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An update on the compensation study

The project will next focus on establishing a structure and fair, consistent procedures.

By Lindsey Coulter

May 29, 2019

Students walking outside of King Center on Auraria campus.Last year, Metropolitan State University of Denver secured a compensation firm, Innovative TR Solutions, to begin a multiyear process of reviewing and studying the institution’s staff and administrator compensation structure. The compensation study aims to help the University design a compensation structure that supports our shared mission, while also allowing the University to create a base pay structure to ensure that we are hiring and retaining talent and allowing for career progression. The ultimate goal is to ensure that MSU Denver offers equitable compensation within the marketplace and to build our reputation as a career destination of choice.

To date, the University has completed a staff/administration Employee Satisfaction/Total Rewards survey with the help of IMA Financial Group. Results of that survey helped the University identify that compensation levels remain a source of dissatisfaction for many employees and are a main reason employees leave the University.

The University has also explored adding additional compensation-survey sources and data beyond the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources to get a wider compensation perspective, which could provide us with more robust data.

“Adding new data and sources will allow us to broaden our salary ranges, providing more flexibility to make initial hiring and longer-term hiring decisions over the course of the employee’s career,” explained Angela Bender, associate director of talent strategy.

The next step is to validate initial results by reviewing the data, meeting with department supervisors and developing a salary range and structure that takes into account job duties, functions, career levels and more. Following this, the Human Resources team managing the review project will focus on building an organizational structure to include fair and consistent compensation procedures and practices, system integration, campus communication tools and training, and a faculty salary review. The team will meet with various campus groups as well as with supervisors to better understand department needs and design the structure accordingly.

“This will allow us to practice compensation consistency and fairness for positions across MSU Denver,” Bender said. “The main objective is to develop a structure that adds value to our sustainability as an organization so we can make informed pay decisions and support our employees within their career progression.”

Bender also clarified that the process is not intended to provide across-the-board pay increases or immediately fix problem areas. The team is focused on creating a sustainable structure that allows us internal fairness and external competitiveness. 

HR is committed to maintaining consistent communication with employees throughout the project via one-to-one, group and department meetings as well as through the Early Bird. Questions about the compensation study can be directed to Bender or HR Generalist Jessica Ward.

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