your work. Make sure they are fully informed as to any unavoidable changes in deadline at the earliest point.

Demonstrating interest and flexibility to support work in different areas.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Personal Excellence:

  • Being reluctant to get diverted into different areas of work

  • Offering so much help that your own work suffers.

Steps towards development:

  • Consider what work you might be interested in doing in the future. While not neglecting your core work, how can you find opportunities to expand your experience through supporting work in different areas? Speak to your manager about finding ways to make it work for both parties.
  • Adopt a coaching approach if others who continually want your help. Support them to find the answers or to do the work, but do not repeatedly do it for them. Encourage them to be a bit more independent.
Being committed to eliminating bullying, harassment and discriminatory behaviour

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Personal Excellence:

  • Not taking bullying, harassment and discriminatory behaviour seriously.

  • Speaking out about bullying, harassment and discriminatory behaviour but not contributing to solutions

Steps towards development:

  • Consistently identify patterns of behaviour that may interfere with productive individual and collective working. 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? Do you have a pattern of behaviour that may be hindering the work of others? Think about how you can positively influence in large or small ways within your team and model a consistent approach. 

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:

  • Resilience can be developed through recognising and practicing techniques that work well for you. It can be helpful to reflect on and discuss your own responses to stress and change and your own effective coping strategies. This can prepare you to quickly recognise and respond to stressful situations as 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

Click to find steps to development.

Building rapport and being comfortable with others across different cultures and backgrounds.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Working Together:

  •  Being hard to approach or not treating groups of people equally and with fairness.

  • Spending too much time socialising, in a way that impacts work outcomes

Steps towards development:

  • Building rapport is about relating to, or connecting with others. Being able to work across different groups within and beyond UCL is essential for cultivating a positive environment at work. Rapport and trust are closely linked, and when we feel connected with others and there is a shared vision we are more likely to be successful. Even if you do not believe this is true of yourself, it will be true of others in your team.

  • Think about how you build rapport with others. What do you do to develop key relationships? What steps could make these relationships stronger and more real, whilst keeping it light? Are you aware of how different individuals and groups may prefer to communicate?

  • Make sure your timing is good – chatting to busy people can impact negatively. Asking for feedback in the moment can be helpful– eg is this a good time for a quick conversation? Planning catch-ups in people’s diaries can also be a good approach. Think about what works best in your work environment.


Innovating and sharing with new ways to work efficiently.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Working Together:

  •  Working in isolation and not sharing ideas

  • Following own working patterns that do not work for others

Steps towards development:

  •  Doing the job you do puts you in the perfect position for seeing how it can be done better! How often are you frustrated by things that don’t work as well as they could, and what do you do to change the approach? What would work better for you and the team? Think about how you could come up with ideas for doing things differently and eliminating complexities.

  • How does your team share ideas currently? In meetings? In personal conversations? Through online systems? Find the best ways to run ideas past the team, and if there is not already a way to do this - talk to your manager about creating one!

Demonstrating interest in personal development.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Working Together:

  •  Believing personal development isn’t important to progression

  • Seeing formal training as the only viable form of development

Steps towards development:

  • Thinking about personal development isn’t something that should be done once a year in an appraisal setting. Think about your ideal next steps, your CPD plan, and your areas for development, discuss with your manager and build a development plan to work from.

  • Development at UCL is viewed around the 70:20:10 model where 70% of learning is ‘on the job’, 20% is through ‘interactions with others’ and 10% is in ‘formal training’. Ensure that you have a development plan that covers all of these three areas and is linked to your future progression plans. Look at the Career Pathways site on the UCL website for developing Career Frameworks. Set goals. Write down your objectives and find ways to address them through LinkedIn Learning, formal training, informal coaching/mentoring etc. Check out the UCL Organisational Development pages for ideas. Ensure you can apply learnings to everyday activities.

Understanding other people’s perspectives.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Working Together:

  •  Not being open to see other people’s points of view

  • Being open to understanding to the point that your own perspective is unclear, leading to confusion and indecision

Steps towards development:

  •  People that are strong on emotional intelligence and empathy are quick to understand the perspectives of others. This supports a cohesive and productive work environment where innovation and flexibility is valued. . Being able to work with and across different groups is essential.

  • Think about your approach to new ideas, particularly if they do not align with your own positions. How open are you to listening and questioning without pre-judging? Do you default to shutting down ideas that do not fit with your point of view? Think about how you can challenge yourself to reflect more deeply on ideas that might be new to you, or that might put you out of your comfort zone. Might they be the basis for overall improvement?

  • Are you open to everyone’s ideas or only those from particular groups? Think about how you can positively engage in different ideas before making judgements, and use open questioning techniques to find out more from a neutral position

Proactively seeking feedback on your work.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Working Together:

  •  Thinking feedback is a criticism and taking it personally

  • Looking for feedback so often it affects work performance.

Steps towards development:

  •  Seeking and receiving feedback is a great way to understand and progress your development. Feedback can be formal or informal, but creating a strategy to understand how you are receiving it and from whom can be useful. Talk to your manager or key colleagues and stakeholders to constructively discuss their views on your strengths and areas for development.

  • Look for themes in the feedback, and think about whether you can relate to the comments. Build actions into your development plan, and think about how you will check back in the future with the same people to see if they have observed a difference.

Knowing your key stakeholders and keeping them informed

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Working Together:

  • Knowing who your stakeholders are but not keeping all consistently informed.

  • Not identifying stakeholders and not seeing the importance of communication.

Steps towards development:

  • The term ‘stakeholder’ refers to, "an individual, group, or organization, who may affect, be affected by, or perceive itself to be affected by a decision, activity, or outcome of a project" (Project Management Institute, 2013).

  • This can be quite a wide group for some projects. Spend some time mapping your key stakeholders and thinking about how you communicate with them. Are there some groups that you are currently spending more time thinking about than others? Does that feel right? What would the benefits be of communicating more thoroughly? How might you make changes to address this?

  • Review your stakeholder map on a regular basis to ensure you are continuing to keep them regularly updated.

Achieving our Mission – Supporting Indicators

Click to find steps to development.

Working methodically, prioritising and managing tasks.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Achieving our Mission:

  •  Trying to manage too many tasks and risking incurring stress.

  • Finding it hard to change direction to fit in with other people’s needs

Steps towards development:

  •   Your ability to organise and manage your work is crucial for your personal success, the success of the team and UCL’s wider goals.

  • Think about ways to plan and organise tasks that suit the nature of the work your colleagues and your personal working style. You may need to adapt your working style to fit the wider needs of the team. Talk to your manager and colleagues about the best ways to manage tasks to suit everyone’s needs. Be able to demonstrate through your planning that understand your routes to task completion, and that you are not taking on too much or too little. Seek basic project management training or look on LinkedIn Learning for tips.

Being practical and able to problem-solve.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Achieving our Mission:

  •  Lacking confidence in your ability so leaving practical responses to others

  • Being so good at solving problems that you are over-stretched

Steps towards development:

  •  Some problems do not have pre-worked out solutions and will require you to come up with fresh approaches. There is a great diversity of ideas and perspectives within UCL, they can be an essential resource if we seek out and listen to different voices when we are seeking solutions. Some people step up to do this frequently – perhaps they know the organisation particularly well, or are naturally proactive. Others wait for a solution to be presented and show confusion or frustration if no-one tells them what to do.

  • Consider where you are in this. Is there room for you to be more pro-active and demonstrate your ability to problem-solve? Or are you someone who is continually distracted by people asking you to solve their issues? Discuss with your manager, a colleague, mentor or HR expert and come up with ways to do things in a way that work better for you and the team.

Able to recognise and support important innovation and change in the workplace.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Achieving our Mission:

  • Not recognising the role you can play in embedding and supporting change.

  •  Being averse to change, and finding reasons to not comply despite access to the data that supports the case for change

Steps towards development:

  •  Change is a constant in our work life – and responding to it can be a either a challenge where you have to re-set or re-learn, or an opportunity to make things happen in ways that are faster, fairer or better.

  • Consider your natural response to change. Does it excite and motivate you or do you find it difficult and wearying? Does this natural reaction influence your responses to change rather than a consideration of the change in its own right? Think proactively about understanding and challenging your natural impulses around individual changes and think about the true advantages and disadvantages rather than your gut reaction.

  • Discuss with colleagues and weigh up the impact the change will have on the team and the outcomes. If you are positive about the change think about how you might model engagement and communication, supporting your colleagues to get to the same place.

Taking responsibility for your work

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Achieving our Mission:

  • Taking little responsibility and blaming others for outcomes

  • Being too independent and not asking for help when you need it

Steps towards development:


  • While your manager or colleague may have accountability for delivery of a wider project, you will have responsibility for delivering your objectives to a certain quality within a certain timeframe. You should be really clear on these objectives and how they fit into the wider outcome delivery. Talk to your manager if this is unclear.

  • Your objectives can often rely on the work of other people. It is your responsibility to be aware of these dependencies and ensure that you all understand how to work together to deliver the desired outcomes.

  • Flag any issues or confusions as early as possible to avoid late problems.

Planning effectively, recognising and flagging problems

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Achieving our Mission:

Being unable to deliver because of predictable problems that you have not anticipated due to lack of planning or lack of attention to relevant data.

Recognising potential problems, but not effectively flagging the fact that they may cause issues.

Steps towards development:

Plans can sometimes be delayed because of unpredictable problems that no-one could have anticipated. More often delays are due to issues that were either predictable or flagged too late for remedial action to have been taken.

How can you better anticipate these mistakes and avoid making them? Think about how your planning enables you to anticipate and respond to predictable problems. Discuss with colleagues to understand approaches that work for them.

Look at LinkedIn Learning for project planning direction, or talk to your manager about seeking out project management training. Do you meet regularly for scheduled meetings with your manager or team to discuss progress and planning? If not, set this up.


Understanding UCL's strategic goals, and seeing how your work connects and contributes to this.


Examples of behaviours that may hinder Achieving our Mission:

  • Not showing interest in UCL as an institution.

  • Not aware of UCL's strategic goals.

Steps towards development:

  • UCL is a remarkable institution with a long history and many moving parts. Knowing more about the university is a good way to think about how your work contributes to its wider goals. Spend some time familiarising yourself with the UCL website, particularly focusing on the mission and strategy. Speak to people around you about how the work completed in your area relates to and advances these goals.