Continuum of Contribution

The Continuum of Contribution is a tool to help managers take a broader look at employee contributions throughout the performance cycle when making annual merit increase decisions.

All staff, including non-managers, are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the CoC so that they may understand this process and thoughtfully participate in meetings with their manager.

Please see the list of Frequently Asked Questions below.

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  • What is the CoC?
    In response to feedback from employees and managers, ratings were removed from the performance management process. In previous years, initial merit increase decisions were based upon overall performance ratings. In the absence of ratings, managers needed a tool to help determine recommended merit increases. 
    The Continuum of Contribution (CoC) helps managers take a broader look at an employee’s contributions during the performance cycle. The CoC provides a framework for managers to consider three areas of employee contribution:
    • Impact on department results
    • Progress on stated goals and/or competencies
    • Employee professional development
  • How is the CoC used?
    Managers and leaders will use the CoC data to help them determine the best way to allocate merit increases across units and divisions.
  • What are the three parts of the CoC?
    The CoC looks at three areas of employee contribution: 
    • The employee has positively impacted department results.
    • The employee has made progress on their identified goals and/or competencies.
    • The employee has developed professionally.
  • How do I complete the CoC?
    Managers with at least one direct report can access and complete the CoC. Visit our Resources page for a job aid.
  • As a manager, what should I consider when completing the CoC?
    When completing the CoC it is important to consider each of your employees individually, rather than comparing them to one another. An employee’s contribution should be considered in light of their job responsibilities, the expectations set for them, and the quality of work of which they are capable. Reviewing previous UR Engaged Check-In conversations and other forms of feedback can be helpful when considering an employee’s contributions throughout the performance cycle.
    When considering the impact an employee has had on departmental results, consider their actions - large and small - that helped the department achieve its goals. 
    When it comes to goals and/or competencies, managers should remember that an employee’s contribution is not as simple as completing a goal or not. Work on goals and/or competencies may require more time that the normal performance cycle, or work on them may halt as priorities change. Therefore, managers should also consider the efforts made by employees while working on goals and/or competencies.
    At its core, professional development is about getting better at what you do. There are many ways to get better at what you do. If an employee has gained new knowledge, skills, or abilities that help them get better at what they do, then, they have developed professionally.
  • How do I know my CoC information?
    Employees should feel comfortable asking their managers about the CoC and managers should be prepared to share this information with their team members. Our Resources page has helpful conversation guides to assist you.
  • What should I do if one of my team members reported to a different manager for part of the performance cycle?
    If you were not an employee’s manager for the entire performance cycle, you can ask for performance feedback from the previous manager if they are still a member of the UR community. If you are able to get additional feedback from a former manager, make your CoC decisions based upon the employee’s performance while you have supervised them.
  • What should I do if one of my team members was hired less than a year ago?
    Employees whose first day of work is before May 8, 2023 will be eligible for a merit increase. 
  • How are merit allocation decisions made?
    Each division is responsible for a consistent allocation process with the goal of fair and equitable salary decisions. 
  • How can I gather more information on my employee’s contributions to make better CoC decisions?
    Managers are encouraged to consider multiple sources of information when making CoC decisions. Reviewing UR Engaged Check-ins with employees is a great source of information about contributions, as are any notes or documentation from regular meetings had with an employee. Managers should also consider talking with employees directly about contributions to gain perspective. Other colleagues and stakeholders that the employee works with often can also be a great source of information. Our Resources page has materials to help you.
  • Why are salaries freezing from May 8, 2023 until June 30, 2023?
    By freezing employee salaries we are able to set a fixed budget for merit increases. Without a fixed merit budget, the amount of money that leaders have to allocate for merit increases would constantly be changing as salaries change. 
  • Why do I have to wait until July for a promotion?

    Employee transfers and promotions impact the salary budget, which in turn affects the merit budget. By pausing on transfers and promotions from May 8, 2023 until June 30, 2023 we can ensure a fixed merit budget during the merit process. Beginning July 1, 2023 transfers and promotions occurring during the freeze period will be processed retroactively.