GVSU Employee Core Competencies

Competencies are the combination of observable and measurable knowledge, skills, abilities, and personal attributes that contribute to enhanced employee performance and ultimately result in organizational success. 

At GVSU, the 8 employee Core Competencies are intended to:

  1. Guide the culture of the organization and socialize employees to that culture. They set the standard of expectations for all employees.
  2. Set the foundation for performance management, employee development, leadership development, compensation, team building, talent acquisition, engagement, and more.
  3. Be aspirational.
The 8 GVSU core competencies with icons: empowering, fosters inclusive and equitable community, acts with integrity, emotionally intelligent, well-being oriented, asset mindset, collaborative teamwork, and innovator mentality.

The foundations of Talent Management


What Are the 8 Core Competencies?

Overview of the eight GVSU employee core competencies

Overview of the eight GVSU employee core competencies


Empowering

"Empowering" text with fist icon

Definition

Addressed along three dimensions: self-empowerment through individual action, mutual empowerment that is interpersonal, and social empowerment in the outcomes of our actions.

For All Employees

Observable and measurable knowledge, skills, abilities, and personal attributes:

  • Builds relationships with teammates, so that coaching efforts are received in a positive, developmental manner.
  • Recognizes and validates the contributions of team members.
  • Manages up and down, within your sphere of influence.
  • Encourages colleagues to take initiative on a project that they have interest or expertise in.
  • Invites colleagues into conversations and/or to be a part of projects based on their strengths.
  • Provides coaching to others regardless of performance level and work relationship to ensure team success.
  • Manages performance of self by taking responsibility for one’s own performance. Seeks feedback from manager and others with whom they interact on the job. 
    • Sets specific and measurable goals with deadlines

For Leaders with Direct Reports

Leaders with direct reports are expected to reach for these, skills, abilities, knowledge, and personal attributes. All employees are encouraged to strive for this level regardless of position.

  • Delegates significant responsibility and authority and allows employees the freedom to decide how they will accomplish their goals and resolve issues.
  • Invites employees’ contribution to meaningful decision-making.
  • Provides coaching oriented feedback that enables direct reports to grow and succeed through timely, consistent and constructive feedback, instruction, and encouragement.
  • Identifies and utilizes strengths of employees.
  • Takes university goals and objectives, cascades them down and relates them to the department and an individual’s day to day role.
  • Authorizes individuals and groups to set their own goals, consistent with business goals.
  • Permits groups to resolve problems on their own; avoids prescribing solutions.
  • Manages performance of others by setting clear expectations about what needs to be done.

Fosters Inclusive & Equitable Community

"Fosters Inclusive and Equitable Community" text with hand holding icon

Definition

Fosters a work environment that affirms and advances diversity, promotes inclusion, and is committed to equity. Individuals intentionally and actively work to identify and remove barriers for the full participation of historically underrepresented and minoritized individuals and communities.

For All Employees

Observable and measurable knowledge, skills, abilities, and personal attributes:

  • Recognizes the contributions and lived experiences of all team members, particularly those from identity groups historically underrepresented in higher education.
  • Supports all in showing up as their authentic selves through our framework for inclusion and equity.
  • Displays self-awareness by understanding one’s own identity and relationship to others.
  • Demonstrates a desire for continuous learning and seeks out experiences that motivate learning and cultural exchange (i.e., lectures, reading groups, art and music, and travel).

For Leaders with Direct Reports

Leaders with direct reports are expected to reach for these, skills, abilities, knowledge, and personal attributes. All employees are encouraged to strive for this level regardless of position.

  • Listens objectively, stays curious, displays humility, creates opportunities for feedback, and includes diverse perspectives in group processes and decision-making.
  • Eliminates barriers to equity by considering how policies, procedures, processes, and cultural norms may be advantageous to some people over others.
  • Demonstrates courage by challenging systems and attitudes that are misaligned with our framework for inclusion and equity.
  • Holds others accountable for inclusion and equity commitments and addresses non-inclusive behaviors.
  • Actively seeks opportunities to invest in diverse talent development.
  • Ensures that everyone’s voices are heard (e.g., during meetings, project planning).

Acts with Integrity

"Acts with Integrity" text with balance icon

Definition

Drives us to be accountable to ourselves and others and following through on words with actions.

For All Employees

Observable and measurable knowledge, skills, abilities, and personal attributes:

  • Treats everyone with dignity and respect.
  • Takes responsibility for their own mistakes.
  • Is performance driven; holds oneself accountable for delivering on services.
  • Builds capacity by closing the gap between where you are and where you need to be to achieve strategic goals.
  • Is accountable for their work and commitments. 
  • Truthful and transparent in their communications/actions, whether or not it is comfortable to do so.
  • Safeguards sensitive information and maintains appropriate boundaries. 
  • Adheres to the same principles and values in all of their decision-making.
  • Listens to and encourages the input and opinions of others.
  • Avoids unprofessional behaviors, such as gossiping, monopolizing the discussion during meetings, or throwing others under the bus.
  • Follows organization policies and procedures.

For Leaders with Direct Reports

Leaders with direct reports are expected to reach for these, skills, abilities, knowledge, and personal attributes. All employees are encouraged to strive for this level regardless of position.

  • Is performance driven; establishes measures, process reviews, and timelines.
  • Holds others accountable for delivering on services.
  • Builds capacity by helping to develop others to close the gap between where they are and where they need to be to achieve strategic goals.
  • Approaches all we do with a care for our resources and an eye on sustainability.
  • Is cognizant of our people, time, fiscal responsibility, and perpetuation of all of those to continue to rise and meet the needs of our students.

Emotionally Intelligent

"Emotionally Intelligent" text with brain icon

Definition

Ability to perceive, use, understand, manage, and handle emotions of oneself and others.

For All Employees

Observable and measurable knowledge, skills, abilities, and personal attributes:

  • Perceives one’s own emotions in the moment and understands their tendencies across situations.
  • Ability to hear critical feedback and a willingness to tolerate the discomfort of focusing on feelings that may be negative.
  • Responds to feedback by taking initiative in bettering oneself. 
  • Recognizes one’s own emotions and how they affect thoughts and behavior, responding to them in a healthy and constructive way.
  • Demonstrates active listening, understanding and learning from what others say.

For Leaders with Direct Reports

Leaders with direct reports are expected to reach for these, skills, abilities, knowledge, and personal attributes. All employees are encouraged to strive for this level regardless of position.

  • Able to see things from another person’s perspective (shows empathy) and consider their thoughts and feelings about a situation.
  • Builds constructive working relationships characterized by a high level of acceptance, cooperation, and mutual respect.
    • Maintains an open, approachable manner, and treats others fairly and respectfully. Preserves others’ self-confidence and dignity and shows regard for their opinions.
  • Helps to prevent and resolve conflict that arises amongst oneself and/or team members.

Well-being Oriented

"Well-being Oriented" text with heart icon

Definition

Demonstrates a commitment to maintaining sound health.

For All Employees

Observable and measurable knowledge, skills, abilities, and personal attributes:

  • Engages in university provided well-being activities, events, and resources.
  • Seeks to support colleagues in ways that are culturally specific to motivate self-care and retention.
  • Actively seeks to improve physical & mental health.
  • Uses available time-off including vacation time, sick time, salary continuation.
  • Has a basic understanding of the wellness resources and programs that are available to GVSU employees and household members.
  • Engages in personal and professional development opportunities, both on and off campus (occupational well-being).

For Leaders with Direct Reports

Leaders with direct reports are expected to reach for these, skills, abilities, knowledge, and personal attributes. All employees are encouraged to strive for this level regardless of position.

  • Sets the tone for employees to thrive.
  • Strives to see inclusion and equity issues broadly, recognizing that the well-being of individuals, groups and ecosystems are important locally, nationally, and globally – all of which are interconnected and interdependent.
  • Supports participation in and use of university provided well-being activities, events, and resources.
  • Helps set boundaries around working hours and adheres to them.

Asset Mindset

"Asset Mindset" text with puzzle pieces icon

Definition

An asset-based approach focuses on strengths. It views diversity in thought, culture, and traits as positive assets. Faculty, staff, and students alike are valued for what they bring to GVSU.

For All Employees

Observable and measurable knowledge, skills, abilities, and personal attributes:

  • Embraces the unique thoughts, ideas, and perspectives of others.
  • Looks at themselves and the world through the eyes of what is working, what strengths are present, and what the potentials are.
  • Recognizes and seeks to identify the strengths of oneself and colleagues.
  • Identifies opportunity in problems and moves possibilities to reality.

For Leaders with Direct Reports

Leaders with direct reports are expected to reach for these, skills, abilities, knowledge, and personal attributes. All employees are encouraged to strive for this level regardless of position.

  • Encourages individual growth and development based on one’s strengths.
  • Capitalizes on employee strengths when working towards accomplishing a project/task; delegates tasks based on employee strengths.
  • Appreciates the differences individuals innately possess from their lived experiences and makes space for the voices of all to be heard and valued.

Collaborative Teamwork

"Collaborative Teamwork" text with three people icon

Definition

Promotes cooperation and commitment to achieve goals and deliverables.

For All Employees

Observable and measurable knowledge, skills, abilities, and personal attributes:

  • Understands the mission and strategic goals of the university and how their department and individual work contributes to it.
  • Builds partnerships among different entities/persons throughout the organization to reduce silos and share expertise.
  • Outwardly recognizes the work of teammates and their contributions to a project/initiative and celebrates the achievements of teammates.

For Leaders with Direct Reports

Leaders with direct reports are expected to reach for these, skills, abilities, knowledge, and personal attributes. All employees are encouraged to strive for this level regardless of position.

  • Brings interdisciplinary perspectives into a conversation or project.
  • Fosters a workplace where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.
  • Ensures that information is passed on to others who should be informed.
    • Uses multiple channels or means to reach audiences with important messages (e.g. newsletters, meetings, email, and social media).

Innovator Mentality

"Innovator Mentality" text with lightbulb icon

Definition

Forward-thinking approach, going beyond the obvious and seeking new solutions and ideas, while positively embracing change to accomplish goals.

For All Employees

Observable and measurable knowledge, skills, abilities, and personal attributes:

  • Adapts to changing business needs, conditions, and work responsibilities.
  • Responds positively to change and embraces/uses new practices to accomplish goals and solve problems.
  • Naturally curious, always seeking to learn more about their specific work or industry; always looking for learning opportunities.
  • Takes initiative.
  • Looks beyond the obvious, thinks “outside the box”, and doesn’t stop with the first answer/solution.
  • Recovers quickly from setbacks and finds alternative ways to reach goals or targets.
  • Is tolerant of ambiguity, and is comfortable with uncertainty, unpredictability, conflicting directions, and multiple demands.
  • Asks questions and challenges assumptions.
  • Considers multiple options and perspectives.

For Leaders with Direct Reports

Leaders with direct reports are expected to reach for these, skills, abilities, knowledge, and personal attributes. All employees are encouraged to strive for this level regardless of position.



Page last modified November 6, 2023