The Dorset Council behaviours form part of everything you will do and you’ll need to be able to demonstrate them through the way you work. It’s not just what we do, but also how we do it, that is measured by our managers; and by our customers, councillors and colleagues throughout our interactions with them. This is why our own – and our colleagues’, behaviours are so important to each of us.

Our Behaviours - what these mean to our employees

Look at the videos below to hear what our behaviours mean to our employees:

Dorset Council Behaviours diagram

Dorset Council - Our Behaviours

The behaviours are an essential part of your performance management and development plans, which link your annual appraisal meetings and every informal and formal conversation you have with your manager, as well as the decisions and actions you both take to achieve your targets.

Demonstrating attitudes and approaches which are consistent with our values can lead to achieving successful outcomes for us and our customers.

As we join together to create a brand-new organisation, Dorset Council, the behaviours, attitudes and approaches we take will be key to our success as a business and our vision to be an employer of choice.

Our people are our most important asset which is why the behaviours described in this framework have been developed in partnership with our employee forum. Developing our behaviours together has helped us to understand our existing organisations, what we can take with us into Dorset Council, and what we would like to leave behind.

We will continue to evaluate the framework to reflect our journey, as we continue to shape and develop Dorset Council together.

What do we mean by behaviours?

Behaviours are the attitudes and approaches we take to work:

  • how we expect to be treated
  • what we say and how we say it
  • how we treat others
  • how we do things

Why do we need a behaviour framework?

  • to bring consistency to how we work
  • build positive, collaborative working relationships
  • shape and influence the right cultures for Dorset Council
  • set out organisational standards of behaviours

How will the behaviour framework be used?

  • job descriptions
  • recruitment - to make sure we recruit based upon a cultural fit, as well as a technical job fit
  • learning and development
  • leadership and management discussions
  • performance management e.g. appraisals

Our behaviours

There are four behaviours we expect every employee to demonstrate, regardless of who they are and what they do for the council. In how we work and communicate, whether internally or externally, we should be leading by example to encourage and inspire each other through these behaviours: Responsibility, Respect, Recognition. By embodying these behaviours we are able to work collaboratively together as One Team.

The examples given against each behaviour describe the type of things that you might see individuals demonstrating. These examples are a guide rather than an exhaustive list and are here to be developed. This framework has been designed to aid discussions across Dorset Council, to help us work towards a positive workplace culture. 


We act with integrity. We are honest and we don't attribute blame when something goes wrong. We are all part of the solution.

Our behaviours - Responsibility
When responsibility is being demonstrated When responsibility is not being demonstrated


  • give constructive feedback and seek out feedback on our own performance and behaviours
  • deliver what we promise
  • are open and transparent
  • learn from mistakes
  • take ownership
  • standby and support difficult decisions


  • blame others
  • defer decision making without a good reason
  • don't respect other people's work or deadlines
  • avoid difficult conversations with colleagues, partners or customers


We are aware of our impact on others. We treat people fairly and have high expectations of ourselves and others, and value differences in approaches and opinions. We instigate and lead through positive behaviour.

Our behaviours - Respect
When respect is being demonstrated When respect is not being demonstrated


  • are welcoming and friendly
  • adapt our approach to help build good working relationships
  • recognise and value the differences between people, placing a positive value on those differences
  • manage our reactions professionally and calmly
  • keep promises
  • demonstrate empathy and recognise alternative perspectives


  • treat people differently based on their role / position
  • are insensitive or unhelpful
  • exclude people
  • instigate or take part in gossip
  • make excuses for poor behaviour or protect others' poor behaviour
  • work on other tasks during meetings, instead of being responsive and contributing to the discussion


We appreciate and value the contribution of individuals and teams for work well done.  We lead by taking time to provide feedback and share lessons learned and achievements to support the organisation's development. We celebrate commitment and success.

Our behaviours - Recognition
When recognition is being demonstrated When recognition is not being demonstrated


  • give positive feedback
  • acknowledge good behaviour and respectfully challenge poor behaviour
  • value every contribution in success
  • create a positive team spirit


  • take credit for other people's work
  • instigate or encourage a blame culture
  • undermine or act negatively when someone receives recognition
  • use recognition for self-promotion

One Team: Collaboration

We work with colleagues, residents and partners to achieve the best possible outcomes. We feel confident to share ideas, we listen and respect other points of view and set this example to each other. We value the power in combining our personal qualities, skills and experience to achieve a shared goal.

When collaboration is being demonstrated and when it isn't
When collaboration is being demonstrated When collaboration is not being demonstrated


  • spend time building positive relationships
  • are flexible in our attitude and approach
  • share information and expertise without being asked to
  • invite and support others to try new possibilities
  • work through conflict to create conditions for successful working
  • work to find the simplest way to do things
  • work together, not in competition


  • don't share information or are reluctant to contribute
  • don't value or respect contributions from others
  • avoid working across departments or teams
  • are not flexible in our attitude and approach
  • take credit for other people's work