Human Resources Policies


UMB Policy on Bonuses for Exempt Staff

Human Resources   |   Approved October 15, 2010

Responsible VP/AVP

Dawn M. Rhodes, DBA, MBA

Policy Statement




This Policy outlines UMB bonus plans for exempt staff. Bonuses described in this Policy are non-cumulative compensation payments to exempt staff.

  1. Sign On and Referral Bonuses
    1. Two Bonus Plans are available to support efforts to hire exempt staff in “difficult to fill” positions. These are the Sign On Bonus Plan and the Referral Bonus Plan. Under the Sign On Bonus Plan, a new employee hired to a “difficult to fill” position is eligible for a Sign On Bonus. Under the Referral Bonus Plan, a UMB exempt staff or faculty employee who refers to UMB a candidate for a “difficult to fill” exempt staff position is eligible for a Referral Bonus payment if the referred candidate is hired.
    2. No department is obligated to offer either a Sign On Bonus or a Referral Bonus for any position, regardless of anticipated difficulty in filling the position. A department may offer a Sign On Bonus or Referral Bonus at the discretion of the hiring authority. “Difficult to fill” positions must be confirmed by the Director of Human Resource Services or designee before Sign On Bonuses or Referral Bonuses may be determined and posted. The criteria that must be satisfied are:
      1. The vacant position must have been posted at least twice, with ads run in local papers or websites, without success in identifying candidates who meet minimum qualifications and are willing to consider the open position; or
      2. Based on recent recruitment for the same or a similar position, Human Resource Services projects that a Sign On Bonus will be required in order to attain a pool of qualified candidates or to induce a chosen candidate to accept the offered position.
    3. Department resources must be used to pay any Sign On Bonus or Referral Bonus.
    4. Human Resource Services will post Sign On Bonus and Referral Bonus guidelines annually which will include maximum amounts available.
    5. The availability and/or amount of an approved Sign On Bonus or Referral Bonus must be indicated in all job postings.
    6. The Sign On Bonus and/or Referral Bonus for a difficult to fill position cannot be paid before a new employee is hired for the position, commences employment, and completes at least 30 days of satisfactory service. Generally, one-half of each bonus is paid 30 days after hire and the balance is paid upon the new employee’s completion of probation, i.e. one year after employment begins at UMB. The schedule should be communicated in writing to the person due to receive the Sign on Bonus or Referral Bonus.

  2. Retention Bonus
    1. The purpose of a Retention Adjustment is to retain key, mission-critical employees of the University who have a record of outstanding individual performance when there is verifiable risk or confirmation such as a written offer letter, written evidence, including email or correspondence, that the staff member is being recruited seriously by another employer at a compensation level likely to exceed the staff member’s current compensation, or other strong evidence that UMB is at an imminent risk of losing the staff member in the absence of a retention adjustment.
    2. The maximum Retention Bonus is ten percent of annual salary. The Retention Bonus is subject to repayment if the employee who received the Retention Bonus violates the agreement to remain in UMB employment for the stated period of time.

  3. Performance Bonus

    1. A bonus is defined as a lump sum non-cumulative cash award that may be granted to a regular employee for an extraordinary contribution which substantially benefits the UMS institution. Bonus payments shall not be counted as part of base salary.
    2. The bonus pool shall be determined within the guidelines established by the Chancellor as part of the annual salary review process. The President shall establish criteria for bonus eligibility, review and approval, and amount of bonus awards.
    3. A Performance Bonus may be awarded in recognition of consistent, outstanding individual performance, as reflected in at least three years’ consecutive employee evaluations.
    4. The amount of a Performance Bonus will be approved by the President or designee based upon the recommendation of the appropriate Dean, VP or designee based upon the re commendation of the appropriate Dean or designee, but no bonus may exceed five percent of annual salary (in the last fiscal year period prior to the award of the Performance Bonus), or $5,000, whichever is less.
    5. Bonuses may not be used to provide additional compensation for professional efforts that have been recognized through supplemental compensation approved under UMB Policy VII-9.11(A).

  4. Additional compensation payments not covered above or by any other USM/UMB policy or MOU must be reviewed and authorized by the President or his designee.
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