University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources

Merit Pay for Civil Service Employees

Civil Service Merit Pay Programs Enhanced

During 2005 and 2006, the Compensation Division and the Civil Service (CS) Committee collaborated on a review of the Performance Merit Pay for Civil Service staff. The purpose of the Merit Task Force was to:

  1. Develop and revise University wide guidelines and templates to assist units in managing civil service merit pay
  2. Develop communication materials and training that facilitate the movement of colleges and departments to merit pay
  3. Understand current U of M programs and build interest and support for performance management and reward programs

The Task Force work included several tasks:

  • Surveying peer universities, and public and private organizations
  • Gathering information on merit pay programs currently in use at the University of Minnesota
  • Interviewing Deans and Department Heads
  • Collaborating with the CS Committee

Key Findings


  • Eight out of ten Big Ten Universities have some form of merit pay for staff
  • Merit takes on many shapes and forms
  • Most universities allow flexibility by college in merit delivery

University of Minnesota Practices

  • Some doing a good job of rewarding now, in ways other than merit
  • Many indicated interest in moving to merit for Civil Service employees
  • All were in support of central HR being proactive in regards to merit


Based on the findings of these surveys, the Task Force took the following actions:

  • Revised merit pay guidelines and policies
  • Developed templates, evaluations and other tools
  • Developed a training program