Keck USC competency performance statements – staff


Before starting, we encourage you to review the competency definitions at the Performance Management website . Need Assistance? Contact the HR Service Center at 213-821-8100 or

1. Job Knowledge, Skills, & Quality:

Definition:  Measures employee’s demonstrated job-relevant knowledge and essential skills, as well as the relationship of work to the organization’s mission.  Also measured are the employee’s self-improvement efforts to enhance skills and knowledge and to stay current with changes impacting the job.  Involves planning, prioritizing and executing work and dealing with unanticipated requests.  Measuring work output and demonstrating productive work habits shows that not only can this employee make an exemplary contribution to the achievement of the organization’s goals, but they can set the standard for other employees.  Behaviors include: accuracy/efficiency, timely completion of work assignments, attention to detail, volume of output, achievement of objectives, responsiveness, degree to which achieves prescribed standards and overcomes obstacles, and maintains knowledge and proficiency relative to job requirements.  Individual delivers quality health care or outcomes through uncompromised service excellence.  Employee is available and ready to help when asked and shows compassion while building positive relationships with colleagues, patients and their families.

  • Below Expectations – Consistently demonstrates a lack of basic job knowledge and/or skills to perform job. Rarely takes advantage of available skill enhancement or training opportunities. Often is resistant to changing requirements.  The amount and quality of work produced lags most other people.  Misses deadlines by not finishing work. Productivity is lower than most people and individual produces less work than is expected and less than others in similar roles.  Work that is produced is frequently inaccurate and/or not complete. Does not regard productivity as a priority and may display disruptive and distracting behaviors.  Work product often needs to be redone based on feedback of supervisor and/or co-workers.  May disregard suggestions to assist in increasing productivity and output.  Does not consistently follow through on all tasks. Wastes a lot of energy and time due to being disorganized.  Fails to meet the minimum quality control standards.  Needs to be closely supervised to produce the minimally acceptable level of output.  Does not work independently or without prompting from others.
  • Meets Some Expectations – Often demonstrates insufficient job knowledge/skills to perform routine functions of the job. Is resistant to changing knowledge and/or skill requirements or processes, including opportunities for knowledge/skill enhancement. Does not have a grasp on the interdependencies between his or her department and other departments.  Takes no initiative to keep abreast of changes in industry or profession.  Does not take classes to stay current on new procedures and requirements needed to function in their job.  The amount and quality of work is inconsistent and only acceptable some of the time.  Some output expectations and deadlines are met; however, many are not.  Work is sporadically accurate and complete.  Quality may suffer and productivity frequently falls short.  Can be productive at times but may also fail to adequately prioritize work.  May easily become distracted by less productive tasks.  Employee typically does not meet quality of work standard.  May initiate or participate in time-wasting activities on the job resulting in missed deadlines.  Rarely completes assigned projects on time or up to quality standards.  Is not self-motivated and only works consistently on projects with management reminders.
  • Meets Expectations – Work reflects adequate knowledge/skills for job. Individual has some knowledge of related work. Stays current with major changes impacting on knowledge or skill. Accepts and embraces change.  Has a fairly good knowledge of how the department’s functions must fit with interrelated departments.  Takes the required classes and/or training to stay current on new procedures and requirements for the role.  Holds the required and up-to-date certificates/licenses for their position.  The amount and quality of work produced is acceptable and comparable to most people in similar roles.  Most output expectations and deadlines are met and work is generally accurate and complete.  Produces a solid quality and quantity of work. Reasonably productive and organized in setting appropriate objectives and managing time. Focuses on priorities to accomplish work in a timely manner.  Individual is usually well organized and Is able to handle unanticipated requests and follows through most of the time.  Usually sees tasks through to completion without supervisory or management intervention.  Meets quality control standards and contributes to a good work environment.  Uses time productively.
  • Exceeds Most Expectations – Work reflects thorough and current knowledge/skill of job and impact on departmental activities and related resources. Uses opportunities to expand knowledge/skills, shares information with other members of the staff. Understands the critical issues affecting their department and the organization.  Performs the job well due to understanding how job performance impacts departmental and organizational goals.  The amount and quality of work produced occasionally is above expectations.  Productivity is high and individual can assist others and take on additional tasks.  Work is usually accurate and complete.  Employee is motivated to be highly productive and has steadily increased personal output. Quickly incorporates new knowledge to build and increase productivity.  Willing to take on new and challenging tasks. Accurately scopes out the work, creates efficient workflows and processes.  Usually respond quickly to changing situations and keeps on schedule and may also help others organize and plan.  Sees most tasks through to completion without prompting from management.  Produces work that meets a high level of quality and shows enthusiasm for the job most of the time.  Goes beyond job requirements to help others complete their tasks.  Individual possesses a strong, solid work ethic.
  • Exceeds Expectations – Possesses superior job skills and knowledge and effectively applies them to work assignments. Willingly mentors staff and shares knowledge. Seeks and applies innovative and relevant techniques.  Possesses an in-depth knowledge of the critical issues, well beyond their own job responsibilities, that affect the entire organization.  Has a rare and extensive knowledge base that enables them to perform well above standards for their role.  Understands the purposes, objectives, practices, and procedures of the entire department.  The amount and quality of work produced by this person is significantly above average.  Individual is frequently top in productivity, able to help others, and take on additional tasks.  Work is typically accurate and very complete.  Individual is always willing to “go the extra mile” to accomplish a task.  Employee is very productive and efficient in planning and executing work.  Monitors own productivity and implements changes and upgrades as necessary.  Accurately scopes out the work, creates efficient workflows and processes. Individual anticipates potential roadblocks and develops excellent contingency plans to achieve goals.  Can quickly respond to changing situations, keep on schedule, and help others organize and plan.  Sees every task through to completion with no management intervention.  Never allows themselves to do less than their best.  Approaches each task with enthusiasm and excitement.  Does not leave work incomplete and finishes every task before the established deadline.  Insists that each task be accomplished to the highest standard possible.  Pays very close attention to quality and eliminates errors or inaccuracies.  Sets an excellent example for coworkers in accomplishing tasks and producing high quality work.  Assists others in order to meet departmental or organizational goals.

2. Dependability, Reliability, & Adaptability:


 Ability to do good work independently with limited or minimal instruction.  Ability to look at a task or course of action and anticipate what is best done next, and then take the initiative to make sure it happens effectively.  Every employee needs to be able to make changes when circumstances, procedures, and policies change. The employee’s actions match his or her verbal commitments.  You can depend on this person to do what was promised and rely on him or her to do what you need them to do.   These qualities are essential to the efficient operation of every department and organization.

  • Below Expectations – Requires significantly more than average support and time from supervisor or other employees to meet minimum job expectations. Takes more maintenance and support than most people in similar roles to contribute up to required standards. Usually needs direct supervision, even for mundane and everyday tasks.  Lacks the ability to think independently or deal with unexpected situations.  Delays starting work until deadlines are fast approaching.  Functions far below job demands for taking initiative and misses opportunities to avert problems because of a lack of initiative.  Often calls on his or her manager to assist in making simple decisions.  Has numerous unscheduled absences resulting in staffing issues for the department.  Individual frequently arrives to work late and frequently leaves work early.  Employee rarely does what they say and does not complete what you need them to complete. Frequently leaves work for the day without completing assigned work.  Individual can’t be relied upon to do what they have been asked to do.
  • Meets Some Expectations – At times requires more than average support and time from supervisor or other employees to meet the minimum job expectations. Tends to take more maintenance and support than most employees in similar roles.  May become confused when confronted with unusual situations and may not always make the best decisions to fit the situation.  Shows discomfort in taking initiative and is slow to act when faced with operational decisions.  Lacks confidence to initiate new procedures and will only initiates standard procedures.  Calls off work without prior approval resulting in many unscheduled absences.  Sometimes arrives to work late and leaves work early.  Does not always make sure all needed work is completed before leaving for the day.  Can’t be counted on to deliver an acceptable level of work that is error free and requires help of others to achieve a satisfactory level of accurate work.
  • Meets Expectations – Performs up to standards with the usual or reasonable amount of support, help and guidance from supervisor and coworkers. As a proportion of support and time available from supervisor, individual uses resource appropriately.  Usually adjusts well to changes in the work place and maintains composure and logic even under stress.  Shows some risk-taking ability to solve problems and averts problems by taking preventative steps.  Rarely has unscheduled absences and usually arrives to work on time.  Notifies supervisor well in advance of scheduling time off to allow for proper coverage.  Does not leave work for the day until all needed work is completed.  Can be relied upon to do what has been asked and meets acceptable standards of accountability for work.  Helps to build department morale and helps coworkers finish tasks in order to meet departmental deadlines.
  • Exceeds Most Expectations – Typically performs up to standard requiring little support from supervisor. Only requires infrequent support from other resources and needs little unplanned guidance or help.  Usually independent and self-starting, requiring less support than most people in the department.  Sets priorities and adjusts them as needed when unexpected situations arise.  Frequently averts problems by taking preventative steps.  Strives to improve the work process and frequently takes proactive steps to streamline processes and procedures.  Demonstrates good skills of anticipation, initiative, and adaptability.  Almost never has unscheduled absences and rarely misses work without prior approval and appropriate notification.  Overall has a good attendance record.  Can be counted on to work overtime when necessary to finish important tasks without complaint.  Individual is very reliable and completes assigned tasks by agreed upon time.  Always takes responsibility for his or her work product.  Works extremely hard in order to support the department and completes most job requirements without supervision or reminders.
  • Exceeds Expectations – Independently performs up to standard requiring minimal support from supervisor. Requires minimal support from other resources and needs very little unplanned guidance or help. Independent, self-starting and requires much less support than most people in department or similar departments.  Adapts to new systems and processes well and seeks out training to enhance knowledge, skills, and abilities.  Seems to know when to ask questions and when to seek guidance.  Always looks for opportunities to take the lead and takes the proper action at the right time.  Anticipates and proactively solves problems.  Is self-motivated in setting and meeting personal goals.  Never misses work without prior approval and appropriate notification.  Employee has had no unscheduled absences and has a great attendance record and is always at work on time and does not leave work early.  Individual is totally reliable and can be counted on to get the job done.  Can always be depended on to deliver as promised and takes complete responsibility of his or her work product.  Completes all job assignments without supervision or reminders.  Supports coworkers and works behind the scene to make sure quality is maintained.  Works diligently to keep department morale high.

3. Collaboration, Teamwork, & Communication:

Definition:  Behaviors include: collegiality, productive team interactions, and contribution to accomplishing group goals.  Measures how well the employee cooperates with fellow team members, managers, and/or with patients and family members.  Works in a cohesive and harmonious way to accomplish common goals.  Communication behaviors include: effectiveness of written, verbal, and non-verbal communication, comprehension, ability to influence others, use of appropriate language, tone and structure, elicits and accepts feedback, and willingness to listen to viewpoints of others and share ideas.

  • Below Expectations – Employee is uncooperative and frequently criticizes others and displays excessive negativity when working with other employees. Individual does not contribute to team goals.  Employee is overly aggressive and does not display proper professional office behavior and is not seen as a team player.  Tends to work in a silo and does not understand the interdependencies of the job.  Destroys team spirit with disruptive behavior and negative comments, wasting the time and energy of other team members.  May receive complaints from other team members who refuse to work with the employee.   Produces written work that always needs significant editing.  Written work contains numerous grammatical, structural, and typographical errors.  When communicating verbally takes too long to get to the main point of the conversation.  Ignores or does not listen to others’ viewpoints or ideas in the work environment.  Defers to others on the team to make presentations or lead discussions.  Does not present well on the phone or during teleconferences.  Fails to ask pertinent questions during group discussions.  Routinely fails to meet standards for reports and/or written communications; also fails to exhibit effective verbal communication skills.
  • Meets Some Expectations – Displays occasional negativity when working with others and rarely offers to assist others in the office. Makes negative comments that affect working relationships and team building efforts.  Prefers to work alone and resists team assignments.  Does not interact or share with other team members as required.  Is prone to shoot down or dismiss other team member’s ideas.  Written communication style can be difficult to understand and sends unclear e-mail messages that lack adequate detail and specificity.  Does not listen carefully and often speaks without organizing thoughts.  Verbal delivery tends to wander and roam without making concise points.  Lacks the needed effective listening skills to perform better.  Does not meet standard for report and proposal clarity, conciseness, or effectiveness.  Produces written assignments with unacceptable grammatical and typographical errors.
  • Meets Expectations – Maintains a good working relationship with co-workers and contributes to a productive team dynamic and completion of team goals. Employee gets along with all members of the team and/or department.  Employee keeps a positive attitude, focuses on the team goals, and does not let obstacles and changes frustrate their efforts.  Individual has a record of showing respect and dignity to all team members.  Employee demonstrates confidence and comfort with writing projects.  They are at ease and effective in communicating in front of a group.  Individual prepares completely before making presentations.  Can communicate with employees at all levels within the company.  Is clear, concise, and informative when speaking or writing.  Presents logical conclusions and solutions during presentations.  Meets acceptable standards of clarity conciseness, and effectiveness in reports, presentations, and written communications.
  • Exceeds Most Expectations – Demonstrates “team player” behavior and views individual success as imperative to group or team success. Is typically direct, straightforward, honest and polite in all interactions.  Employee is an excellent team builder who works well with all other team members.  Makes sure all team members keep each other informed about project status and changes.  Individual insists on mutual respect for and by all team members.  Creates very readable and concise written documents with the appropriate level of detail for the audience.  Written communications are to the point and carefully crafted.  Written and verbal communications are clear and articulate.  Shows conviction and confidence in making presentations.  Organizes presentations so the audience can easily follow.  Answers questions concisely and completely.  Summarizes and concludes reports and written communications in a well stated and logical manner with clear next steps and actions.
  • Exceeds Expectations – Employee can always be counted on to help in times of need. Individual is never too busy to assist other employees when an extra set of hands is needed.  Whenever there is a difficult situation this individual can be trusted to bring disparate groups of people together to help solve the problem.  Employee is excellent in rallying teams around a common goal or objective.          Is willing to do whatever it takes to complete a goal – even perform tasks that are not typically part of his or her role.  Employee has clear, direct, and concise writing.  Creates reports and documentation that are consistently outstanding.  Actively listens to others and thinks before speaking.  Gives highly organized and effective presentations.  Employee is completely comfortable speaking to all levels within the organization.  Senses when others are on data overload and when either more or less information is needed.  Delivers powerful and persuasive speeches and presentations.  Connects very effectively with the audience making them engaged and enthusiastic listeners.  Is very effective in writing and conveying information in an understandable fashion.  Responds to writing assignments quickly, completely, and effectively.  Uses excellent grammar and punctuation in all written communications.

4. Problem Solving & Innovation:

Definition:    Behaviors include: fostering and supporting change, taking informed risks, implementing successful outcomes that appropriately challenge the status quo.  Employee creates new ways to accomplish goals.  Thinks “outside the box” in coming up with new solutions to problems and devises better ways of doing things that help the organization reach new heights in productivity and efficiency. Uses critical thinking and analysis to create solutions, actions, and achievement of appropriate outcomes.  Working through the elements or details of a problem to reach a logical conclusion may include any number of hard skills, but it will most certainly be a gauge of an employee’s critical thinking skills.

  • Below Expectations – Individual is far more comfortable when things remain the same. Rarely challenges assumptions or the status quo and is unwilling to change thinking style, regardless of recent questionable decisions.  Only takes on projects that can be handled with very conventional thinking and tends to avoid projects that call for creative thinking.  Employee criticizes new ideas submitted by coworkers and stymies creativity in others.  Does not develop any problem-solving methods, even when asked to do so.  Stonewalls attempts to introduce new innovations. Frequently comes to the wrong conclusions and assumes incorrectly and comes up with solutions that are incorrect, insufficient, and invalid.  Individual does not offer solutions to problems and has difficulty figuring out the root cause.  Uses poor judgment in solving problems and working with others.  Employs problem-solving techniques that end up generating even more problems.  Overlooks or underestimates problems until they’ve become major issues.  Can be paralyzed by the fear of making the wrong decision.
  • Meets Some Expectations – Individual is overly satisfied with the status quo and are afraid of making a wrong decision and views unconventional thinking as too risky. At the first sign of a problem, immediately reverts from creative thinking to overly structured thinking.  Sticks closely to the tried and true methods and procedures and lacks imagination and is reluctant to venture into new territory.  Does not consider new ways to streamline current processes.  Fails to accept and implement new innovations when they are presented.  Needs to develop analytical skills necessary to evaluate and weigh options and to choose the best way to deal with situations.  Is stumped on the more challenging problems and quickly moves on to others that are easier to solve.  Generates average solutions to problems that could yield far more positive results if approached more creatively.  Focuses excessively on superficial issues, while often overlooking the deeper or root cause of the problem.  Rushes through problems that require more thorough analysis.
  • Meets Expectations – When necessary avoids yesterday’s problem-solving strategies. Enjoys working on projects that require creative thinking and solutions.  Uses excellent observational skills to find overlooked pieces of data that can open up entirely new ways to solve existing problems.  Has an unconventional problem-solving style that yields better-than-average results.  Occasionally offers creative solutions and ideas to reinvigorate old practices.  Is open to considering new ways of doing things.  Responds when asked to develop a better procedure.  Often offers workable solutions to existing problems.  Uses good judgment in solving problems and working with others.  Displays appropriate analytical and problem solving skills.  Defines and understands problems before attempting to solve them.  Employee possesses a broad range of problem-solving skills that are applied effectively to problems.  Creatively works around, over, under, or through obstacles in the problem-solving process.  Typically solves problems before they become a crisis.
  • Exceeds Most Expectations – Productively integrates people, processes, and systems that seemingly don’t go together. Takes concepts that are cast in stone and then shatters, reshapes, or redefines them to generate more productive ideas and solutions.  Excludes seemingly essential components to open the door to a wider range of creative solutions.  Is open to totally different ideas, assumptions, and strategies and isn’t afraid to make mistakes.  Doesn’t give up in the face of doubtful comments by others who observe their creative problem solving style.  Is often able to bring new and fresh ideas and approaches to projects.   Typically finds and focuses on the root cause of problems and offers creative solutions.  Displays strong analytical and problem-solving skills.  Comes up with creative strategies when other employees are stuck.  Is frequently sought for a second look at problems that have stumped other employees.  Creatively uses technology to help in the problem-solving process.
  • Exceeds Expectations – Approaches problems with an open mind and without preconceived notions.  Questions assumptions regarding the significance of each piece of data and reassesses the value of each.  Looks at issues, questions, and dilemmas from every angle and generates entirely new ways to resolve them.  Is unrestrained by traditional problem-solving approaches, strategies, or expectations.  Generates productive outcomes by including unlikely people or resources in the problem-solving process.  Brings fresh and new ideas to each project.  Thinks “outside the box” when faced with challenges.  Questions old routines and practices in order to create more efficient ones.  Is constantly thinking about better ways to accomplish a task or project.  Always offers ideas and suggestions to solve problems based on good information and sound judgment.  Conducts research or seeks counsel of experts to gather information needed in making decisions.  Displays initiative and enthusiasm during day-to-day operations. Uses an arsenal of creative strategies to productively solve a wide range of problems.  Consistently generates outstanding solutions to the most demanding problems.  Has powerful analytical skills that are applied to every stage of the problem-solving process.  Establishes workable, prioritized, and highly effective problem-solving plans for each problem, instead of instantly jumping in and trying to solve them all.  Varies their problem-solving style to meet the nature and demands of the problem itself.  Approaches all problems with confidence and the expectation that solid and innovative solutions will be developed.

5. Ethics, Integrity, & Compliance:

Definition: Commits to personalizing the “KNOWN” Service Standards (Kind Greeting-Notice Needs-Own It-Wow Them-Next Steps).  Believes in and follows “The Keck Commitment” – our statement of professional standards. Behaviors include: honesty, fairness, commitment to Keck Medical Center of USC values, adherence to USC’s Code of Ethics.  Treats others with respect, maintains confidentiality and appropriate data stewardship, and reports ethical or policy violations.  Inspires others to exceed service standards and shows compassion while building positive relationships with colleagues, patients and their families.  Demonstrates understanding and empathy with both the joy and pain of others.  Employee maintains required applicable licensure, certification, education, annual health screenings and other applicable hospital or job specific requirements (BLS, ACLS, CPI etc.).  Is aware of applicable policies, laws and regulations, and adherence to standards and requirements.  Participates actively in department daily huddles and department staff meetings.  This individual is responsible for approving and attesting to their timecards in a timely manner making sure they are accurate and complete.  In addition, they complete and have their time off requests approved in advance before taking personal time off.  If there have been ethical violations by this individual, please include details about those violations (whether inadvertent or willful) in the comment section.

  • Below Expectations – Does not contribute to effective relationships within the department and/or organization. Does not feel an obligation to keep confidential information private. Individual does not instill trust or encourage the sincere consideration of the privacy of others.  Treats employees unfairly, which may lead to formal complaints.  Does not lead by example and is personally unaware of how his or her actions affect others and is insensitive to others.  May make decisions without consideration for fairness.  Individual does not hold self accountable.  Employee is unaware of university and/or Keck Medicine of USC policies, standards, and regulations.  Employee is not up to date with assigned compliance related items.  Individual always requires follow-up and reminders from supervisor about compliance-related items and is constantly chased in order to complete compliance-related assignments.  May have violated university, or Keck Medicine of USC policy or standards. Employee rarely approves or attests to their timecard and/or their timecard is frequently inaccurate.  Individual also does not submit time-off requests for approval in a timely fashion.
  • Meets Some Expectations – Engages in activities and programs without consideration of their fairness. Only occasionally contributes to effective relationships within the department and/or organization.  May not feel an obligation to keep confidential information private.  Individual may not always instill trust or encourage the sincere consideration of the privacy of others.  May not always lead by example and is personally unaware of how their actions affect others and is insensitive to others.  May make decisions without consideration for fairness.  Individual does not hold self accountable.  Rarely gives the whole story and is inclined to bend the truth on occasion.  Makes promises that cannot be kept in order to avoid conflict.  Does not always adhere to applicable policies and standards.  Employee is not always up to date with assigned compliance-related items.  At times requires follow-up and reminders from supervisor about compliance-related items and may have to be tracked down in order to complete compliance-related assignments.  Employee frequently forgets to approve and attest their timecard and/or their timecard is inaccurate.  May not always submit time-off requests in advance.
  • Meets Expectations – Is fully aware of company standards, expectations, and values regarding their position. Employee has a clear understanding of their role and the importance of equity and fairness within the workplace.  Individual does not stray from the truth and is a person of their word.  Makes sacrifices in order to keep commitments.  Employee is aware of applicable university and Keck Medicine of USC policies, standards, and regulations and adheres to those standards and regulations.  Employee is up to date with compliance-related items and only requires an average amount of follow-up.  Individual approves and attests to their timecard and they submit their time-off requests for approval in advance.
  • Exceeds Most Expectations – Typically contributes to effective relationship building within the department and/or organization. Keeps confidential information private.  Treats all employees in a fair and just manner.  Listens carefully to co-workers concerns about fairness, and takes corrective action where warranted.  Places importance on fair treatment of all and as a result has a solid reputation of being fair.  Establishes a high degree of personal trust and keeps their word on most matters.  Regards honesty as a high priority in dealings with fellow employees.  Employee is aware of all applicable university and Keck Medicine of USC policies, standards, and regulations and adheres to such to a high degree.  Employee requires very little, if any follow up to be compliant and up to date with all compliance requirements.  Individual is typically aligned to their positions and the department and is a strong example of a role model.  Individual approves and attests to their timecard and they submit their time-off requests for approval in advance.
  • Exceeds Expectations – Contributes to effective relationship building within the department and/or organization. Keeps confidential information private.  Individual places a major importance on fair treatment of all employees and as a result has a solid reputation of being fair.  Is widely respected for their honesty and is regarded as credible by co-workers.  Is above board, straightforward, and candid in communications with management, even when it means delivering less than favorable information.  Employee requires no follow up to be compliant and up to date with all compliance requirements.  Individual is thoroughly aligned to their positions and the department and is a model employee.  Holds self and others accountable for compliance and fully cooperates with governing bodies.  Individual approves and attests to their timecard and they submit their time-off requests for approval in advance