University of California, Riverside

Human Resources

About Pay for Performance

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Pay for Performance
a merit based salary program for non-represented employees


Pay for Performance is the compensation program for non-represented employees. Through the performance management process, which culminates in an annual performance review, the goal is to reward higher performance with higher pay.

Meaningful conversations between supervisors and employees about our work at UC Riverside should take place throughout the review period. The annual review, which occurs at the end of the performance year, is a time to celebrate accomplishments, evaluate performance, achievements and contributions toward the mission and goals of the university and think about how we can grow professionally. Your annual review is also the basis for determining your compensation for the year ahead.

It’s all part of our commitment to provide our non-represented employees with market-competitive performance-based compensation.

Process Improvements

The Chancellor’s Committee on Staff Compensation, comprised of human resources practitioners and leaders throughout the campus was established in March 2014 to review the then-current non-represented employee compensation practices and make recommendations to guide the future staff merit program. In October 2014, three workgroups were formed to develop recommendations in three key areas:  performance evaluations, merit-based salary program and strategic equity adjustments.

The Performance Evaluation Workgroup was charged with recommending improvements to the performance management process in support of four merit program principles that were based on broad manager and supervisor feedback:

  • Shared understanding of performance standards.
  • Meaningful differentiation between levels of performance.
  • Organizational Unit accountability for distribution of ratings.
  • Aligning the merit process with the performance management process.

Their work resulted in several recommendations:

  • Redesign performance factors, standards and rating scales.
  • Ensure factors, standards and rating categories are clear, understandable and consistently applied.
  • Increase accountability.
  • Incorporate a commitment to employee development.
  • Change timing of the performance appraisal process to support July 1 effective date for merit increases.

Actions for 2017 non-represented performance appraisal process:

  • Established 7 universal performance factors for all staff employees, and 4 additional performance factors for managers and supervisors.
  • Updated rating categories and descriptions to more effectively describe employee performance.
  • Created a comprehensive rating guide, with behavioral descriptors for each rating level for each performance factor, making it easy for employees and supervisors to understand and explain.
  • Created new appraisal forms.
  • Updating and co-locating employee and supervisor training and information tools to make them easier to find and use.
  • Providing more frequent and effective communication to help employees and supervisors throughout the process.
  • Adopting the use of calibration and merit distribution principles within each school, college and organizational unit, to create a stronger framework to ensure consistent evaluation practices.  


This is the process in which performance and performance ratings at each level are discussed and normalized within a group. The conversations determine what differentiates performance. The outcome of implementing this process will be to drive greater consistency in the rating process across the school, college or organizational unit. Each school, college or organizational unit has the flexibility to construct this process in the way that is most effective for them.

  • Within each school, college or organizational unit, an individual or group of individuals at the leadership level takes responsibility for coordinating and communicating the calibration and merit distribution process. 
  • Supervisors and managers within that school, college or organizational unit are directly engaged/involved with the calibration process.
  • Supervisors and managers are informed about the merit application process outcomes prior to communication with individual employees.

Distribution of Merit:

  • No across-the-board distribution. There is differentiation in the application of merit dollars.
  • The only factor considered in the application or distribution of merit funds is annual performance (e.g. equity and/or placement in the range/market are not considered).
  • Application of dollars/merit is consistent across performance ratings.
  • Supervisors are informed about the merit application process outcomes prior to communication with individual employees.

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

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Department Information

Human Resources
1201 University Ave., Suite 208
Riverside, CA 92507

Tel: (951) 827-5588
Fax: (951) 827-2672