UCL Human Resources


Grade 7

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 supportive, respectful and kind to others around you.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Personal Excellence:

  • Working in isolation and lacking in awareness of to the concerns of others.

  • Being continuously distracted by getting over-involved with other people’s issues

Steps towards development: 

  • How self-aware are you in how you interact with others? Do you treat people fairly and respectfully across the different groups of individuals and teams you work with? What feedback supports this view?

  • How would they describe you? How do you know?  How does that impact your ability to work with them?  If feedback suggests that you are not perceived as supportive, find ways to actively offer your help to colleagues.

  • While you want to be a supportive colleague, consider how much you spend responding to and supporting other people’s issues? Does it sometimes feel too much?

  • It may be helpful to find ways to enable and empower them to be more self-sufficient. Take a coaching approach and ask questions to help others find their own solutions rather than solving problems for them.


Committed to providing a responsive and helpful service.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Personal Excellence:

  • Deciding too readily that some things can’t be done without fully considering the potential advantages.

  • Spending time on individual user issues at the expense of wider delivery.

Steps towards development: 

  • Have a consistent, agreed, review process in place to ensure an appropriate balance between consistency and responsiveness. Get closer to stakeholder and colleagues to understand their needs and drivers in order to position yourself to better understand situations and requests as they arise.

  • Use a balanced scorecard approach to ensure that you are providing a consistent service to different groups, users and individuals, rather than being drawn to those who may shout the loudest.

Being able to respond constructively.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Personal Excellence:

  •  Finding it hard to respond constructively when feeling busy.

  • Less likely to praise or recognise the work of others when feeling personally under pressure

Steps towards development:

  •  Find creative ways to manage your workload that still gives you some time and space to prioritise listening to others, recognising their achievements and discussing concerns. Notice where your first instinct is to say no, and challenge your thinking.

  • Backing up your decision with an insight into your decision-making process is important and demonstrates your concern for others’ needs and your recognition of their contribution, particularly if the answer is no. Ensure that your communication is clear around your thinking in response to questions or suggestions.

  • Focus on how you can make positive communication a priority, even in busy times. A phone call is often the quickest way.

Making best practice an absolute priority.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Personal Excellence:

  •  Being unsure of what best practice looks like in this context

  • Reworking things beyond the point of need when the business need is to complete and to move on to something new.

Steps towards development:

  •  Make sure you have a clear idea of best practice at UCL and in other institutions and organisations. Find out what others do and benchmark your practices. Discuss best practice with your manager and colleagues on a regular basis.

  • Ensure your team’s best practice standards are achievable with the time and resource available. If not, open up a discussion with your manager as to what changes might be made to prioritise best practice.

Switching easily between tasks for different groups and stakeholders.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Personal Excellence:

  •  Favouring particular types of tasks or groups to work on, due to relationships or to personal preference

  • Doing many tasks for different groups, but not all necessarily to the same standard.

Steps towards development:

  •  Map your stakeholder groups and how you interact with them. Give each group scores to represent time spent with them, quality and depth of work etc.  Are you confident that you are getting the balance right?

  • Seek feedback from your stakeholder group. This could be done informally through asking questions, or more formally through a satisfaction survey. Consider the results and how you might respond.

Being committed to tackling bullying, harassment and discriminatory behaviour in teams.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Personal Excellence:

  • Not addressing potentially  bullying, harassment and discriminatory behaviour.

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

Steps towards development:

  • Are you aware of the level of your ability to recognise and deal with a situation relating to these issues? If not – find out about training, speak to your HR expert, or go through UCL channels such as ‘Report + Support’ and ‘Full Stop’. Being prepared means you will spot problems early, and be able to respond appropriately in the moment.
  • Recognise patterns of behaviour that disadvantage specific groups of colleagues, staff, students and partners. Bullying, harassment and discriminatory behaviour can be very subtle in teams and with partners. Are you tuned in enough to notice? How can you create an environment where risk of such behaviour is minimised? 
Making inclusivity, diversity and (inter) cultural awareness core to actions and decision-making for self and team.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Personal Excellence:

  •  Supporting inclusivity in theory but not fully considering how it translates to actions

  • Seeing inclusivity as ‘nice to have’ rather than being central to working life and decision-making.

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 and (inter) cultural sensitivity 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.

Developing resilience strategies and supporting healthy resilience in the wider team

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Personal Excellence:

  • Not being able to recognise and respond to signs of stress, despite feedback
  • Not complying with UCL policy on Managing Stress at Work

Steps towards development:

  • Responses to stress and change, and effective resilience techniques can differ widely between individuals. Raising self-awareness of your personal responses to stress and approaches to resilience will enable you to recognise and respond more effectively if it becomes necessary.
  • Part of personal resilience is to recognise early signs of stress and seek support. Encourage this approach for yourself, your team or colleagues. 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.

Listening to others and supporting them with compassion.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Working Together:

  •  Being unaware of others’ perspectives or needs

  • Wanting to offer support, but leaping to solutions instead of listening effectively

Steps towards development:

  •   UCL is an organisation that values treating others with compassion -kindness, care, and a willingness to help others.

  • Compassion often starts with listening and appreciating issues that people are dealing with. How self-aware are you in how you listen to others. Do you offer them the opportunity to open up to you? Do you find yourself more willing to listen to the opinions of some individuals or groups over others?

  • When you listen, do you listen actively and ask helpful questions, or do you offer solutions immediately without fully grasping the problem?

  • Look on LinkedIn Learning for tips of active listening. Help the individual to work with you on finding solutions or support that fits their needs.

Delegating with appropriate guidance and encouraging initiative.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Working Together:

  •  Assuming that everyone knows what to do without guidance

  • Shifting the blame and trying to delegate things that are in your area of accountability

Steps towards development:

  •  Delegation is the assignment of any responsibility to another person to carry out specific activities. Delegation can be a great tool to speed work and to support development of others, but can be ineffective if the individual is inadequately prepared to do it. How do you ensure that you are providing sufficient guidance on delegated tasks? Different people may need different levels of guidance. Can you create written guidance for frequently delegated tasks?

  • Accountability for tasks can never be delegated, you are still accountable for things that fall under your area. Without micro-managing, how do you keep tabs on activities and ensure that wider plans are on track?

Giving and seeking timely, actionable and constructive feedback.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Working Together:

  •  Responding badly when feedback is given.

  • Being overly critical without reflection on the positive.

Steps towards development:

  •  Feedback is a key tool to develop self-awareness when delivered and received constructively. Unconstructive or aggressive feedback can often come out of the blue from a place of frustration in teams where frequent feedback is not the norm, and is unacceptable.

  • Help to promote self-awareness by contributing to a culture of frequent feedback. How is feedback usually delivered in your area? Does this work? Consider how you can use positive feedback and recognition to motivate the team. Model the seeking and receiving feedback from others in a constructive way, and encourage others to do the same.

Promoting personal and professional development.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Working Together:

  •  Focusing too much on outcomes to allow opportunity for development

  • Not having adequate development conversations with your manager or the people you manage

Steps towards development:

  •  Developing yourself and your team is a crucial part of your job. Without time for reflection and development built into your plans your outcomes will be negatively impacted. Conversations about development should be a key part of your appraisal discussions and one to ones with your manager, and those that you manage.

  • 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, mentoring etc. Check out the UCL Organisational Development pages for ideas.

Documenting and sharing solutions. 

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Working Together:

  •  Keeping solutions or approaches to yourself and forgetting to record information.

  • Documenting things that are irrelevant.

Steps towards development:

  •  A ‘Learning Organisation’ relies on individual staff to share their insights, approaches and solutions to benefit all.

  • If you have smart fixes to common problems, or information that would be useful to support others in their work, think about how you might be able to share these with others. This could be through team meetings, Lunch and Learns, shared online spaces, links to useful websites etc.

  • Think about how your insight could support others and find ways to share appropriately. This could include mentoring or collaboration with other institutions or external bodies as a networking and knowledge sharing opportunity.

Achieving our Mission – Supporting Indicators

Click to find steps to development. 

Using evidence and quality data to support approaches .

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Achieving our Mission:

  •  Getting stuck in the detail rather than focusing on wider objectives.

  • Not taking an evidence-based, data-driven approach to identify best approaches

Steps towards development:

  •   How do you gain perspective on your work? Do you think beyond the routine task delivery and consider the wider objectives of the work? What quality data is available to you to evidence your thinking and decision making? How might that change the way you organise and deliver great outcomes? Spend some time challenging yourself to think beyond the day to day, and considering whether a new approach is needed in your processes or priorities.

  • Discuss with your manager, stakeholders or colleagues to review your data sources and to come up with some fresh ideas.

Willing to try new ideas which may improve outcomes.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Achieving our Mission:

  •  Being reluctant to risk upsetting something that is running relatively smoothly, despite evidence that suggests potential for improvement

  • Distracting people from their work by making changes that are not data-driven, or that over-complicate.

Steps towards development:

  •  What does it take for you to adopt new ideas? Are you eager to take on change, or reluctant to adjust systems that have worked well in the past? Think about how you assess new ideas around opportunities and risks. What criteria might you use to make a decision? How have previous changes worked out? How do you assess success? Work to get clearer on what data you need to evidence the case for change, and think about review potential change by asking whether it makes things simpler and more consistent for users.

Being clear on how your work, and that of your team, fits into overall UCL objectives.

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Achieving our Mission:

  •  Seeing your individual function as independent from the rest of UCL

  • Not being aware of UCL mission and goals or your role in them.

Steps towards development:

  •  UCL is large and fast moving organisation, grounded through a long term mission and set of strategic goals. All activity should link back to these central goals. How well can you articulate these, and position the work done in your teams as contributing to them?

  • Spend some time familiarising yourself with the UCL website, particularly focusing on UCL's mission and strategy. Speak to people around you about how the work completed in your area relates to and advances these goals. Think more widely about the wider HE landscape and read more generally about UK and global developments. Find some good sources of information to keep you up to date with the HE context in your area.

Anticipating issues and adjusting approaches when necessary

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Achieving our Mission:

  • Not changing approach or priorities even when this is needed.
  • Re-prioritising and significantly affecting work flow.

Steps towards development:

  • Plans can be prone to change as new factors come into play, and horizon-scanning to anticipate issues can be important to success. Think about how you are able to predict problems and key issues. Are you ahead of the curve, or always the last to know about changes in the project, team or institution?
  • Think about how you network and gain information about internal and external developments in your field and how you might build on this. Consider your responses to changes and how frequently you change direction or re-prioritise. Does it feel appropriate? How can you review and gain perspective on your approach?


Creating and supporting simple and consistent work processes

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Achieving our Mission:

  • Following existing processes despite recognising them as being over complicated
  • Having inconsistent or unclear processes in place so that users are confused.

Steps towards development:

  • What is your approach to process review? Do you understand the user journey through the processes that you manage or support? Are you satisfied that the number of steps to completion ensure maximum efficiency? Discuss these issues with your team and manager and see what you can do to improve them. If processes cut into areas managed by others seek to put a working group together to do the work collaboratively.
Finding ways to successfully work with the extended UCL community on cross-institutional projects

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Achieving our Mission:

  • Refusing requests for support from the extended UCL community.
  • Taking on additional commitments that interfere with primary commitments.

Steps towards development:

  • UCL has consistently demonstrated the benefits of collaboration at all levels and continues to see integration as a core element of the 2034 mission. Working with other parts of the UCL community are clear opportunities to be part of this wider intention, and we should all seek out and make the most of ways to get involved with cross-institutional projects. Working beyond our normal roles takes skill, patience and practice. This is especially true of the working and cultural norms of our partners are different than our own.
  • Consider how you review requests for involvement from other parts of community. Do you engage with positivity or cynicism? Think about ways to get engaged. It is very likely that getting involved with successful collaborations, whether large or small, will have great networking opportunities and cross benefits for you and the team. 
Knowing how individual objectives and responsibilities will deliver on plans

Examples of behaviours that may hinder Achieving our Mission:

  • Concentrating on execution of individual tasks without fully understanding how they fit together
  • Not keeping others informed, so it is hard to for them to see how the goals fit together.

Steps towards development:

  • Develop a project plan that shows clear milestones to desired outcomes, team responsibilities and inter-dependencies. Suggest ways to regularly discuss progress on this with your manager and/or colleagues, so that everyone understands how your work is progressing and how it fits into the overall goals. This could be through a combination of activities such as regular team meetings or stand ups, and shared documents online. The plan should be regularly reviewed to ensure that it is still on track to achieve key outcomes and that the team are all able to deliver their objectives. This should give an early flag if there are problems with meeting deadlines and ensure that everyone is up to date with progress. Seek out project management training, or look for development tips via LinkedIn Learning.