Our values

At Dorset Council we:
  • are an advocate for Dorset on a local, national and global stage
  • work together with our communities and our partners to make things happen
  • put people first and design services around their needs now and in future
  • are open, accessible and accountable
  • use time and money wisely
  • value people and build on their strengths

Our behaviours

The Dorset Council behaviours form part of everything we do. You’ll need to be able to demonstrate them through the way you work.

When our attitude and approach is consistent with our values it leads to successful outcomes for us and our customers. This is why our own and the behaviours of our colleagues are so important to each of us.

The behaviours are an essential part of your performance management and development plans. 
They link to:
  • your annual appraisal meetings
  • every informal and formal conversation you have with your manager
  • the decisions and actions you and your manager take to achieve your targets
The behaviours are key to our success as a business and our vision to be an employer of choice.
We will update the framework to reflect our journey, as we shape and develop Dorset Council together.

Our behaviours framework

What we mean by behaviours is:

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

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

Our behaviour framework will be used to:

  • create job descriptions
  • make sure we recruit based upon a cultural fit, as well as a technical job fit
  • learn and development
  • help leadership and management discussions
  • help performance management

There are four behaviours we expect every employee to show. They apply to every employee regardless of who they are and what they do for the council. They are:

  • responsibility
  • respect
  • recognition
  • collaboration

We lead by example to encourage and inspire each other through these behaviours. By embodying these behaviours we can work together as One Team.

The following behaviour examples are a guide rather than an exhaustive list. They are here because we want to develop and discuss them. This will 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.

When responsibility is being demonstrated:

  • give constructive feedback on performance and behaviours
  • we seek 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

When responsibility is not being demonstrated:

  • 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

What responsibility means to our employees:


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.

When respect is 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

When respect is not being demonstrated:

  • 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

What respect means to our employees:


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.

When recognition is being demonstrated:

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

When recognition is not being demonstrated:

  • 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

What recognition means to our employees


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:

  • 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

When collaboration is not being demonstrated:

  • 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

What collaboration means to our employees

Our principles

We want to be:
  • an employer of choice
  • customer focused
  • effective and modern
  • a sustainable organisation

Our equality objectives

We will:
  • foster good relations with and within the community
  • develop and supporting a diverse workforce
  • develop, commission and deliver inclusive and responsive services