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General Workforce Foundational Skills

 

Background

Through the involvement of all levels of City of Scottsdale employees, the City has created a Foundational Skills model.  The Foundational Skills are those considered necessary to assist in a successful career with the City.  While no employee is expected to be a perfect model of all the skills, the Foundational Skills provide a set of standards toward which all employees may work to improve.

 

The Foundational Skills Levels
The City of Scottsdale has divided its foundational skills into three levels: General Workforce, Supervisor/Manager and Director/Executive Director.  Each level builds upon the level prior (as shown in the foundational skills diagram).  The City attempts to hire new employees who exhibit a high degree of the General Workforce skills, and other levels as appropriate to the position.

 

What does this mean to me?
Since you found this page through a link from a job description, that may mean you are interested in a position with the City.  Each job description has been assigned a level (General Workforce, Supervisor/Manager or Director/Executive Director) and you may access the other Foundational Skills levels from the links at the bottom of this page.

 

Future Development
If you are an existing employee of the City or become an employee in the future, you will find increasing numbers of classes and other personal and professional growth opportunities.  These opportunities are tied to specific foundational skills being offered through our own Scottsdale University – the learning management system we use to manage the training function.


Foundational Skills Diagram - PDF (33KB / 1pg)





General Workforce Foundational Skills Model

 

Attention to Communication

Building Collaborative Relationships

Customer Orientation

Flexibility
Focus on Safety    NEW

Fostering Diversity

Fostering Teamwork (Team Member and Team Leader)

Initiative

Job-Related Expertise

Personal Credibility

Self and Interpersonal Awareness
 


Attention to Communication

Definition:  Employs effective communication skills, both verbally and in writing, to ensure that information is successfully shared throughout the organization.  Ensures communication occurs.

Behaviors that show the presence of this skill, ability, or demonstrated knowledge: 

  • Keeps management and peers informed through regular, timely, consistent communication
  • Discusses background and reasoning for decisions, procedures, etc, in order to relay how the information supports the overall missions and goals of the department or workgroup
  • Demonstrates active participation in conversations by paying attention, maintaining eye contact, and then reiterating what has been agreed upon to avoid misunderstandings and confusion
  • Uses multiple channels or means to communicate important messages in an appropriate and effective manner (e.g., memos, meetings, electronic mail)
  • Expresses himself/herself clearly when speaking with others by using standard grammar and choice of words for target audience
  • Persists in seeking understanding despite obstacles
  • Expresses himself/herself clearly when sharing information in writing by organizing thoughts and ideas in a clear format, writing grammatically and using graphics when appropriate

 

Building Collaborative Relationships

Definition:  Ability to create a climate of trust with open honest communication that is accepting of new and different ideas; fostering an environment that encourages people to think and brainstorm creative solutions while working toward a common goal.

Behaviors that show the presence of this skill, ability, or demonstrated knowledge:

  • Engages in positive dialogue while overcoming communication filters, actively listening with respect and validation of different perspectives
  • Supports consensus building by seeking strengths and common interest that keep members motivated and involved for the duration of the process
  • Shows servant leadership by reflecting trust and professionalism
  • Demonstrates honesty, keeps commitments and behaves in a consistent manner to build trust
  • Encourages open participation from individuals and teams
  • Supports the working together of two or more people in order to increase positive results (synergy)
  • Develops, maintains, and strengthens partnerships with others inside or outside the organization who can provide information, assistance, and support
  • Remains open to others’ ideas and opinions even when those ideas and opinions conflict with their own

 

Customer Orientation

Definition:  Anticipates, assesses, and responds effectively to the needs of diverse customers, both internal and external, providing consistent excellence in customer service.

Behaviors that show the presence of this skill, ability, or demonstrated knowledge:

  • Demonstrates active listening by acknowledging and clarifying verbal messages to ensure mutual understanding by engaging with the customer and using open-ended questions to determine a customer’s needs
  • Makes customers and their needs a primary focus of one’s actions
  • Solves problems quickly and effectively by listening, and acting upon needs of the customer
  • Develops and maintains strong relationships with customers
  • Communicates with customers to ensure that they are satisfied with the level of service they have received.
  • Is accessible and provides prompt, attentive service
  • Lets customers know that he/she is willing to work with them to meet their needs
  • Develops trust and credibility with the customer
  • Finds ways to measure and track customer satisfaction by benchmarking past experiences and conducting feedback surveys
  • Goes the extra mile to satisfy customer needs and expectations
  • Promotes courtesy to all customers by presenting a positive attitude, smiling, using eye contact, a pleasant tone of voice and engaging with the customer

 

Flexibility

Definition:  Exhibits versatility and adaptability in order to meet evolving priorities and needs.  Is open to change and new information; adapts behavior and work methods in response to new information, changing conditions, or unexpected obstacles. Adjusts rapidly to new situations warranting attention and resolution.  Is open to different and new ways of doing things; willing to modify a preferred way of doing things.

Behaviors that show the presence of this skill, ability, or demonstrated knowledge:

  • Makes effective decisions and achieves desired results in the midst of major changes in responsibilities, work processes, timeframes, performance expectations, organizational culture, or work environment
  • Notices the need to change personal, interpersonal, and professional behavior quickly based on the demands of the project, customer, or solution
  • Reevaluates decisions when presented with new information
  • Readily integrates changes midstream into work processes and outputs
  • Is able to see the merits of other perspectives
  • Demonstrates openness to new organizational structures, procedures, and technology
  • Switches to a different strategy when an initially selected one is not working and not worth the investment to try to make it work
  • Maintains effectiveness when experiencing major changes in work tasks or the work environment
  • Shifts gears comfortably
  • Makes decisions and acts without having to have every detail clear
  • Demonstrates willingness to modify a strongly held position in the face of contrary evidence

 

nEW
Focus on safety

Definition:  Shows initiative toward workplace safety that includes personal safety and the safety of citizens and co-workers in accordance with City administrative regulations and departmental policy.

Behaviors that show the presence of this skill, ability, or demonstrated knowledge:

  • Maintains, operates and uses assigned equipment, including personal protective equipment (PPE), for intended purpose
  • Immediately reports all safety related incidents, unsafe conditions, acts or equipment to supervisor
  • Provides safety suggestions
  • Is responsive to employee and citizen safety concerns
  • Participates in and completes required safety training
  • Immediately corrects safety hazards that are within ability and/or job scope


Fostering Diversity

Definition:  Respects, seeks to understand, and values individual differences to achieve the vision and mission of the organization. Holds self and others accountable for valuing differences and creating and maintaining an environment of mutual respect.

Behaviors that show the presence of this skill, ability, or demonstrated knowledge:

  • Values individuals who bring diverse talents and skills
  • Proactively seeks information from others who have different personalities, backgrounds and styles
  • Shows cultural sensitivity toward current and potential customers and coworkers
  • Communicates and cooperates with others from diverse backgrounds
  • Makes it easy for others to feel valuable regardless of their diverse background
  • Includes people from diverse backgrounds in conversations and invites them to be part of informal work-related activities, such having lunch together or attending company social events
  • Seeks input from diverse perspectives
  • Asks people from a variety of backgrounds for help in understanding their experiences, perspectives and culture

 

Fostering Teamwork

Definitions:
Team Member: The ability and desire to work cooperatively with others on a team to attain a common goal or purpose.  Addresses conflict positively and quickly to maximize team effectiveness.

Team Leader:  Facilitates and influences positive outcomes in a team environment that focuses on organizational goals.  Balances self and team interests to meet collective goals. Manages conflict to ensure team success.

Behaviors that show the presence of this skill, ability, or demonstrated knowledge:

Team Member:

  • Demonstrates honesty, enthusiasm and commitment to the team’s purpose
  • Provides assistance, information, or other support to coworkers and customers to build or maintain productive relationships with them
  • Contributes positively by sharing information, listening, and accepting others’ points of view
  • Emphasizes points of agreement and suggests alternatives that may be acceptable to the group
  • Maintains a positive outlook and shows flexibility for new approaches and ideas
  • Works for solutions that all team members can support
  • Able to give and receive constructive criticism
  • Shares his/her expertise with others
  • Shares responsibility to rotate through other team roles (i.e. facilitator, recorder and timekeeper)
  • Reinforces team members for their contributions
  • Respects the opinions and positions of others on the team
  • Seeks opportunities to work on teams as a means to develop experience and knowledge
  • Is open with other team members about his/her concerns


Team Leader:

  • Organizes the team
  • Communicates strategic plans, goals, objectives, assignments and actionable events to the team, including deadlines and timeframes for completion
  • Provides opportunities for team members to learn to work together as a team
  • Encourages and facilitates communication among team members
  • Promotes cooperation with other work units
  • Creates and maintains channels to enable team members to do their work
  • Ensures that team members are treated fairly
  • Recognizes conflict that arises within the team and acts to bring these out into the open
  • Assists in mediation between team members to resolve conflicts
  • Recognizes and encourages the behaviors that contribute to teamwork.
  • Enlists the active participation of everyone
  • Assures that each member receives recognition for contributions made to attain results

 

Initiative

Definition: Independently takes action to influence events, to improve own or organizational performance and to promote the goals of the organization. Proactively identifies problems, obstacles and opportunities.  Implements decisive action appropriate to the position; assesses needs and concerns of the workplace environment in order to address current or future challenges.  Acts prudently within the bounds of and to the extent of positional authority.

Behaviors that show the presence of this skill, ability, or demonstrated knowledge:

  • Identifies what needs to be done and takes action before being asked, when the situation requires it
  • Does more than what is normally required in a situation
  • Seeks out others involved in a situation to learn their perspectives
  • Takes independent action to change the direction of events
  • Takes prompt action to accomplish objectives and achieve goals beyond what is required
  • Anticipates and takes action to create an opportunity or avoid future crisis
  • Offers innovative techniques and/or methods in order to improve existing processes
  • Manages goals and priorities in order to consistently deliver results and exceed expectations of customers
  • Seeks feedback from appropriate stakeholders on the effects of actions taken
  • Requires minimal supervision

 

Job-Related Expertise

Definition:  Depth of knowledge and skill in technical abilities.  Depth of knowledge and skill in related or support technology, including specialized software and hardware.

Behaviors that show the presence of this skill, ability, or demonstrated knowledge:

Technical Skill: (specialization e.g.  planning, library science, electrician, etc.)

  • Effectively applies technical knowledge to solve a range of problems
  • Obtains the knowledge, skill, and abilities needed to perform assigned job and innovate at the same time
  • Develops innovative technical solutions to new or highly complex problems that cannot be solved using standard methods or approaches
  • Possesses in-depth knowledge and skill in the technical area where employed to perform
  • Adds credibility to not only the position, but also the City through technical capability
  • Is sought out as a technical expert to provide advice or solutions in his/her technical area


Technology Skill:  (specialized equipment or computer knowledge)

  • Keeps informed about cutting-edge technology in his/her technical area
  • Routinely attends internal and/or external technology-related training
  • Uses basic technology as a tool in staff communication (e.g. e-mail, scheduling, etc.)
  • Uses appropriate personal computer software and agency communication systems proficiently
  • Recognizes the impact of technological changes on the organization

 

Personal Credibility

Definition:  Actively works to show responsibility, reliability and trustworthiness.  Has faith in own ideas and ability to be successful; willing to take an independent position in the face of opposition.  Ensures own and other’s work and information are complete and accurate; prepares carefully for meetings and presentations; follows up with others to ensure agreements and commitments have been fulfilled.

Behaviors that show the presence of this skill, ability, or demonstrated knowledge:

  • Does what he or she commits to doing
  • Respects the confidentiality of information or concerns shared by others
  • Is honest and forthright with people
  • Carries his or her fair share of the work load
  • Takes responsibility for own mistakes; does not blame others
  • Conveys a command of the relevant facts and information
  • Is confident in own ability to accomplish goals
  • Attends to matters of hygiene and dress to maintain an appearance appropriate to the assigned job or task
  • Is willing to speak up to the right person or group at the right time when he or she disagrees with a decision or strategy
  • Approaches challenging tasks with a “can-do” attitude
  • Sets up procedures to ensure high quality of work
  • Monitors the quality of own work
  • Verifies accuracy of information 

 

Self and Interpersonal Awareness

Definition:
Self:  Deals effectively with pressure; maintains focus and intensity and remains optimistic and persistent, even under adversity. Recovers quickly from setbacks. Effectively balances personal life and work. Instills mutual trust and confidence; creates a culture that fosters high standards of ethics; behaves in a fair and ethical manner toward others, and demonstrates a sense of corporate responsibility and commitment to public service.

Interpersonal:  Considers and responds appropriately to the needs, feelings, and capabilities of different people in different situations; is tactful, compassionate and sensitive, and treats others with respect. Ability to notice, interpret and anticipate others concerns and feelings and to communicate this awareness empathetically to others. Maintains self control in the face of hostility or provocation.

Behaviors that show the presence of this skill, ability, or demonstrated knowledge:

SELF:

  • Recognizes own emotions and their effects
  • Demonstrates an appreciation of the differences in how others feel about things
  • Is able to articulate own strengths and limits
  • Shows an ability to control and filter emotions in a constructive way
  • Balances feelings with reason, logic, and reality
  • Maintains self control in the face of hostility or provocation
  • Expresses feelings clearly and directly
  • Takes responsibility for personal performance
  • Recognizes own “hot buttons” and effectively controls impulses related to those “hot buttons” 

INTERPERSONAL:

  • Anticipates how others will react to a situation and exhibits consideration of their feelings when/before taking action
  • Notices and accurately interprets what others are feeling based on their choice of words, tone of voice, expressions and other nonverbal behavior
  • Takes a personal interest in others to develop relationships
  • Correctly identifies the interests and important concerns of others
  • Takes into consideration others’ most important concerns and issues and looks for win-win solutions
  • Identifies and proposes solutions that benefit all parties involved in a situation
  • Makes others feel comfortable by responding in ways that convey interest in what they have to say
  • Listens attentively to people’s ideas and concerns
  • Says or does things to address others’ concerns
  • Correctly interprets the unspoken meaning in a situation
  • Finds non-threatening ways to approach others about sensitive issues




Go to Manager and Supervisor Foundational Skills Page

Go to Executive Director and Director Foundational Skills Page