Retention Offers

When to use:

Use to retain a high performing individual or someone with unique skills/expertise working as an Officer of Administration in cases where there is a credible threat of employee departure to an external opportunity. Proof of a competitive offer is not required in order to request a retention increase, but a credible threat is required. This process is intended to be used when only a pay increase is being requested, not in situations where a pay increase is being requested concurrent to their position description is being changed. If the position description is changing in addition to the retention increase, the unit/department should consult with Talent Acquisition to determine the appropriate process to follow.

The process outlining retention approvals for Faculty can be found on the Office of the Provost website under Retention Salary Adjustments.

Process for Submitting Retention Increase Requests

  • Unit/Department submits written justification, proposed increase amount and potential comparators (if known), and providing information about the credible threat of employee loss
  • VP/Dean will sign the justification memo, indicating their support of the retention increase request and confirming the recurring funding source.
  • Unit/Department will submit the fully approved justification memo to
  • Once all approvals have been gained, HR will initiate PRF/EPAF to update Banner and Payroll with approved changes

Note: In most cases, increases will be effective only prospectively, beginning the pay period following HR’s receipt of the request with unit based approvals using the appropriate mechanism for the pay action (e.g. submission via the MyTrack requisition process or PRF).

Approval Process

HR will review every retention offer request to determine whether the proposed pay creates any initial Equal Pay Act concerns among comparator (common) positions. If the proposed pay does not appear to create Equal Pay Act concerns, HR will move forward the recommendation as approved by the area vice president. If the proposed pay appears to create Equal Pay Act concerns, HR will alert the unit of the Equal Pay Act concern, will share the compensation analysis, may request information about the bona fide factors of the employee, and discuss adjusting the proposed salary. If, following this consult, the area vice president wishes to proceed with the retention offer as outlined, HR will refer the proposed pay action and compensation analysis to the VPFA for consult with the area vice president for further discussion.

Important notes about retention offers

  • The process described above replaces the authority previously given to vice presidents to authorize retention offers with increases up to 20% over the employee’s current salary without exception approval.
  • We understand that time is of the essence for retention offers, and they will be prioritized accordingly.
  • In determining whether to make a retention offer, units should consider whether the person’s performance justifies a pay adjustment; the nature of the underlying position and whether the skills required to fill that position are difficult to recruit for; the impact of the pay adjustment on other employees in the unit (inversion and compression); and the credibility of the underlying retention threat. Units should also consider whether non-economic incentives are available to retain the person (for example, flex work arrangements, telecommuting options, a changes in work schedule that are operational feasible).
  • The university’s process for retention offers allows units to make retention offers based on credible threats and does not require having a competing offer in hand. Submitting retention offers for approval as soon as there is a credible threat allows for quick response, and does not obligate the unit to complete the retention increase if circumstances change.
  • Proposed retention offers cannot be communicated to employees or otherwise authorized before approval is complete. It is appropriate to let an employee with a competing offer know that we are considering our ability to counteroffer and will respond as quickly as possible.