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HR Compensation: Pay for Performance

Date approved:
April 2012
Approved by:
Date to be reviewed:
March 2013
Reviewed by:
University Executive Administration
Date revised:
Revision number:
Compliance Committee:
As Scheduled


To describe the process for determining merit increases for Wheeling Jesuit University employees while maintaining consistency between similarly-rated employees and within the University's budgeted parameters.


2.1 Methodology

The performance pay adjustment ("merit pay") is predicated upon employee completion of predetermined measures tied to University goals as determined by the strategic plan. The performance evaluation, the vehicle used to make these adjustments, provides a means for discussing, planning and reviewing the performance of each employee. Regular performance evaluations:

  1. Help employees define and understand their responsibilities, provide criteria by which their performance will be evaluated and suggest ways in which they can improve performance;
  2. Identify employees with potential for advancement within the University;
  3. Help managers distribute and achieve departmental goals;
  4. Provide a fair basis for awarding compensation based on merit;
  5. Identify and develop an individualized Personal Improvement Plan (P.I.P.) when appropriate.

Performance evaluations influence pay, promotions and transfers, so it is critical that supervisors be objective in conducting performance reviews and in assigning overall performance ratings.

2.2 Schedule

Every individual in a management position within the University is responsible for the timely and equitable assessment of performance of his/her employees. Performance evaluations are conducted annually and generally at the conclusion of the fiscal year.

2.3 Merit Increase Planning

Overall merit budget allocations and individual merit increases are planned for and allocated prior to the start of the fiscal year. The merit pay program is designed to assist the University in planning and allocating pay and promotional increases that:

  1. Reward individual performance;
  2. Are market competitive;
  3. Are internally equitable;
  4. Are comparable with the University's operating budget; and
  5. Are equitably allocated among eligible individual employees.

2.4 Pay Increases

Merit increases subsequent to the performance evaluation are not guaranteed and are based upon prevailing University financials. If merit pay increases are provided, the employee's overall performance and pay level relative to his/her position and grade must be evaluated to determine if a merit pay increase is warranted. All increases should be consistent with the approved merit budget guidelines.

      1. Individuals in a management position within the University will be provided:
        • A Merit Pay Increase planning worksheet containing
          • Names and number of employees who they directly supervise;
          • The pay of each of those employees; and
          • The budgeted percentage increase.
        • An Increase Matrix guiding the managers on the equitable distribution of the funds allocated within their specific Worksheet based upon each employee's performance evaluation and position within pay grade.
      2. Merit increases may be in the form of a 'base' increase to the employee's base pay or a 'lump sum' increase which is paid out one time as a percentage of the employee's annualized pay and not added to the employee's base pay. The total merit increases paid to all employees, in base increases or lump sums, may not exceed the total provided in the Worksheet for that manager based upon the factors noted above.
      3. Merit increases must be supported by a performance evaluation for pay change processing. The manager will not discuss any proposed increases with the employee until all written approvals are obtained and the increases are subsequently confirmed back to the manager by Human Resources.
      4. Out-of-cycle pay increases must be pre-approved by the department manager, the Director of Human Resources, the Chief Financial Officer and the University President and only in compliance with the University's philosophy and procedures on compensation.

2.5 Equity Reviews

A manager may request an analysis of an employee's pay at any time he/she deems appropriate. This request should be made to the Director of Human Resources who will review the employee's pay in comparison to other employees in comparable positions. 

2.6 Responsibility

    1. Human Resources: In conjunction with the Finance Department, will be responsible for preparing Merit Pay Increase Planning Worksheets, an Increase Matrix and issuance to the appropriate managers with collection afterward for final review and checking before submitting to the Finance Department for pay changes. The Performance Evaluation form will be retained on-line (under the Human Resource Department) or issued in hard copy. Only the forms and Worksheets provided by Human Resources will be used; the completed performance evaluation will be retained in the employee's personnel file and the completed Worksheets will be retained in the merit pay adjustments file for that fiscal year. 
    2. Executive Management: Will be responsible for ensuring that all subordinate managers receive their Merit Pay Increase Planning Worksheets and Increase Matrices beforehand; ensuring that the total increases for their departments do not exceed the budgeted amounts afterward.
    3. Managers: Will be responsible for completing the performance evaluations and balancing the Merit Pay Increase Planning worksheets. The performance evaluation will be discussed and signed both by the employee and the manager to ensure that all strengths, areas for improvement and job goals for the next review period are clearly communicated. The manager completes the Merit Pay Increase Planning worksheet, obtaining merit increase approvals (from that manager's direct supervisor) and submitting the approved and final worksheet through the Executive Manager to Human Resources for processing.
    4. Pay increases must be supported by a performance evaluation for payroll processing. The manager will not discuss any proposed action with the employee until all written approvals are obtained and final approval to communicate changes is granted by Human Resources. Human Resources will review all pay increase/adjustment requests to ensure compliance with University policy and that they fall within the provided guidelines. 

2.7 Approval

Pay adjustments described above must be approved with the proper signature authority, through 2.8 of the Compensation Philosophy, through Human Resources before any changes are initiated.


The Director of Human Resources has the authority to change, modify or approve exceptions to this policy subsequent to review by the Chief Financial Officer and the University's Executive Administration team with the approval of the University President.


Policy Workplace Practices Performance Evaluations
Performance Evaluation Instrument (Administration)
Performance Evaluation Instrument (Staff)
Performance Improvement Plan (P.I.P.)

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