Achieve Together Merit

Linking Achieve Together with Merit

Merit will be assessed based on the five indicators in the Achievement Criteria, in addition to documentation from check-in conversations.

Achievement Criteria:

  • Collaboration
  • Goal Accomplishment
  • Inclusion & Belonging
  • Innovation
  • Job Mastery

There are three Performance Levels for each of the criteria:

  • Needs Attention
  • Well Done
  • Stand Out
Person giving a thumbs up sign

To determine the Performance  Level, managers will refer to notes from check-in conversations, compare them to the behaviors for that particular criteria and identify an Performance Level that aligns most closely with performance within the merit evaluation timeline (April 1-March 31). Check out the Achievement Criteria with definitions for each criterion at each Performance Level.

Managers will assess the level attained across each of the five criteria (e.g., Job Mastery = Well Done, Goal Accomplishment = Well Done, Inclusion & Belonging = Stand Out, Collaboration = Stand Out, Innovation = Well Done) to determine an overall Performance Level, considering overall performance contributions and documentation from three check-in conversations.

If an individual contributor or manager/supervisor gets a Needs Attention for any one of the four criteria they are not eligible to receive an overall Performance Level of Stand Out. Those with an overall Performance Level of Needs Attention are not eligible for merit increases. All other Performance Level/merit decisions should be confirmed in the unit calibration meeting.

Why this change?

In order to continue to build collaborative partnerships between managers and staff, we need to broaden our focus to not only reward goal achievement, but also job mastery (knowledge, skills, and abilities to do the work), inclusion & belonging (how we are collectively responsible for valuing, respecting, and celebrating diversity) collaboration (how we contribute to the success of others) and innovation (how we seek efficiencies and improve work outcomes).

What does this mean for merit pay?

Salary increases are granted to eligible employees in career, contract and partial-year career positions based upon their job performance. Merit eligibility is contingent upon completing six months of service in PPSM. Managers should determine an employee’s salary increase based on a pay for performance approach given the overall Performance Level.

Recommended* Salary Increase Guidelines

Overall Performance Level Needs Attention Well Done Stand Out
Increase Percentage 0% 2-4% 3+%

 *These are recommended percentage increases only (based on a 3% salary program) and will vary by unit based on unit calibration

When? Adjusting the merit timeline

The merit cycle is being adjusted, so merit conversations happen in April/May (rather than August/September), allowing unit managers to have calibration meetings and assign merit early enough that it can be effective July 1, and paid soon thereafter. To make this shift there will be a truncated merit evaluation cycle from 7/1/2019-3/31/2020. Thereafter the merit cycle will be 4/1/-3/31. 


Adjusting the merit cycle will eliminate the need for retroactive pay adjustments, allow you to have your money earlier (rather than waiting until October), and align us with the other UC campuses that have eliminated retroactive merit pay.

Note: merit dates are approximate and dependent on merit funding availability. Campus will receive additional information from UCOP as we near the 2021 merit cycle closure.