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Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked QuestionsWhy are we doing this project?Lehigh has established an aggressive set of goals for the future. The importance of highlymotivated and talented staff who can contribute to the accomplishment of those goals will help determine how successful we will be as an institution. To ensure the desired level of organizational commitment from the staff, it is imperative that they are appropriately valued and compensated.What do we hope to accomplish through this project?- To define and effectively communicate a formal compensation philosophy to ensure internal equity and external competitiveness.- To develop a flexible, contemporary job evaluation program that incorporates both the exempt and nonexempt staff positions into one comprehensive system.- To develop appropriate policies and protocols to recognize and reward staff and to support career development goals.What is a “formal compensation philosophy”?A formal compensation philosophy is a written document that describes how the University values and compensates its employees. It defines what the compensation program is designed to accomplish. Among the issues addressed in such a document could be: the identification of the labor markets in which we compete for talent; the degree to which we will be competitive with specific labor markets; the relative mix of cash and non-cash compensation; how we should reward extraordinary accomplishments by individual staff or teams; and, how staff will be compensated as they develop additional skills in their areas of expertise.Why do we need a job evaluation method, salary levels or grades, and compensation policies?Job evaluation, salary levels or grades, and compensation policies are key components of a comprehensive compensation program. In isolation, these components are of limited value. When integrated to reflect competitive labor market pay rates, they are management tools used toprovide a framework for compensation decisions. One goal is to ensure the equitable treatment of staff in all areas of the institution. Another goal is to provide guidance to supervisors as they make compensation decisions such as setting appropriate hiring salaries for new employees and recommending salary increases for continuing employees. What kind of job evaluation method will we have?We won’t know what the new program will be until after we’ve gathered information from the management and staff about what they need or want from the program.Will the new compensation program be radically different from our current program?We don’t know. In addition to implementing a new job evaluation process, we need to review all of our staff compensation policies and practices to see if they will be continued or revised in the future to meet the needs of the University and its staff.Will my salary change?Most salaries will not change as a result of this project. The University’s compensation levels are generally competitive with the local labor market for nonexempt staff and with other universities for exempt staff. For the majority of staff, there will be no change to the salaries they receive. However, if there are specific jobs that are not paid appropriately, individuals doingthose jobs may see a salary increase. We do not anticipate that staff will have salaries reduced as a result of this study.Will my job level or title change?All staff positions will be evaluated under the terms of a new, not-yet-defined job classification method. It is impossible to predict the impact of the changed methodology. It is very possible that jobs currently in the same salary level could be classified in different levels under a new system. This does not mean that individual jobs have been “upgraded” or “downgraded.” Since the methods of classification will be different, there is no direct comparison possible.Will my position be eliminated as a result of this project?This project will address Lehigh’s staff compensation policies and practices. A review of staffing levels is not included in the scope of this project. Why is Lehigh using consultants?A project of this size will require the involvement of all staff and supervisors on campus. From the Human Resources (HR) side, there is a great deal of communication, training, research,data gathering, and analysis that is necessary. The HR office does not have sufficient staff to commit to working on this project full time and meet the daily needs of the University staff. They’ve chosen to employ Segal/Sibson, a consulting firm with extensive experience in Higher Education salary and benefits administration, to assist with the project. Segal/Sibson will serve as a resource for HR but will not be making the decisions about the program. HR will be working directly with senior management on policy and design issues. The actual evaluation of jobs will be reviewed by HR and various levels of supervision. These responsibilities have not been delegated to Segal/Sibson. What is the Staff Employment Value Strategy?A comprehensive package of rewards will acknowledge the important contributions of the staff and will enable Lehigh to attract, retain and motivate highly qualified staff. Its elements will include: - Salary levels that are competitive with Lehigh's markets, that reflect the economic value of the job, and that reflect the type and quality of work performed - Cash-based rewards for performance that directly support achievement of Lehigh’s goals - Benefits that are equitable and competitive with similar institutions and Lehigh Valley employers - Career opportunities for employees who are ready, willing, and able to expand the scope of their responsibilities and increase their contributions - Professional development that is aligned with department goals and the University's strategic plan through course work, on-campus training, off-site training, and participation in professional associations - Work that is interesting and engaging- Affiliation with a nationally-recognized university that maintains a closely-knit and collaborative communityHow much time will staff and supervisors have to give to this project?We have already mentioned the focus groups and individual meetings that the consultantswill conduct in the first phase that is now underway. Once the new program is designed, we will ask staff and their supervisors to provide us with information about their jobs. During the spring semester 2004, we expect to gather this information by

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