Wrapping up a comprehensive study, AU is now in the
final stages of implementing changes to its compensation, classification,
and performance management system for non-faculty employees.
The new program, which applies to
administrative/professional and university staff personnel, will make job
descriptions, job titles, performance appraisals and salary administration
more consistent, clear, and fair across campus, said Lynne Hammond, AU’s
assistant vice president for human resources.
Capping more than two years of development, public
input and review, all features of the new system will be in place by the end
of the current fiscal year on September 30. Approximately 3000 full-time
employees will be impacted by the new system.
Hammond said no one’s salary will be reduced as a
result of the new program. “There will be no immediate impact on salaries,”
she said, “but the new system should make it easier for employees and their
supervisors to plan for career growth and document accomplishments to
justify future merit increases.”
AU began developing a new classification and
compensation system for A/P and Staff employees in 2004. Many employees saw
the first results of the classification and compensation project in January
of 2006 when the University implemented a new performance management system
for non-faculty employees. The new performance management process places
more emphasis on employee involvement in setting goals and encouraging
employees to take advantage of opportunities for growth and development.
With implementation of the new performance management system, AU converted
to a calendar year performance review cycle beginning each January.
Although AU could have significantly reduced the time
spent developing the system by limiting campus-wide participation in the
process, Hammond said there was a consensus among planners and
administrators that involvement by stakeholders was critical to designing a
system that is responsive to the needs of the University community,
including administration and employees.
“We started the job analysis process by asking all
employees to complete a job questionnaire, and we devoted a lot of time to
soliciting and incorporating feedback through other means, such as focus
groups, one-on-one interviews with campus leaders, and review of
questionnaires by two levels of supervision” said Hammond. “As a result, we
were able to provide every employee who will be impacted by the new system
an opportunity to provide input into his or her job classification and to
build a system that our employees and supervisors can take ownership in.”
In addition to being responsive to stakeholders,
Hammond said the new system is designed to be easier to understand, fairer,
more consistent and more reflective of market conditions than previous
classification and compensation practices. In the past, despite the
availability of standard policies and procedures, AU’s classification and
compensation practices varied from unit to unit and among various employee
groups, creating disparities in job descriptions, titles and compensation
for similarly situated employees across campus. In addition, the salary
structure for non-faculty employees was out-of-date and did not reflect
current market conditions.
The new system will include 19 salary grades, from
salary grade 24, the lowest, to 42, the highest. The salary grades will be
adjusted regularly to remain consistent with market conditions for each pay
grade. Positions may be reclassified to a higher salary grade when there
are major changes in job responsibilities or market conditions but not as a
mechanism to reward employees, said Chuck Gerards, director of
classification and compensation in AU Human Resources. Under the new
system, financial rewards will come through promotion or merit increases
based on documented performance.
During 2007, the process will be refined and fully
implemented, said Gerards. The next major step will involve training of all
supervisors across campus through a Web-based seminar, or Webinar. HR will
announce the Web site and release other relevant information as the March
The Web-based stage will be followed by the release of
personalized statements, job descriptions, compensation brochures and other
materials through HR liaisons in units across campus. Supervisors will be
asked to schedule one-on-one orientation sessions for staff members in their
units during March as the campus moves toward full implementation.