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IMPACT behaviour framework

The IMPACT Behavioural framework has been developed to support South Hams District and West Devon Borough Councils' ambitions for their workforce.

The framework aims to enhance both individual and organisational performance and will be applied in recruitment, performance management and career progression. It defines the behaviours that all colleagues across both councils are expected to consistently demonstrate at work.

The framework outlines measurable behaviours that describe how we need to perform our roles, rather than what we need to achieve. Your role objectives will set out what you will need to achieve each year and the skills and knowledge required for each job role is set out in individual job descriptions.

The framework consists of six core behaviours across four bands. Each role within the councils has been allocated to one of the four bands based on the requirements of the role. For each of the six core behaviours there are a number of behavioural indicators defining positive and negative behaviours at all bands. These behavioural indicators are not designed to be fully comprehensive, but to provide a common understanding and consistency around how colleagues should behave at work. The behaviours are intended to be discrete and cumulative, this means the behaviours in lower bands are prerequisites for higher Band behaviours i.e. a colleague operating at Band B should competently be demonstrating all behaviours for Band C and D as a matter of course.

The six IMPACT Behaviours

Responsible - We take ownership of our actions and are accountable for our performance, finding a solution to every problem and making appropriate decisions

Communicative - We express ourselves clearly, respectfully and with enthusiasm, varying the way we communicate to ensure the message is understood

Adaptable - We maintain a positive outlook and we are adaptable and show flexibility in the way we work

Challenging - We are innovative, challenging the status quo to drive continuous improvement in everything we do

Co-operative - We work collaboratively with colleagues and partners, building and maintaining effective working relationships with a range of people

Outcome focused - We deliver timely and excellent results focusing on quality outcomes for our customers


Band A - Responsible
Positive IndicatorsNegative Indicators
Leads by example, role models IMPACT behaviours and upholds Council values and ethicsActs in ways that are at odds with organisational standards and principles
Shows an entrepreneurial disposition, demonstrating awareness of opportunities that can aid growthIs highly process-driven and has an overcautious approach hindering potential for growth
Uses financial information to monitor organisational performance and guide decisions; bases decisions on objective dataDoes not use financial information to understand organisational performance; uses subjective or gut instinct to guide decisions
Understands the political context they operate in, taking into account the wider impacts of decisionsShows limited insight into the political context they operate in and the wider impact of decisions
Ensures a risk management culture which does not hinder ELT's independence and flexibilityPromotes a risk aversive culture which hinders ELT's independence and flexibility
Weighs up risks to assess the viability of opportunitiesMinimal or no risk analysis carried out when assessing viability of opportunities
Sets and develops organisational strategy in line with organisational visionDoes not direct a clear strategic vision, preferring to primarily focus on immediate or personal goals

Band B - Responsible
Positive IndicatorsNegative Indicators
Willingly takes charge and leads on various activities without being promptedAvoids getting involved in activities, only takes the lead when asked
Proactively takes responsibility for influencing and motivating othersTakes no or limited initiative to influence and motivate others
Shows courage and can make difficult decisions with limited information, taking calculated risksReluctant to make difficult decisions with limited guidance, procrastinating on irrelevant information
Takes ownership to help resolve issues and challenges, taking pressure away from SLTDefers responsibility of issues to the SLT instead of owning these
Stands by unpopular organisational decisions to achieve desired outcomeFails to stand by difficult decisions; quick to give up when challenged on decisions
Effectively handles multiple issues or tasks at onceBecomes unproductive or flustered when handling multiple issues or tasks at once
Works well autonomously, handling issues with minimal support from the SLTNeeds extensive guidance/ reassurance from the SLT
Resists getting dragged into unnecessary detail that will delay generating a suitable solutionGets too involved in the unnecessary details when generating a solution
Delegates responsibility; successfully increasing breath of ownership in own teamResists delegating work; only delegates minor responsibility or micromanages
Approaches problems with a number of solutions in mindFocuses on the obstacles and problems rather than finding suitable solutions
Takes complete ownership of developing capability and building strong performing teamsInvests insufficient time and effort in developing capability and building strong performing teams
Owns and accepts responsibility when things go wrongLooks to pass blame or responsibility when things go wrong

Band C - Responsible
Positive IndicatorsNegative Indicators
Take personal responsibility for own work and projectsFind excuses not to own their work or projects
Take steps to find a solution to any given problemWaits for others to find a solution to problems they are presented with
Take full ownership to solve customer and colleague queries and only refers it to others when necessaryFrequently passes responsibilities to others to solve customer and colleague questions without attempting to solve them first
Holds to agreements made with othersChanges or breaks agreements made with others
Acts on own initiative without being promptedWaits for others to prompt them to action
Proactively seeks feedback on own performance and aims to improve on itAvoids feedback opportunities about own performance

Band D - Responsible
Positive IndicatorsNegative Indicators
Takes responsibility for own mistakes and finds ways to correct theseBlames others for their own mistakes and expects them to correct these
Has a hunger to better self and takes advantage of training and development opportunitiesDoes not recognise or take advantage of opportunities to develop
Demonstrates detailed knowledge of own roleDoes not understand the requirements of their role
Follows relevant policies and regulations appropriately to solve problemsUses policies and regulations as a reason for not finding solutions to problems
Possesses a 'can do' attitude towards work and is willing to learn and develop selfHas no desire to learn and develop self professionally
Delivers on what is promised to customers/colleaguesFails to meet customer's expectations and lets colleagues down


We express ourselves clearly, respectfully and with enthusiasm, varying the way we communicate to ensure the message is understood.

Band A - Communicative
Positive IndicatorsNegative Indicators
Clearly and frequently communicates what is expected of othersDoes not provide others with a clear message around what is expected
Creates a leadership culture that is receptive to giving and receiving constructive feedbackAllows the lack of feedback or unconstructive feedback to go unchallenged
Defines to others the expected standards of appropriate ways to communicateAllows others to express views in a disrespectful manner without challenging or correcting their approach
Credibly communicates organisational 'future vision' and direction enabling others to have trust in the planned way aheadLacks credibility in their communication, resulting in others being unclear about the future
Confident influencer, negotiating well with those inside and outside the organisationUnable to gain commitment and buy-in from others inside or outside the organisation
Shows tact and diplomacy; resolves conflict through effective communicationShows insensitivity and creates disharmony through inappropriate communication style

Band B - Communicative
Positive IndicatorsNegative Indicators
Consistently carries the leadership and organisational message in a positive mannerShows negativity when communicating the leadership and organisational message
Leads from the front, communicating and inspiring others towards a common goalTakes a passive role as a leader; failing to inspire others towards a common goal
Demonstrates passion and enthusiasm when communicating important goals and ideasLacks passion and enthusiasm when communicating a message
Creates a lasting and credible impression on othersLacks impact when interacting with others, leaves a poor impression on others or fails to convey credibility
Consistently positive and composed when communicative with othersOpenly shows negative emotions (e.g. frustration, annoyance)
Shows strong self-awareness; considers the impact of their approach on othersLacks insight into how their communications style/ approach may be perceived by others
Expresses themselves clearly and concisely through all forms of communicationCommunicates unclearly leaving others confused by his/her message
Shows drive and determination; maintains consistent high levels of energyLacks drive and determinations; lacks energy
Actively listens and takes on board what others sayShows no outward signs of listening and reflecting
Adapts communication style to suit the needs and understanding of the audience and situationCommunicates in a set way with little variation in style to suit the needs of others
Speaks with authority and conviction that engages othersSpeaks with a lack of gravitas and direction, fails to engage others

Band C - Communicative
Positive IndicatorsNegative Indicators
Speaks positively about the organisation and teamIs critical about the organisation and team
Makes an effort to present self effectively when communicatingNot concerned with the image they present to others when communicating
Quickly builds rapport with customer/ colleaguesTakes time to build rapport with customers/ colleagues
Considers the audience when preparing written materialDoes not adapt their written material to the audience
Expresses self effectively both verbally and in writing showing sensitivity and respect for othersIs unclear when expressing themselves verbally and in writing, failing to consider the needs of others
Conveys enthusiasm and interest when communicatingCommunication fails to engage others

Band D - Communicative
Positive IndicatorsNegative Indicators
Speaks clearly, concisely, audibly and respectfullySpeech lacks clarity, contains jargon, inaudible, and insensitive
Listens, checks understanding and reflects before respondingInterrupts others and fails to clarify or reflect before responding
Communicates with ease to people from varying backgroundsFinds it difficult to communicate with people from varying backgrounds
Acts in a fair and professional manner when speaking to othersActs in an inappropriate manner when speaking to others
Writes clearly in plain simple language with correct grammar and spellingWritten work lacks clarity due to use of jargon and poor spelling and grammar
Polite, patient and tolerant when dealing with othersInsensitive and impatient when dealing with others


We maintain a positive outlook and we are adaptable and show flexibility in the way we work. 

Band A - Adaptable
Positive IndicatorsNegative Indicators
Effectively anticipates and responds to changing circumstancesIs slow to respond to changing circumstances
Creates a culture of flexibility that is able to effectively respond to shifting prioritiesAllows rigid and inflexible ways of working to persist
Responds decisively and quickly to emerging opportunities or challenges, adapting delivery models and strategies as requiredIs slow to respond to emerging opportunities and challenges, ignoring the need to reshape strategies as required
Encourages new ideas and able to change own views when presented with new ideas.Shows rigid thinking when presented with new ideas; frequently rejects suitable new ideas
Quickly re-priorities work based on strategic importanceFails to re-prioritise in the face of unforeseen circumstances.

Band B - Adaptable
Positive IndicatorsNegative Indicators
Remains adaptable and flexible; willing to change their approach as neededInflexible and reluctant to modify their behaviour; prefers to only work in a set way
Willing to modify a strongly held position to incorporate others' perspectivesFocuses on getting only their perspective across failing to incorporate the views of others
Quick to adapt to changing organisational priorities and needsFails to respond in a timely manner to changing work priorities and needs
Considers situations from a broad perspectiveShows a narrow perspective and thinking
Recovers quickly from setbacks; does not allow setbacks to affect their workExcessively dwells over setbacks; slow to move on
Demonstrates rapid thinking and quick to respond to changing demands/requirementsStruggles to think of suitable actions to meet changing demands/requirements
Remains calm and thinks clearly under pressureAllows pressure to adversely affect them, preventing clear thinking
Is reactive and produces workable solutions in a timely manner when faced with demanding situationsNon-responsive when faced with demanding situations

Band C - Adaptable
Positive IndicatorsNegative Indicators
Learns new technology quicklySlow to embrace new technology
Able to work productively under pressurePerformance is adversely affected under pressure
Takes on board feedback and moves forward constructivelyResponds poorly to feedback and allows it to negatively affect their performance
Open to and adjusts well to changing circumstancesResists change or retains similar style during changing circumstances
Shows resilience and maintains a positive outlook when faced with difficult and challenging situationsFocuses on the negative preventing them from overcoming challenges
Adapts approach as appropriate recognising how people are differentTakes a generic approach even when interacting with different people
Shows flexibility in attitude and thinking when presented with new ideasIs rigid in their attitude and thinking when presented with new ideas

Band D - Adaptable
Positive IndicatorsNegative Indicators
Shows tenacity when faced with obstaclesBecomes demotivated when faced with obstacles
Learns new information quicklySlow to learn new information
Adapts to new ways of working using different systems and processesIs resistant to new ways of working using different systems and processes
Demonstrates quick thinking in various work activitiesSlow to generate ideas in various work activities
Is optimistic about the future and how they can contribute to itHas a pessimistic view about their own professional future and the organisation
Able to modify own behaviour when faced with new situationsMaintains ineffective behaviour when faced with new situations


We are innovative, challenging the status quo to drive continuous improvement in everything we do. 

Band A - Challenging
Positive IndicatorsNegative Indicators
Harnesses innovation in strategic delivery modelsDefends the need to maintain status quo repressing innovation and creativity
Challenges traditional assumptions through politically astute questioningUnable to effectively challenge traditional assumptions
Improves organisational performance through effective change initiativesFails to implement effective change initiatives to help improve organisational performance
Takes a radical approach, rejecting tired and outdated practices, wanting to make a real differenceShows resistance to fundamental shifts in approach, does not aspire to make a real difference
Challenges bureaucratic rationality and allows flexibility to quickly resolve issuesTolerates and accepts others operating in rigid bureaucratic ways that hinder progression
Encourages and stimulates others to think outside the box and their comfort zoneUninterested in imaginative thinking, prefers others to 'stick to what they know'

Band B - Challenging
Positive IndicatorsNegative Indicators
Proactively seeks new opportunities to help the Council growSpends little or no time seeking new opportunities that can help the Council grow
Is an advocate of utilising technology to improve work processesIgnores developments in technology that can help improve work processes
Questions traditional assumptions and does not always go with the obvious solutionReadily sticks to tried and tested solutions without looking for alternatives
Improves performance in own area by implementing new and more efficient ways of workingFails to find ways to improve performance of own area
Encourages others to change inefficient work practicesPays little attention to educating and explaining reasons for improving inefficiencies
Supports change initiatives and positively champions organisational changeIs critical of change initiatives distancing themselves from implementing change

Band C - Challenging
Positive IndicatorsNegative Indicators
Asks relevant questions that help improve processes and proceduresMisses opportunities to ask constructive questions
Actively tries to improve activities carried out in own area and services they provideShows indifference to how work is carried out in own area
Considers and suggests ideas for improvement, sharing insight with others in a constructive mannerFails to consider or share ideas for improvement or tries to force through their ideas
Co-operates with and is open to change that can help improve the way things are doneUnsupportive towards or closed to change that can help improve the way things are done
Actively looks to streamline and simplify processes to improve ways of working; working smarterIgnores opportunities to streamline and simplify processes to improve ways of working
Understands the need for change and sees the benefits it can bringPrefers the status quo and sees only the negative aspects of change

Band D - Challenging
Positive IndicatorsNegative Indicators
Uses own and others learning to identify and suggest improvementsWaits to be directed by others on how to make improvements
Asks the right questions to get to the root of the problemFails to get to the root of the problem due to poor questioning
Comes up with ideas to improve the way things are donePrefers things the way they are and reluctant to change how they work
Identifies, and where possible, changes ineffective tasks/ activities carried out in own roleMisses opportunities to identify where changes can be made to ineffective tasks/activities carried out in own role
Willing to constructively question and challenge to seek answersReluctant to constructively question and challenge to seek answers


We work collaboratively with colleagues and partners, building and maintaining effective working relationships with a range of people.

Band A - Cooperative
Positive IndicatorsNegative Indicators
Promotes a culture where colleagues collaborate by sharing knowledge and resources across the organisationMakes little attempts to promote cross-functional working and/or allows silo working to continue
Consults others where appropriate in the decision-making processesFails to involve key stakeholders in critical decision-making
Promotes partnership working, taking active steps to removing blockages or obstaclesFind excuses to limit partnership working across functions
Empowers ELT by defining and expanding their areas of responsibilityHinders autonomy of ELT; limits ELT areas of responsibility
Forges new and enhances existing strategic partnerships with external organisations to increase growth and developmentPartnerships are limited to internal or existing relationships, failing to recognise the need to build new partnerships to help grow the organisation

Band B - Co-operative
Positive IndicatorsNegative Indicators
Works co-operatively with others to overcome challenges and meet common goalsFails to engage others to overcome challenges and to meet common goals
Acts as an extension to the SLT; proactively supports the SLT to meet goalsSeparate themselves from the leadership teams; only gets involved if directed by the SLT
Willingly and openly shares information and expertise/ knowledge with the wider teams (including SLT & ELT)Withholds information and reluctant to share expertise/ knowledge that would help others
Actively engages in work carried out by other ELT colleaguesOnly focussed on their own area of work; uninterested in other ELT work
Demonstrates an active role as part of the ELT; positively contributing to the success of the whole teamTakes a back-seat approach; unwilling to get involved and support the ELT as one team
Makes effective use of the relationships with ELT colleaguesRarely makes use of relationships with ELT colleagues
Understands the value of working closely with SLT and ELT to deliver organisational goalsFails to work with SLT and ELT to deliver organisational goals
Encourages autonomy downwards through the organisation by building capability and empowering colleaguesPlaces low priority on coaching and developing colleagues
Demonstrates an interest in, and an understanding of priorities and needs of othersShows disregard and a lack of concern towards priorities and needs of customers/colleagues
Promotes cross-functional working and takes appropriate actions to help make relationships work effectivelyEncourages narrow ways of working by preventing own area from engaging and collaborating across functions/departments
Recognises and acknowledges the contribution of othersPays no attention to or undervalues the contributions of others

Band C - Co-operative
Positive IndicatorsNegative Indicators
Shows receptiveness to being managed and co-operates willingly with othersShows resistance to managerial guidance and support from others
Takes time to learn about the activities of other departments in the organisationNot interested in learning about the activities of others in the department and organisation
Able to relate to colleagues across various departments in the organisationRelations with colleagues are restricted to their own department
Recognises when others may be struggling and offers appropriate supportAllows others to struggle or offers the wrong level of support
Openly shares information and knowledge with colleagues across the organisationActs selfishly by keeping information to themselves
Consults with relevant colleagues across the organisation to support own workDoes not value how colleagues across the organisation can support them
Makes a conscious effort to make the working environment more inclusiveShows limited interest in working collaboratively in a team environment

Band D - Co-operative
Positive IndicatorsNegative Indicators
Shows tolerance and considers customers and colleagues point of viewIs impatient and fails to consider the views of customer and colleagues
Enjoys team activities and works well within a teamOnly works well in isolation from the rest of the team
Actively helps create a positive, supportive team environmentDoes not contribute to efforts to create a positive, supportive team environment
Able to build positive working relationships with colleagues/customers to help them to the best of their abilitiesIs unapproachable and keeps to themselves, reluctant to help colleagues/ customers
Learns from othersDoes not value the experiences of others


We deliver timely and excellent results focusing on quality outcomes for our customers.

Band A - Outcome-Focused
Positive IndicatorsNegative Indicators
Develops strategic plans around achieving excellent serviceGives little attention to meeting service requirements when implementing strategic plans
Provides direction and clearly outlines what is expected of the leadership teamSets unrealistic goals and confusing priorities which cause frustration within the leadership team
Drives a quality culture encouraging a clear commitment to delivering excellent resultsAccepts substandard performance in all areas of work
Strengthens organisational performance by leading on commercial management and strategic resourcingShows little commercial understanding and allows ineffective organisational performance to continue, resulting in loss of resources and revenue
Sets demanding quality standards and monitors organisational outputs against these standardsUnconcerned about quality standards of organisational outputs
Is action oriented and makes things happen to drive excellence and value in all services providedDoes not proactively tackle issues allowing for service to be negatively affected by inaction

Band B - Outcome-Focused
Positive IndicatorsNegative Indicators
Focuses on the future and takes a strategic perspective on issues and challengesFocuses mainly on the short-term, only considering immediate issues or challenges
Plans and sets priorities in line with the Councils future directionPlans and priorities are not in line with the Council's future direction
Initiates action quickly; effectively responds to demands and needs of the situationTakes little or no action to ensure the demands of the situations are met
Actively sets and follows through with actions to meet objectivesMakes no attempt to set actions to meet objectives
Approaches challenging tasks with confidence and determinationHesitant and/or reluctant to tackle challenging tasks
Takes independent action to achieve resultsNeeds to be instructed before taking action to achieve results
Sets clearly defined and challenging objectives and ensures they are achievedEstablishes objectives that are vague and unmeasurable and fails to monitor progress
Leads others to achieve high levels of outputs and consistently meets agreed performance/ behaviour standardsLacks impact on others, failing to effectively tackle poor performance/ behaviours

Band C - Outcome-Focused
Positive IndicatorsNegative Indicators
Is tenacious and works through challenges to achieve goalsIs reluctant to work through challenges to achieve goals
Accepts demanding tasks/goals and works effectively to achieve results and deliver a great customer servicePrefers easy tasks/goals and adopts inefficient work styles resulting in poor outcome for the customer
Approaches their own work in a logical and orderly manner to ensure objectives are metFails to prioritise their work taking an unstructured approach with little concern about meeting objectives
Makes every effort to always deliver quality outcomes for the customerCompromises on quality and often misses delivering to the customer expectations
Capably tackles a range of issues/ questions from both colleagues and customersUnable to tackle issues/questions from both colleagues and customers that fall outside their 'comfort zone'
Takes care to consistently maintain quality of own work and encourages colleagues to work to high standardsLacks consideration of quality in own work or that of others leading to poor outcomes

Band D - Outcome-Focused
Positive IndicatorsNegative Indicators
Sees things through to completion for the customerLeaves things unfinished directly affecting the customer
Takes a professional and consistent approach to work ensuring tasks are carried out productivelyLacks professionalism and takes an inconsistent approach to work
Acts with pace and delivers work in a timely manner to high quality standards for the customerDoes not recognise the customer's need for urgency and how best to deliver a desired outcome
Understands own role expectations and performance standards and works to these to deliver excellent service/ resultsLacks awareness of the expectations of others and performance standards
Completes all tasks assigned to meet the customer expectationsOften leaves tasks unfinished resulting in poor customer service
Checks work for errors to ensure high quality outcomes for the customerTakes no care to check own work and fails to consider the impact this has on the customer


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