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Compensation Guidelines

As HR Compensation continues to assess how to best invest limited institutional resources, it is imperative that we implement and promote UAB-wide employee compensation practices that effectively support our most important asset — our workforce. To assist with these decisions, the following Compensation Guidelines are provided for UAB Medicine and academic/administrative units:

  • Fiscal Year 2021

    Click on image below to download/print FY21 document.

    FY21 UAB Academic & Administrative Guidelines
    (posted 7/13/2020)
  • Fiscal Year 2020

    Click on an image below to download/print FY20 documents.

    FY20 UAB Academic & Administrative Guidelines
    (posted 6/23/2019)
      FY20 Salary Distribution Plan Template
    (posted 6/23/2019)

    Submit PDF via email
    or submit online HERE
      FY20 UAB Medicine Guidelines
    (posted 8/1/2019)
  • Incentive Plan Proposal Guidelines

    The purpose of an incentive compensation plan is to motivate and reward employees for exceeding normal job expectations in support of departmental and institutional goals.

    An incentive plan proposal should include...

    ✓ Situation or background summary
    ✓ Objective or purpose of the plan/program
    ✓ Proposal, program or recommendation
    ✓ Analysis of the advantages and potential adverse consequences
    ✓ Cost justification
    ✓ Timing of payouts

    An incentive plan proposal should be...


    • No more than five elements
    • Calculation on each element must be easy to communicate and understand


    • Majority of participants must be able to impact each element
    • Participants must have a high level of direct control over the elements


    • Must have an objective systematic measure
    • Must be able to administer program at location level


    • Reasonable goals that ensure a strong participation rate
    • Targeted bonus amount must be motivational
    • Goals must be set prior to implementation


    • Must have start and end dates
    • Must be reviewed periodically and enhancements made as needed subject to executive and compensation approval

    Incentives are intended to be self-funded and are intended to be consistent with the total compensation levels of the external labor market. Overall, we want to ensure fairness to employee, return on investment, effective motivational qualities and goal congruency between the system and the employees.

  • Merit Matrix Guidelines

    UAB is introducing a merit matrix as a guide to help managers determine how to:

    • 1. Distribute a standard merit pool across your team
    • 2. Ensure a consistency between performance and merit

    An example of a merit matrix based on a 2% merit pool is provided for your reference.

    What is a merit matrix?

    A merit matrix is a table created to help managers equitably allocate their merit pool dollars across their employee population.

    Why should I use one?

    A merit matrix provides broad range merit increase bands that are based on the merit budget and employee job performance. It is a guide to help you distribute your merit pool equitably based on individual performance.

    Merit Matrix Example

    Overall Rank/Score
    Rank Definition
    Merit Increase Range
    1 Unsatisfactory 0
    2 Needs Improvement 0
    3 Met Expectations 1.0-2.5%
    4 Exceeds Expectations 2.0-3.5%
    5 Exceptional 3.0-4.5%
    NOTE: Merit increases begin at an overall score of 3 or higher.

    This is a sample merit matrix; departments/units may choose to use this matrix or a variation.

  • Guidelines for the Use of Working Titles

    The UAB compensation and classification structure provides classification titles that are descriptive of the work performed, consistent within assigned job families, and titled within the character limitations of the HRIS operating system. However, when a more specific title would serve the unit’s operational interest, a working title or functional title may be used to describe the function of the position in even greater detail or in more easily recognized terms in both internal and external communications.

    The Philosophy of Working Titles

    • Titles will match the position description scope and responsibilities and reflect the job family to which the position has been assigned.
    • Title usage should be consistent throughout the institution.
    • Titles should be consistent with those in a similar setting or field such as higher education or the healthcare industry.
    • Titles should be appropriately ranked within the hierarchical job role standards.

    Acceptable Use of Working Titles

    Working titles may be used in lieu of the University classification title for the following:

    • Recruitment searches and job postings to meet job market titling trends or to better describe the job role and scope.
    • Departmental specific job descriptions or job description addendums held within the department.
    • For business correspondence, both internal and external to the University to clarify the job role and job scope.

    Working Titles Should Not...

    • Duplicate a title used in another employee group for an already established job role.
    • Misrepresent the University or the authority of the position in any way. The use of a working title cannot create inflated or inaccurate expectations of the individual’s job role, job scope or authority.
    • Use any title that is recognized as an institutional officer such as President, Vice President, Dean, Chief, Provost or other titled positions that are generally recognized as institutional officers.

    Determining the Need for a Working Title

    In determining the need for a working title, the supervisor and the employee should consider the following:

    • Does the University job classification title adequately describe the function of the job assignment for professional business communications inside and/or outside the University?
    • Are there other terms that would clarify and more accurately describe the function of the job assignment?
    • Would a working title provide a more accurate and recognizable understanding of the relationship between jobs and/or function within a work unit or organization?
    • Does the proposed working title follow the philosophy and acceptable use of guidelines established in this document?

    Supervisors should discuss their interest in a working title with their departmental leadership and unit Human Resources Representative. When an appropriate working title has been identified, the unit Human Resources Representative will initiate discussion with Senior Human Resources Leadership if deemed necessary. Consideration in working title reviews will include the guidelines established in this document as well as any additional organizational guidelines that may be established within a specific college or division, the consistency of titles within units or professions, and/or other relevant factors when approving requests for working titles. Senior Human Resources Leadership may also change or withdraw approval of a working title with notice provided to the individual(s) impacted.

    Download/print Guidelines for the Use of Working Titles (PDF)