The MERIT program is the performance management component of the compensation program for city employees. This integrated, three-tier system measures performance at the organizational, departmental and individual levels.
The primary goal of the MERIT program is to ensure that employee compensation reflects the standard of excellence shared in the city of Minnetonka.
- Market—One of the main objectives of the program is to improve the city’s ability to both recruit and retain valued employees. Toward that end, the program ensures the pay structure remains competitive in the market.
- Excellence Recognition—Excellence is highly valued in Minnetonka, and this standard is recognized. City employees consistently perform at the highest levels, and the program rewards them accordingly. A three-tiered system recognizes performance at all levels in the organization.
- Integrated—The overall system is integrated so the many pieces effectively complement each other. Although each component is unique, they interlock to provide employees with a fair level of total compensation.
- Teamwork—While each individual has unique needs that must be recognized, the program reinforces the city’s Shared Value that teamwork is essential to our common success.
Eligible employees participate in the three tiers of the excellence recognition program as described below.
The overall city component focuses on the entire organization achieving the city’s strategic goals. Staff are evaluated on how well they meet the values of the community, as established by the city council. The annual community survey is one tool that measures the organization’s success.
A formula determines a letter grade for the organization. The maximum amount employees receive for this component varies from $100–$500.
The departmental component measures whether departments complete their own goals and objectives. The performance of the entire team affects the success of the departmental component.
Key elements of the departmental component:
- Identify programs and services provided to internal and external customers.
- Define the purpose of the programs and services.
- Identify the strategic goals and key city council target areas accomplished by the programs and services.
- Develop specific, measurable, time-bound indicators relating to the program /service statement.
- Administer customer service surveys to measure the quality and effectiveness of the programs and services.
- Develop indicators relating to department administration and employee development.
- Calibrate the indicators to determine their appropriateness.
- Prepare the outcome report.
Each department’s score is determined by the successful completion of their indicators. The amount employees receive for this component varies from 0.5% to 2.5% of their base salary.
The individual component of the MERIT program is a tool to provide meaningful, honest feedback. Providing feedback to a coworker, supervisor, direct report, or department director gives them the information they need to continuously learn and grow in their professional lives. Each employee and his or her supervisor identify five or more feedback providers.
Key elements of the individual component:
- Shared Values—Feedback is provided about how the employee is doing in living the organization’s shared values. The shared values are:
- authentic communications
- contagious enthusiasm
- shared success
- outcome focused teamwork
- adaptable learning and innovation
- healthy human relationships.
- Goal accomplishment—Employees receive feedback about the accomplishment of goals they identified the previous year. Employees know in advance what they need to work on in the upcoming year.
- Supervisor feedback—Direct reports provide feedback on 12 aspects of a supervisor’s role.
Based on employee comments, no monetary award is attached to the individual component.
The Minnetonka City Council directed staff to design and implement a performance management component to the compensation program for city employees. As a result, an employee committee was formed representing a diagonal slice of the organization. The committee designed the MERIT program described above.