Staff Voice

Newsletter of the UC Davis Staff Assembly

April 8, 2016  |  Special Edition - P4P

Pay for Performance

Frequently Asked Questions
The the pay for performance (P4P) program for non-represented employees is in full swing.  Not surprisingly, staff have submitted some questions about P4P and its implementation. In this special edition of Staff Voice, we are highlighting the frequently asked questions and answers regarding non-represented staff P4P.        

Why are non-represented employees part of a “pay for performance” program, when represented employees aren’t?  It doesn’t seem fair.
The wages and working conditions for represented employees are subject to the contracts negotiated by labor unions and the University of California Office of the President. Pay for performance is considered a working condition; so the application of this program to represented employees must be negotiated and agreed to through the collective bargaining process.
This is not the case for non-represented employees.  President Napolitano mandated implementation of a pay for performance model for all locations effective in fiscal year 2016-2017. She states that “recognizing and rewarding outstanding performance and differentiated pay practices based on employees’ accomplishments will help motivate people to achieve superior results.”
I heard that there is a 3% merit “pool”.  Does this mean that if I fully achieved expectations I am guaranteed a 3% merit raise?
The university has set aside a dollar amount equal to 3% of the total eligible salaries of non-represented staff to reward superior performance. This creates the “pool” of funds from which merits are allocated. At UC Davis, dean’s and vice chancellors are responsible for administering their share of these funds.  This is referred to as the merit distribution process.  In the context of a “pay for performance” program, the percentage of merit applied for a particular rating can vary depending on two factors. They are: 1) how the appraisal ratings are distributed across categories; and 2) the total dollar amount of funds available.
Here’s a link to a merit distribution workflow that provides a visual representation of the process:
Is a self-assessment or summary of accomplishments required?
The only part of the appraisal process that is required is the appraisal itself.  The self-assessment/summary of accomplishments is not required. However, it is truly in the best interest of every employee to complete a self-assessment/summary of accomplishments. Please see the next question.

My supervisor has asked me to write a self-assessment or summary of accomplishments. Why should I do this and what tools are available to help me write this?

Completing a self-assessment or summary of accomplishments is important because it can:
  • Help supervisors understand how employees view their strengths and weaknesses
  • Remind or inform supervisors of employee accomplishments, growth and challenges during the year
  • Describe goals that were met during the year and provide an opportunity for employees and supervisors to discuss an employee’s professional development and future career goals
  • Identify where there may be discrepancies between the employee’s and supervisor’s point of view regarding overall performance
Jessica Potts, Management Service Officer in the Department of Chemistry states:
'As a supervisor, I find the Summary of Accomplishments (SOA) an important piece of the appraisal process. The SOA gives the employee the opportunity to highlight their accomplishments throughout the year as well as express goals to their supervisor. Often times I find accomplishments on the SOA that I have forgotten and this allows me to highlight all the great successes in the EPAR document.'

There are several tools to assist you located on the P4P website at You will find a page on “How to Write a Self-Assessment” at If you need help with action verbs, there is a comprehensive list at

My supervisor mentioned that there would be a “ratings calibration process” in my college.  What does this mean?
Calibration is a process by which the ratings within an organization are normalized.  In other words, supervisors, managers and leadership determine collectively the criteria for an annual performance that is “Exceptional” or that “Exceeds Expectations”.  During this process they will ask questions like:
  • “What exemplary behaviors did they observe?”
  • “What significant impact did the individual’s accomplishments or goal achievement have on our unit/division/college/school or the university?”
  • “What significant accomplishments or goal achievement went above and beyond the individual’s daily work expectations?”
  • What unusual circumstances took place during the past year that presented an opportunity for excellence?”