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Competencies for Performance

A competency is knowledge, a skill, an ability or other characteristic that employees can apply to achieve desired results. These competencies support exemplary performance and help ensure positive outcomes.

Staff Competencies for Performance

Below are RISD’s six core competencies for staff performance:


  • demonstrate the desire and ability to deliver top-quality work
  • show initiative and take ownership of all responsibilities
  • provide exceptional service by adjusting one’s approach to thoughtfully meet needs and exceed expectations
  • use time and resources efficiently and effectively to complete projects and tasks

Collaboration and teamwork

  • serve as a positive team member or colleague
  • treat others with respect and resolve conflict effectively and collegially
  • establish productive working relationships beyond one’s own department


  • communicate verbally and in writing at a level appropriate for their position
  • present information and ideas in a thoughtful, clear and concise manner
  • actively listen and engage with others for input; seek clarification to deepen understanding

Continuous learning

  • seek out and welcome learning opportunities to expand work-related knowledge, skills and experiences
  • demonstrate commitment to their own professional development and its application at RISD
  • welcome feedback on developing/enhancing professional capabilities

Creativity and innovation

  • suggest, promote and demonstrate openness to new ideas
  • embrace ongoing improvement and seek opportunities to streamline processes
  • anticipate potential problem and works proactively to solve them

Diversity and inclusion

  • treat RISD community members across all group memberships, perspectives and circumstances with respect, fairness and dignity
  • recognize the full breadth of differences among all with whom we interact, and identify and provide input to and/or revise programs, services, policies and practices to create inclusive campus environments
  • develop effective working relationships with people who have different group identities, perspectives and circumstances than they do

Leadership Competencies for Performance

Below are RISD’s five core competencies for leadership performance:

Act strategically and innovatively

  • align the priorities of the department with RISD’s strategic direction
  • communicate departmental vision and strategy clearly so that all team members see how their work relates to RISD’s mission
  • fosters an environment in which individual initiative and innovative ideas are welcomed from all team members
  • invite individuals and the team to identify issues, propose changes and design necessary change

Build trust

  • engage with others through active listening and respectful conversations
  • share important information from management with employees
  • demonstrate consistency and fairness and preserve confidentiality
  • foster cohesiveness and open dialogue among the team

Create an inclusive environment

  • foster a culture that celebrates differences and supports diversity
  • attract, develop and retain a diverse, high performing team
  • hold oneself and other team members accountable for promoting diverse and inclusive practices

Develop talent

  • identify gaps in skills and capabilities among team members and provide meaningful coaching and guidance and feedback
  • promote and support efforts to learn new skills and acquire pertinent knowledge
  • develop succession plans and provide meaningful assignments and/or experiences to advance individual capabilities

Inspire performance

  • work collaboratively and set clear goals and objectives that are specific and measurable
  • foster an atmosphere that recognizes the importance of ownership and accountability
  • provide honest and specific performance feedback (whether positive or redirective) in an open, timely and effective manner
  • recognize and reward staff members for their contributions and accomplishments, and celebrate team success