Supervisor Guide - Performance Base Building Increases

This document provides an overview for supervisors on providing base building increases for their staff.

Performance adjustments refer to a salary increase due to notable and sustained performance that meets or exceeds job standards.

Once a supervisor and/or department has identified an employee they believe is deserving of a performance base building increase they should reach out to their HR Business Partner. The HRBP will help initiate the following steps.

Step 1: HRBP - Determine employee eligibility

  • An employee must have successfully passed their probation/evaluation period. Employees on probation or serving in an evaluation period are not eligible for a performance increase.
  • Employees responsible for supervising staff must be up to date on performance evaluations to be eligible for this type of increase.
  • An employee must have a satisfactory performance evaluation on or after the previous fiscal year start date with no documented performance concerns.
  • An employee must be in compliance with the UW-Madison Policy on Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Policy and Cybersecurity Awareness Training 

Step 2: HRBP and Supervisor - Determine the amount of performance base-building increase

An important principle of the UW-Madison compensation program is the appropriate placement of salaries in the salary grades and managing salaries based on several factors, including employee knowledge, skills, performance, experience, and education/certification/licenses. Consistently following this principle helps to ensure that salaries are competitive as well as equitable.

  1. Your HRBP will calculate the employee’s Position in Range (PIR). Position in Range is a statistical expression of the relationship between the employee’s salary, and the salary range assigned to their position. This information along with the level of the employee’s performance will help us to determine the recommended amount of the performance increase to request for the employee based on the UW-Madison compensation philosophy and guidance related to pay for performance.

The salary grades and associated salary ranges that make up the UW compensation structure are wide enough to accommodate a variety of experience and performance levels, from novice to expert, while maintaining market-relevance. Salary ranges can be broken up into categories. For example, the UW Salary Ranges can be broken up into “Emerging in Grade”, “Established in Grade”, and “Advanced in Grade” categories. These categories are based on the common characteristics that we would expect an employee to have if their pay if their pay falls within them.

Emerging in Grade Established in Grade Advanced in Grade

Employee is in the first quartile of the salary grade assigned to their role (0-25% PIR)

Typically this employee is building knowledge and skills towards proficiency in the job

Employee is in the second/third quartile of the salary grade assigned to their role (25-75% PIR)

Typically this employee has the knowledge, skills, and abilities to handle the full breadth of job duties and displays increasing levels of proficiency and effectiveness in the role

Employee is in the fourth quartile of the salary grade assigned to their role (75%-100% PIR)

Typically this employee is an expert both in performing the responsibilities associated with the role and in serving as a resource and mentor to others performing similar duties

b. After determining where the employee’s pay lies within the salary range, the HRBP will discuss the employee’s performance level with the supervisor. The HRBP will review the performance management system (PMDP) to gain a better understanding of the sustained level of the employee’s performance based on supervisor evaluations. Supervisors should also be prepared to describe in detail the level of performance that the employee has exhibited, and why they believe it is appropriate to recognize the employee’s performance level with a pay increase.

*Please note that PMDP only allows for an overall rating of 'meets expectations' or 'not meeting expectations'. An employee can have an overall rating of 'meets expectations' on their PMDP evaluation but be considered 'exemplary' by the supervisor and/or department. Reviewing specific ratings within an evaluation can help the SMPH HR team determine an employee's overall performance. 

c. After determining where the employee’s pay lies within the salary range and discussing the level/type of performance that the supervisor would like to recognize via a pay increase, the HRBP will use the below guidance to work with the department to determine the appropriate increase amount for the employee. A department can request an amount outside of these guidelines if they feel it is justifiable (campus guidelines: minimum 1% or $.50 per hour, maximum: 10%).

Performance Emerging in Grade (0-25% PIR): Established in Grade (25%-75% PIR): Advanced in Grade (75% - 100% PIR)
Exemplary 4-6% increase 3-5% increase 1-3% increase
Meets Expectations 3-5% increase 2-4% increase 0-2% increase
Needs Improvement 0% increase 0% increase 0% increase 

Step 3: HRBP and Supervisor - Draft justification

Your HRBP will work with you to draft a justification for the requested increase. Please note that a request that falls outside of the above guidance will require additional justification and review by SMPH Leadership within the Dean’s Office.

Things to consider when providing a performance increase to an employee:

  1. How does the employee display exemplary performance outside of general expectations?
  2. What specific examples can be provided that justify the employees exemplary performance?
  3. Within an employee’s evaluation did they receive an ‘exemplary’ rating on multiple expectations?

Step 4: SMPH Compensation Team

The SMPH Compensation Team will review the request and work with the HRBP if there are additional questions or justification required. As noted above requests outside of campus and SMPH guidelines will require additional review prior to approval.

Performance Base Building Increase Quick Guide

  • Step 1: Supervisor identifies an employee they would like to recognize with a performance base building increase. Supervisor reaches out to HRBP for consultation.
  • Step 2: HRBP determines eligibility of identified employee.
  • Step 3: HRBP and supervisor determine the appropriate amount of the increase based on the employee’s position in range and performance:
Emerging in Grade Established in Grade Advanced in Grade

Employee is in the first quartile of the salary grade assigned to their role (0-25% PIR)

Typically this employee is building knowledge and skills towards proficiency in the job

Employee is in the second/third quartile of the salary grade assigned to their role (25-75% PIR)

Typically this employee has the knowledge, skills, and abilities to handle the full breadth of job duties and displays increasing levels of proficiency and effectiveness in the role

Employee is in the fourth quartile of the salary grade assigned to their role (75%-100% PIR)

Typically this employee is an expert both in performing the responsibilities associated with the role and in serving as a resource and mentor to others performing similar duties
Performance Emerging in Grade (0-25% PIR): Established in Grade (25%-75% PIR): Advanced in Grade (75% - 100% PIR)
Exemplary 4-6% increase 3-5% increase 1-3% increase
Meets Expectations 3-5% increase 2-4% increase 0-2% increase
Needs Improvement 0% increase 0% increase 0% increase 
  • Step 4: HRBP and supervisor draft a justification for the requested increase providing details about the employee’s performance and reasoning for the request. 
  • Step 5: The request is routed through the approval process. Please note that a request that falls outside of the above guidance will require additional justification and review by SMPH Leadership within the Dean’s Office.




Keywords:Performance, rate increase, pay adjustment   Doc ID:117897
Owner:SMPH C.Group:SMPH Human Resources
Created:2022-04-11 16:39 CDTUpdated:2022-04-15 09:20 CDT
Sites:SMPH Human Resources
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