Competencies and Rating Scales

What are Competencies?

  • A collection of the knowledge and skills required to perform a role and the key behaviors and abilities that contribute to an employee’s strong performance in the role.
  • They are the “how” that accompanies the “what” someone delivers in a role.
  • Competencies help raise the bar for everyone’s performance and promote a culture of ongoing development and learning.

Harvard-wide Competencies

  • TEAMWORK AND COLLABORATION
    Actively participates as a team member to move the team toward the completion of goals. Maintains strong, personal connections with key team members and stakeholders. Aligns personal work and performance with the broader team to achieve mutual outcomes.
  • EMBRACES CHANGE
    Actively identifies problems and opportunities for change and implements solutions where appropriate. Maintains effectiveness when experiencing major changes in work tasks or the work environment; adjusts effectively to work within new structures, processes, requirements or cultures.
  • RESOURCE ALLOCATION (managers only)
    Manages finances and organizational resources to enhance department, school or university goals. Deploys funds, staffing or resources economically and effectively.
  • BUILDING A HIGH PERFORMING TEAM (managers only)
    Develops a capable, diverse, and cohesive team to maximize their collective skills and talents; motivates others to achieve the organization’s goals; recognizes and rewards contributions.

FAS-wide Competencies

  • JOB KNOWLEDGE
    Has solid knowledge of the FAS, his or her department, and current position, as well as policies, processes, practices, and tools required to complete the work efficiently and effectively. Fully understands aspects of required responsibilities and skills needed to be successful in this role.
  • DELIVERS RESULTS
    Understands how to leverage key resources to achieve objectives and reaches closure on projects and deliverables. Works steadily toward achieving goals and consistently meets deadlines in a timely way. Monitors results and makes adjustments as needed and accepts responsibility for outcomes. Continues forward in the face of obstacles or when the path forward is less clear.
  • COMMUNICATION SKILLS
    Exhibits effective listening skills and checks for understanding. Demonstrates strong verbal and written communication and actively listens to others’ ideas and suggestions. Informs others of what is needed in a clear and concise manner. Consistently shares appropriate information with those who need to know.

Rating Scale for Competencies

  • 4 - Advanced
    Has broad and deep understanding and skills, with substantial experience in this area. Can apply the competency regularly and independently and display this competency in complex, varied situations. Role model for this competency.
  • 3 - Proficient
    Has sufficient understanding and experience to operate at a full professional level with this broad range of moderately complex situations. Can generalize basic principles to effectively function in both predictable and new situations.
  • 2 - Developing
    Newly developing in this area; has a general understanding of key principles but limited or no applied experience with this competency. Is capable of using this competency with coaching and support, in simple situations.
  • 1 - Does not demonstrate
    Does not demonstrate this competency at the expected level, even with available assistance or direction from others.

Rating Scale for Overall Performance Assessments

  • 5 - Leading Performance
    Contributions have tremendous and consistently positive impact and value to the department and or the organization. May be unique, often one-time achievements that measurably improve progress towards organizational goals. Easily recognized as a top performer compared to peers. Viewed as an excellent resource for providing training, guidance, and support to others. Demonstrates high-level capabilities and proactively takes on higher levels of responsibility.
  • 4 - Strong Performance
    Consistently demonstrates high level of performance. Consistently works toward overall objectives of the department and or organization. Viewed as a role model in position. Demonstrates high levels of effort, effectiveness, and judgment with limited or no supervision.
  • 3 - Solid Performance
    Consistently demonstrates effective performance. Performance is reflective of a fully qualified and experienced individual in this position. Viewed as someone who gets the job done and effectively prioritizes work. Contributes to the overall objectives of the department and or the organization. Achieves valuable accomplishments in several critical areas of the job.
  • 2 - Building Performance
    Working toward gaining proficiency. Demonstrates satisfactory performance inconsistently. Achieves some but not all goals and is acquiring necessary knowledge and skills. For new employees: this rating can be used when an employee is still coming up to speed with their job duties as appropriate, based on their tenure in the position.
  • 1 - Not Meeting Expectations
    The quality of performance is inadequate and shows little or no improvement. Knowledge, skills, and abilities have not been demonstrated at appropriate levels.