HR Performance Solutions Knowledge Base

Activating Discretionary Merit

The Discretionary Merit tool allows you the flexibility to set percentage and budget restrictions, so you can involve your managers in the merit process and give them the ability to modify a merit increase for their employees. With this feature, managers can be assigned the Merit Supervisor access level in Compease that allows them to make adjustments in the Calculate Specific Employee screen.

The Merit Supervisor access level will need to be assigned under User Security. First, select User Security, User Information, then the third tab: Assign Access Level. Select Merit Supv from the Access Level drop down. Then, select the employees from the left box that you would like to have access to the Merit Plan and transfer them to the right box using the arrows. Select Save and return to Merit Increase Planning.

Merit Increase Planning

Select the Increase Effective Year that your Merit Plan will be taking place.

Create, Copy or Select Merit Model: Create, Copy or Select the merit model on which you would like to utilize the discretionary merit feature. Refer to the Knowledgebase article “Select Merit Model” for instructions on selecting and adding merit models.

Discretionary Matrix: Activate the Discretionary Matrix feature on the Assumptions page for the model you are working with. This is done by checking the Utilize Discretionary Matrix checkbox. This will turn on the Discretionary Matrix feature for the selected merit model.

View/Edit the Matrix: When Utilize Discretionary Matrix is checked on the Assumptions screen, an additional column will be displayed on the merit matrix. Company Admins and Merit Model-All roles have the ability to set the percentages in this column. For merit supervisors who have access to the matrix, it will be read-only. The percentages that are entered into the new column will be added to the Matrix percentages to calculate the maximum percent restrictions.

Enter Budget Figures: The Assign Merit Supv Access tab provides two functions. The first function is to turn on/turn off access to a specific merit model for a manager in the Merit Supervisor role. The second function is to provide a field to designate a merit budget amount for that specific merit supervisor.

Supervisors will be unable to exceed this assigned budget amount. If the Merit Budget field is set to $0.00, the merit supervisor will not be constrained by a budget amount. Best practices recommend that you be consistent in applying the merit budget and either give a budget to all or none of your merit supervisors.

Copy Employees from Structured Comp and Apply the Matrix: After the matrix and Merit Supervisor decisions are complete, the next step is to copy the employees from structured compensation into that merit model. Then calculate increase for all employees to apply the figures/percentages in the merit model to your employees.

How Reports are Affected by Discretionary Matrix

  • Merit Increase Matrix Report: A new column titled “Additional Discretionary %" will display on this report if the Utilize Discretionary Matrix box was checked on the Assumptions screen.
  • Annual Compensation Plan by Employee: If a merit supervisor overrides the standard merit increase by utilizing a discretionary increase, their initials will display in the OVR field (override) on the report.
  • Annual Compensation Plan: Merit supervisors can now view the Annual Compensation Plan report. Only their direct reports will be visible to them.

Search Knowledgebase articles on the following topics to supplement this information

Merit Increase Matrix

User Security

Utilizing Discretionary Merit Increases - User Role: Merit Supervisor

View Matrix: Log in to Compease. For login instructions, contact your Company Admin. Once in the program, click on the Merit Increase Model description name you would like to enter and you will be taken to view the matrix and familiarize yourself with the merit increase parameters.

Review Employees: Calculate Employee/Specific Employee will bring you to a screen with access to all your employees. All calculations on this screen will happen automatically when data is entered in the percent or salary box. The various sections on the screen can be collapsed or expanded as desired. When merit supervisors log in, the sections are collapsed by default.

Field names and descriptions in the Merit Adjustment section of the screen are as follows:

  • Original Merit Increase %: Displays the standard merit increase as calculated based on the assumptions within the merit model according to the performance level and position-in-range (compa-ratio) of the employee.
  • New Percent Increase: Merit supervisor enters the desired discretionary percent increase. This figure will override the Original Merit increase. Once a figure is entered here, press the Tab button on your keyboard and the calculations will auto recalculate. The new salary data for the employee can then be viewed by expanding the Increase Information section at the bottom of the screen. Merit supervisors are not allowed to enter an adjusted merit increase percentage that is higher than the maximum percent (matrix + Additional Discretionary %). If attempted, the user will receive an error message.
  • New Salary($) Increase (for exempt) OR New Hourly($) Increase (for non-exempt): Displays the new salary based upon the figure entered in the New Percent Increase field. If you wish, you can enter a dollar increase amount here instead of entering a percentage in the New Percent Increase field. However, we recommend entering percentages instead so that it is consistent with the matrix.
  • Reset to Original Merit Increase %: Use this button if you wish to reset the increase to the original merit increase that displayed prior to entering a figure in the New Percent Increase field.
  • Discretionary Amount: This field applies to the merit supervisor discretionary budget only. It will display the budget amount allocated to the merit supervisor. It will update as increases are given to direct reports. Green font indicates the amount is equal to or under budget. Red font indicates it is in excess of budget.

When all figures are entered for the employee, click the Save button and proceed to your next employee.

Review Figures: When increase figures have been entered for all your employees, go to the Reports section and run the Annual Compensation Plan Report. This will allow you to see the data you entered and the calculations for all of your employees.

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