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Compensation 2014 Project moves into fourth phase of project

As the Compensation 2014 Project moves into the fourth phases of the initiative, the project team continues to make progress towards implementation and meeting project objectives by the Dec. 1 deadline. The University Human Resources Compensation Team initiated the COMP 2014 Project to satisfy the requirements of the University’s voluntary resolution agreement entered into with the Department of Education to comply with DOE regulations.

The COMP 2014 project team has completed the third phase of the project, including an analysis of documentation, which was utilized to develop a job framework consisting of job families, subfamilies, career tracks and levels. Through this process, the team created three career tracks that provide progression paths for employees of Ohio University, and have been identified as the following: Technical & Administrative Support, Individual Contributor, and Management.

Level guides have been developed that provide descriptions of requirements and responsibilities within each of the three career tracks. The level guides are available for review on the project website www.ohio.edu/hr/compensation/comp2014/level_guides.cfm.  

Descriptions of the levels of work being performed within each job family and across the relevant career tracks have been documented in job family grids. Building on the industry and compensation expertise of the team's consulting partner, Mercer, the team solicited feedback from subject matter experts across the University on the draft job family grids. Their feedback was incorporated into the grids prior to moving into the position-mapping step of the project.  

Once the job framework was established, Mercer and the Ohio University Compensation Team mapped each existing position to the new framework. A job framework overview is posted on the project website at www.ohio.edu/hr/compensation/comp2014/job_framework.cfm.  

The job mapping analysis developed by Mercer is based on their review of the job documentation and their industry knowledge and expertise in higher education compensation. Planning unit representatives were provided with guidance on how to review the data and were asked to familiarize themselves with the job family level guides and career tracks to gain an understanding of the overall structure. They were given direction and asked to focus on the roles, responsibilities and requirements of jobs within their respective planning unit and asked to verify that the jobs were assigned to the correct track and level, and that employees were mapped to the correct job. 

A working group from the COMP 2014 Steering Committee has been created to develop a communication plan prior to implementation of the project. The results of the employee mapping into the new structure will be communicated after completion of the Fair Labor Standards Act and Equity Analysis phases of the project have been completed.

Mercer and Ohio University developed and implemented a new compensation strategy, which also is available on the project website, www.ohio.edu/hr/compensation/comp2014/compensation_strategy.cfm. The compensation strategy defines the pay market, the desired position on the pay market, and how the desired level and position on the pay market will be achieved. The compensation strategy provides a clear guideline for the key compensation principles of the University and defines key strategic behaviors and values.

Concurrent with the position mapping, Mercer utilized the job framework to conduct a market analysis. This process included a review of published survey data to determine the competitive salary rate paid for similar benchmark jobs at other organizations. Applying higher education specific and general industry salary survey data, Mercer and Ohio University were able to benchmark 436 jobs (of a total population of 522 jobs) within the new job framework. The project team utilized both general industry and higher education salary survey data to determine competitive salaries. Mercer has reviewed the position mapping and market analysis data in order to develop a salary structure for the administrative and non-bargaining unit classified jobs.  

The next phases in the project include a Fair Labor Standards Act review and an equity analysis. Mercer will conduct a statistical analysis of base pay utilizing multiple regressions and will load and deliver their proprietary tool, the pay equity calculator, with Ohio University’s statistical regression modeling results. Mercer will leverage models to assess gaps between actual practices and compensation strategy. This phase of the project will evaluate potential risks for protected classes. The team anticipates this phase of the project will last through September 2014. A salary structure also will be finalized and communicated at this time.

As a reminder, while positions may shift grades as the University develops and transitions to the new structure, employee pay will not be reduced as a result of this effort. That commitment was made to employees at the inception of this project and has not changed. The project may result in increased pay in certain areas, based on a market and equity analysis; however, the University believes that pay is generally competitive, and does not expect that a large number of pay adjustments will be required. The University will continue to work through all steps of the project to determine the results.

Information contained in this story was submitted by Finance & Administration.