Staff Merit: What to Know as a Manager

April 19, 2024

As we quickly approach the start of this year’s staff merit cycle on Monday, May 6th, it’s important to remember that as a manager, one of your responsibilities is ensuring that your team members feel valued, motivated, and fairly compensated. Annual merit increases play a pivotal role in achieving these objectives. In this article, we’ll review the philosophy and purpose behind merit, eligibility, the overall process, as well as what you can do as a manager to prepare. 

Merit Philosophy and Purpose 

Merit is an increase to an employee’s base salary based upon past performance. Merit increases should not be used in place of a promotion, market adjustment or to alleviate perceived inequity, those should be addressed outside the merit cycle. By using merit for it’s intended purpose we are reaffirming that Baylor is a pay for performance organization. 

Who is Eligible? 

All regular, non-temporary staff hired before the start of merit are included in the merit process. We do not have a date that an employee has to be hired by to be considered eligible. It is up to the individual departments to determine if an employee is deemed too new for a merit increase. However, please keep in mind that if an employee does not receive a merit increase this year, they will have to wait until next year to receive another.  

What is the Process? 

All managers of staff will receive an email on the morning of May 6th, letting you know that the staff merit cycle has officially opened. That email will also have a timeline for completion and job aid to help you navigate the system.  

You will be assigned a worksheet where you can enter your merit recommendations and submit your worksheet. By submitting your worksheet, this prompts your manager to complete their portion.   

It’s also important to remember that because merit is based on the philosophy of rewarding past performance, your merit allocations should also align with your employee’s performance review scores. If you have any questions regarding how much you should allocate to an individual, please reach out to your assigned HR Consultant (HRC) for guidance. 

How to Prepare 

Prior to the May 6th start date, ensure all of your employee’s annual performance reviews are complete and submitted. The performance review scores are included in the merit form so that section will be left blank if the performance review is not completed on time.  

Also, if you know of any pending job or base pay changes for any of your employees, verify with your HRC that these changes will be complete prior to the beginning of merit so that those changes are reflected on the merit worksheet.