Job Specific Competencies

Job Specific Competencies

Supervisors and employees select 2-4 that will most impact success in the job   

Competencies are the knowledge, skills and abilities, and other requirements that are needed for someone to perform a job successfully.  Competencies define not only what a person must know and do, but also how a person does it.

Listed below are competencies that may be needed for a job.  From this list of pre-defined competencies, the supervisor and employee should select two to four competencies that will most impact success in the job this year. The supervisor and employee should discuss the behaviors and agree on their use when evaluating performance.  Note: Effective supervision must be included for each employee in a supervisory role.

Each competency includes a definition and some observable behaviors that, when performed, may indicate acceptable performance. The list of behaviors is only a sample list; therefore, all of the listed behaviors may not be applicable to the specific position.  

 Effective Supervision (Required of all employees in a supervisory role)

  • Definition: Training, coaching, delegating and developing capabilities of others; evaluating people and performance; disciplining and counseling, building positive relationships
  • Observable Behaviors
    • Supports the development of subordinates by providing avenues to improve their skills and competencies
    • Provides on-going feedback and conducts performance reviews on time
    • Encourages people to resolve problems on their own
    • Deals with problems firmly and in a timely manner
    • Addresses performance problems and issues promptly; lets people know what is expected of them
    • Stays informed about employees’ performance through both formal and informal methods
    • Recognizes and encourages behaviors that contribute to teamwork
    • Utilizes total performance management systems for the development, improvement and evaluation of employees’ performance
    • Stays abreast of supervisory responsibilities through all available means

Technical Expertise

  • Definition: Demonstrates depth of knowledge and skill necessary for the job
  • Observable Behaviors
    • Effectively applies technical knowledge to solve a range of problems
    • Develops solutions to problems that cannot be solved using existing methods or approaches
    • Is sought out to provide advice or solutions in his/her area of expertise
    • Keeps informed about current developments in his/her area of expertise

Effective Communications

  • Definition: Ensures information is effectively exchanged with others
  • Observable Behaviors
    • Shares ideas and information with appropriate customers/stakeholders
    • Practices attentive and active listening
    • Ensures that regular, consistent communications take place
    • Expresses ideas clearly and concisely in writing
    • Expresses oneself clearly in conversation and interaction with others

Problem Solving

  • Definition: Identifies and solves problems with effective solutions
  • Observable Behaviors
    • Uses available resources to evaluate potential solutions
    • Identifies information needed to clarify a situation and seeks that information from appropriate sources
    • Asks questions to clarify a situation
    • Tackles problems with a logical and systematic approach
    • Evaluates options by considering implications and consequences; chooses effective options
    • Implements solutions within a reasonable time

Results Orientation

  • Definition: Ensures that one’s own and/or others’ work and information are complete and accurate; focuses on desired result of one’s own or one’s units’ work
  • Observable Behaviors
    • Sets up procedures to ensure high quality of work
    • Verifies information
    • Carefully reviews and checks the accuracy of own and/or others’ work
    • Has a sense of urgency about getting work completed                       
    • Looks for and seizes opportunities to do more or to do thing better

Personal Credibility

  • Definition: Demonstrates concern that one be perceived as responsible, reliable, and trustworthy
  • Observable Behaviors
    • Demonstrates honestly, keeps commitments
    • Behaves in a consistent and ethical manner
    • Takes ownership of work and one’s own actions
    • Acts reputably in relationships with others
    • Builds trust and credibility by demonstrating consistency between words and actions

Self Management

  • Definition: Takes responsibility for one’s own performance
  • Observable Behaviors
    • With his/her manager, clarifies expectations about what will be done and how
    • Enlists his/her manager’s support in obtaining the information, resources, and training needed to accomplish his/her work effectively
    • Promptly notifies his/her manager about any problems that affect his/her ability to accomplish planned goals
    • Seeks performance feedback from his/her manager and from others with whom he/she interacts
    • Takes significant action to develop skills needed for effectiveness in current or future job


  • Definition: Openness to different and new ways of doing things; willingness to modify one’s preferred way of doing things
  • Observable Behaviors
    • Is able to see the merits of perspectives other than his/her own
    • Demonstrates openness to new organizational structures, procedures, and technology
    • Switches to different strategy when an initially selected one is unsuccessful
    • Demonstrates willingness to modify a strongly held position in the face of contrary evidence


  • Definition: Makes decisions in a timely manner
  • Observable Behaviors
    • Is willing to make decisions in difficult or ambiguous situations when time is critical
    • Takes charge of a group when necessary to facilitate change, overcome an impasse, face issues, or ensure that decisions are made
    • Makes appropriate decisions with consideration of the consequences for relevant customers/stakeholders
    • Implements decisions in a timely manner


  • Definition: Develops, sponsors, or supports the introduction of new and improved methods, products, procedures, or technologies
  • Observable Behaviors
    • Develops new methods or approaches
    • Sponsors the development of new services, methods, or procedures
    • Proposes new approaches, methods, or technologies
    • Develops better, faster, or less expensive ways to do things
    • Works cooperatively with others to produce innovative solution

Additional Competency definitions and associated observable behaviors are also available to review.

Last updated: 05/01/2018