While most supervisors are interested in performance primarily in terms of results, not every result can be easily measured. It is necessary to consider some key behaviors when defining performance and to fill in for unknowable or immeasurable results. These are the behaviors, which if carried out appropriately, are assumed to lead to appropriate results.

For example, in the case noted earlier, a measure of performance relevant to alumni “satisfaction” is desired; but survey data is not available. It could be assumed that if the staff member takes some specified set of actions (behaves in a certain way) that satisfied alumni would result. Such behaviors might include being polite to alumni who call in with complaints, and doing whatever it takes to get an answer to their questions or complaints within some specified time. Keeping records of complaints and producing meaningful analyses of the dynamics of complaints might also be considered.

There are a number of ways of developing these critical behaviors. They rely on the supervisor’s experience and common sense. The first approach is to consider what incumbents of the position have done that has made them effective in their position. What is it about what they did that made them effective? How does what they did relate to the results listed? To which duty(s) are the behaviors related? If staff do things that make them ineffective, go through the same process. Ineffective behaviors may give clues to things that effective performers avoid, or they may be reversed to describe things that effective performers do. An alternate approach is to focus on the "ideal" performer in the position. How would such a performer be described? What would one see her do that indicated she is a good performer?

Note the stress on "do" in the paragraph above. Many supervisors tend to think of traits or competencies when they talk about effective or ineffective employees. The effective performer is creative, shows initiative, is a hard worker, demonstrates leadership, etc., while the ineffective performer is lazy, dishonest, unimaginative, and so forth. While such adjectives are useful in summarizing total performance, they are not very helpful as measures or performance on specific duties. It is crucial to state behaviors or behavioral sequences in "do" terms. If it can’t be filmed, it is probably not a behavior. It would be hard to photograph "creative", but it would be possible to photograph a fundraiser finding new potential donors for Rutgers programs by getting involved with groups who have not traditionally been contributors and developing appeals that resonate with these groups.

Some examples of behaviors related to staff positions found at Rutgers include:

Informs other systems programmers of changes in the Windows platform so that they can avoid network problems.

Explains how to use the Rutgers website to prospective and current students so that a greater proportion of these students are able to complete transactions on their own.

Goes to professional society meetings and participates by holding office, presenting papers.

Next you can identify key results.