Guide to Job Competencies


University of New Hampshire 

Competencies are observable behaviors that encompass the knowledge, skills, and personal characteristics that distinguish levels of performance in the work environment.  Below are competencies that have been identified as fundamental for every job at the University.  They serve as the basis for the supervisor’s assessment of employee performance. 

Additional Competencies.   A supervisor may add competencies that he or she believes are unique to the specific department/job.  Adding competencies is optional and may not be needed in many departments; however, competencies are not to be deleted. 

Performance Indicators.   Following each competency is a brief definition of the competency followed by a bulleted list of performance indicators.  Achievement in these areas will directly relate to successful performance.  The bulleted indicators are examples; they are intended to be illustrative only.  It is the supervisor’s responsibility to identify for the employee which of the indicators apply to the job and modify them, or create new indicators, as appropriate. It is not required to address all of the indicators. 

There are two groups of competencies.  Those from A – F apply to all staff positions.  Those in G and H apply only to staff members who are in managerial/supervisory positions and/or who hold leadership roles for programs and projects.  The supervisor may determine whether this section applies to the employee based on his her responsibilities.


Competencies for all Employees

A.    JOB-SPECIFIC KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS:  Acquires and applies knowledge, skills and experience to accomplish results.

Examples of performance indicators:

  • Keeps current with and effectively applies new work methods, skills and technologies to complete work
  • Demonstrates the willingness and competence to work in multiple, functional areas
  • Demonstrates a clear understanding of policies and procedures of operation; complies with and applies policies and procedures appropriately
  • Assesses situations accurately and determines appropriate action
  • Identifies and utilizes resources effectively and responsibly
  • Plans, prioritizes, and organizes work effectively to produce measurable results
  • Takes ownership for own self-development
  • Other indicator(s) specific to department (optional)

B.    QUALITY:  Provides high quality services, processes, programs and products while consistently seeking ways to improve outcomes and enhance service.

Examples of performance indicators: 

  • Takes a problem-solving approach when faced with challenging or difficult situations
  • Proposes changes to policies or procedures, where appropriate
  • Uses sound judgment
  • Work is thorough, timely and reflects follow-through to completion
  • Manages difficult and emotional situations effectively
  • Takes initiative in improving service, processes, programs and products
  • Responds to requests in a conscientious and timely fashion
  • Other indicator(s) specific to department (optional)

 C.    PROFESSIONALISM & ACCOUNTABILITY:  Demonstrates enthusiasm for and commitment to the position and accepts responsibility for personal actions

Examples of performance indicators: 

  • Organizes and maintains work environment to allow for productivity
  • Complies with departmental performance standards
  • Maintains appropriate confidentiality and respects the privacy of others
  • Communicates clearly and effectively, both orally and in writing
  • Demonstrates willingness to undertake duties as assigned
  • Demonstrates willingness to accept shift in responsibilities due to the nature of the changing workplace
  • Conveys positive and professional image of work unit to others
  • Other indicator(s) specific to department (optional)        

D.   COLLABORATION AND TEAMWORK:  Supports a positive team environment in which members participate,  respect and cooperate with each other to achieve desired results.

Examples of performance indicators:

  • Collaborates with others to improve quality and address needs
  • Builds and sustains cooperative working relationships
  • Contributes to the resolution of workplace conflict
  • Demonstrates a sense of responsibility for the success of the group or department
  • Demonstrates a positive attitude in work assignment and interaction with others
  • Recognizes strengths and contributions of others
  • Provides leadership on projects and/or programs
  • Other indicator(s) specific to department (optional) 

E.   COMMITMENT TO THE VALUES OF THE DEPARTMENT & UNIVERSITY:  Promotes a safe and inclusive environment that provides for the open exchange of ideas and the virtues of integrity and honesty.

 Examples of performance indicators: 


  • Works cooperatively with people of diverse cultural identities, styles and functional responsibilities
  • Demonstrates respect for the opinions and beliefs of others
  • Works effectively with others in a variety of settings
  • Makes ethical decisions
  • Other indicator(s) specific to department (optional)

Organizational Understanding:

  • Represents the values of the University to internal and external communities
  • Aligns individual work priorities with departmental and University goals and visions
  • Visibly demonstrates care and concern for colleagues, staff, faculty, students and external customers
  • Other indicator(s) specific to department (optional)

F.  ADDITIONAL COMPETENCIES (OPTIONAL) - specific to the department, to supplement the University competencies listed on this guide.


Additional Competencies for Managers/Supervisors

 G.    LEADERSHIP & MANAGEMENT:  Provides direction, motivation and sets an example through open communication and modeling best practices.

Examples of performance indicators:

  • Exerts a positive influence on others
  • Demonstrates ability to motivate others to meet a common goal
  • Establishes realistic budget plans and demonstrates fiscal accountability
  • Manages resources to maximize efficiency and effectiveness; recognizes and effectively leverages employee’s skills and abilities
  • Employees supervised demonstrates competence, productivity, and high morale
  • Creates an atmosphere in which timely and high quality communication flows smoothly
  • Other indicator(s) specific to department (optional)

H.     PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT & DEVELOPMENT:  Provides appropriate advice, on-going feedback,   support and resources to improve effectiveness of individuals and teams.

Examples of performance indicators:

  • Directs, coaches, collaborates and delegates appropriately
  • Provides clear departmental strategic goals, individual employee performance expectations and criteria for performance measurement
  • Actively supports employee in the acquisition of relevant skills and knowledge needed to become more effective in their position and career
  • Provides on-going constructive and / or positive feedback
  • Addresses performance problems in an appropriate, timely fashion
  • Motivates others through appropriate actions including reward and recognition
  • Other indicator(s) specific to department (optional)