Merit pay possible as morale booster

Jessica Kimpell

Recognizing and rewarding the contributions of the University’s staff would improve morale at the University, regents said Thursday at the Faculty, Staff and Students Affairs Committee meeting.
The Board of Regents discussed compensation and benefits policies for the University’s 4,943 staff employees but will not decide on the issue until its December meeting.
“It is a high priority and obligation for the board and administration to create an environment that encourages the performance and success of its staff,” said Regent Michael O’Keefe. It is “important for the culture of the institution,” he added.
Carol Carrier, vice president of the office of human resources, outlined several options for rewarding and recognizing the University’s staff, including nonfinancial awards along with merit-based salary increases.
“We think we are heading in the right direction with merit pay and would like more merit-pay rewards infused into the broader employee salary plans,” O’Keefe said. “It is an important concern that staff is rewarded for their contributions to the University.”
However, the board expressed concern about merit-based pay.
“There needs to be an objective and accurate evaluation system,” said Regent Dallas Bohnsack.
One of the board’s student representatives agreed that the board needed to show its appreciation of University staff.
“It is important to have communication between the board and the staff that their contributions are valuable and validated,” said Piyali Nath Sabino, a regents student representative.
Salary and benefits that are consistent with the market rate will help to recruit and retain employees, said Regent William Hogan II, chairman of the Faculty, Staff and Student Affairs Committee. “We want people to want to come to work.”

Jessica Kimpell welcomes comments at [email protected] She can also be reached at (612) 627-4070 x3238.