Staff Compensation System: Market Recalibration

Western Michigan University launched a new, market-based staff compensation system on July 1, 2015. Upon launch of the new compensation system, WMU decided upon and communicated a four-year time frame for conducting a market update or "recalibration" of the system.

Human Resources, in collaboration with Aon, our consulting partner for the staff compensation project, led a market recalibration project in 2018-19.  


  o View video from the Project Report MeetingsA Bronco Net ID and password are required to access the video.

  o View video from the Town Hall Meetings. A Bronco Net ID and password are required to access the video.

Project steps

  • Market benchmarking, November 2018. 
  • Salary structure analysis, January 2019.
  • Review of market benchmarking and salary structure analysis, February-March 2019.
  • Financial impact analysis, March-April 2019.
  • Final approval of pay grade changes and any pay adjustments, April 2019.
  • Campuswide project report meeting May 14, 2019.
  • Notice to impacted employees May 15, 2019.
  • Effective date of changes, July 1, 2019.

project updates

  • Sept. 28: Presentation to Business and Finance leadership team.
  • Oct. 9: Project team and SCS job evaluation committee briefing with Aon.
  • Oct. 10: Campuswide town hall meetings hosted by Aon and WMU Human Resources.
  • Oct. 11: Presentation to Academic Affairs budget staff.
  • Oct. 17: Presentation to Academic Forum.
  • Nov. 2: Conference call with WMU project team members and Aon.

     o Discussed Aon’s progress with market data: Aon received the first set of data and is working on drafts of market matches to present to executive leadership during benchmark meetings.

     o Discussed communication avenues and ideas for enhancing the project website, which will be updated throughout the project. A WMU News article will be published in late November to update the campus community on the project thus far.

  •  Nov. 14-15: Benchmark meetings.

      o Reviewed survey matches for WMU benchmark jobs with members of the President’s Cabinet.

      o Confirmed matches or made adjustments, as appropriate. 

  • Dec. 7: Conference call with WMU project team members and Aon.

      o Aon revised the first set of market data based upon discussions with executive leadership and project team members during the benchmark meetings in November.

      o Aon sent the revised market data to the HR team for review. HR is in the process of reviewing the revised market data against meeting notes to be sure that Aon captured all changes requested by executive leadership and project team members.

      o Aon will use the market data to analyze the existing pay structure and offer recommendations, as necessary, to re-align the structure to market.

  • Jan. 11: Conference call with WMU project team members and Aon.

      o Aon has completed a final draft of the market data and is conducting a salary structure analysis.

  • Feb. 20-21: Executive review meetings. 

      o Aon met with executive leaders and project team members to review market data, results of the salary structure analysis, and the projected financial impact of pay grade changes.

  • April 12: Conference call with WMU project team members and Aon.

      o Discussed project communications: Campus-wide project update meeting scheduled for Tuesday, May 14.

      o Notification letters will be deployed to impacted employees, Wednesday, May 15.

  • May 10:  Conference call with WMU project team members and Aon. 

      o Reminder about project report meetings. 

      o Discussed plan for distributing letters to impacted employees. 


If you have questions about the project, please contact the project team member representing your executive division.

For historical information about the staff compensation project, please visit the main Compensation Project page. For current information about the new staff compensation system, please visit Staff Compensation System. Also, please feel free to contact your HR representative with specific questions.