Campus News

Human Resources announces Staff Competency Model

Last year, Human Resources partnered with the Engage & Learn initiative to shift the organizational culture and place a stronger emphasis on continuous learning and performance improvement for all staff. Now, Human Resources is introducing the UGA Staff Competency Model to the university community.

The creation of this model was successful because of the engagement of numerous individuals across the university during the past few years. These individuals included more than 6,000 staff members who participated in surveys and focus groups, an advisory group of human resources and financial staff from 50 units, the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences’ Industrial-Organizational Psychology Program and university leadership.

What is a competency model?

A competency model is a collection of competencies that integrate knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics that translate into specific behaviors. These behaviors are grounded in the university’s values, mission and strategy and can help staff members better understand what is needed to perform a particular job successfully.

UGA’s Staff Competency Model consists of two types of competencies:

  • Core Competencies: Five competencies, which apply to all staff positions.
  • Leadership Competencies: Two competencies that apply to any staff position contributing to innovation, as well as to supervisors and management-related roles responsible for leading others.

Each core and leadership competency has multiple KSAOs.

What is an example of a UGA competency, KSAO and supporting behaviors?

One UGA Competency is Acts with Integrity.

One KSAO identified as central to achieving this competency is diversity and inclusion.

Behaviors that support the Acts with Integrity competency and KSAO are:

  • Seeks to understand and attempts to incorporate different points of view.
  • Forms/maintains productive work relationships while considering multiple perspectives and fosters a work environment that encourages contribution and participation from a variety of different contributors.
  • Enhances respectful relationships with individuals and organizations representing diverse constituencies, and seeks, whenever possible, regular input to better understand diversity, equity and inclusion issues, and enhance recruitment efforts.
  • Coaches and teaches others to develop diverse, equitable and inclusive work environments, including supporting units’ understanding of impact of and strategies to address racism, sexism, discrimination and other forms of bias.

The Staff Competency Model webpage includes a comprehensive practical guide that includes all competencies, KSAOs, definitions and behaviors.

How can staff, supervisors and the university benefit from use of the competency model?

The UGA Staff Competency Model is directly connected with the Engage & Learn initiatives by setting clear job standards and expectations for all staff positions that are consistent with the university’s mission, purpose and culture. Further, the model will help to identify learning and development opportunities to build on a staff member’s strengths and/or closing any identified gaps. The Engage & Learn initiative provides the resources for staff to enhance their skills and competencies.

Over time, the Staff Competency Model also will improve consistency of:

  • Recruitment and selection of candidates;
  • Onboarding and orientation for new hires;
  • Ongoing staff professional development;
  • Identifying opportunities for career growth;
  • Performance management processes including input into promotion and compensation decisions; and
  • Workforce planning.

How can staff members learn more?

Employees can learn more about the Staff Competency Model and other initiatives on the Engage & Learn website. The Staff Competency Model webpage includes a comprehensive practical guide that includes all competencies, KSAOs, definitions and behaviors.

Staff should keep an eye out for upcoming communications throughout the year, including training opportunities and resources on the best use of the UGA Staff Competency Model.

An article from October 2019 introducing and providing the background for the UGA Staff Competency Model can be found here.