7.2 Annual Performance Review

This policy was last updated December 20, 2023. See the update history page for more information.

The Compensation Office, in conjunction with appropriate MIT senior leadership, develops initial recommendations for salary increases for each of the Institute’s various staff categories. The recommendations are prepared after analysis of relevant markets, salary trends, and general economic indicators. For more information, see How MIT’s Annual Merit Increase is Determined on the Compensation website.

From this analysis, the Compensation Office develops initial recommendations as to the amount that should be made available for distribution in the various annual reviews. These initial recommendations are reviewed and approved by the Salary Subcommittee. The Salary Subcommittee Chair reviews the recommendations with the Executive Committee of the Corporation for final vote. Recommendations are evaluated in the context of the Institute's financial position and available funds.

It is the Institute's compensation policy that departmental annual review allocations be distributed to employees on the basis of their individual contribution and performance levels. It is essential that departments make a systematic and fair assessment of each of their employees' duties and responsibilities and that they objectively analyze, qualitatively and quantitatively, how well these duties are being carried out. Recommended increases must, within established budgets, be related to these evaluations. (See Section 3.3, Performance Feedback, Performance Reviews, and Corrective Action)

It is essential that outstanding employees be retained by the Institute. Individuals who demonstrate superior performance must therefore be recognized with review increases at or above the established review allocation amounts, even though lesser amounts will be available for individuals who demonstrate average performance.

No increase should be recommended for any employee whose performance has been unsatisfactory. Continued unsatisfactory performance should be closely monitored by supervisors and may be grounds for termination. (See Section 3.3, mentioned above, and Section 6.4, Discharge.)

7.2.1 Annual Review Eligibility and Effective Dates

  • Administrative and Medical Staff

    Members of the administrative staff and the medical staff whose appointments are effective on or before January 1 in a given year are eligible to be considered in that year's performance review which is normally conducted in the spring. Salary increases approved in this review become effective on July 1 and are reflected in the July paychecks.

  • Sponsored Research Staff

    Members of the Institute's sponsored research technical and administrative staff (other than Senior Research Scientists/Engineers/Associates), whose appointments are effective on or before July 1 in a given year, are eligible to be considered in that year's performance review. The review is conducted in the late fall and becomes effective on January 1 with recommended increases first reflected in the January paychecks.

    Senior Research Scientists, Senior Research Engineers, and Senior Research Associates are reviewed concurrently with the Institute's faculty by separate guidelines and allocation.

  • Support Staff

    Members of the support staff whose appointments are effective on or before the last Monday in November in a given year are eligible to be considered in that year's performance review which is conducted in January and February. Salary increases approved in this review become effective at the beginning of the pay period closest to April 1 and are first reflected in the paychecks received at the end of the following week.

  • Service Staff

    For members of the service staff, see the individual contracts or contact the Labor Relations Office in Human Resources.

For more information, MIT's annual salary review process is described on the Compensation website.

7.2.2 General Review Schedule and Process

At the time of the reviews for the non-academic staff categories, the Compensation Office forwards to the designated school or departmental contact the annual review guidelines and overall review allocation. Individual department budget allocations are then determined and input into annual salary review system.  

Department managers  are requested to confer with their appropriate supervisory personnel to assess performance and recommend, within their established review allocations, increases that reflect these assessments. See Section 3.3, Performance Feedback, Performance Reviews, and Corrective Action, as well as the Performance Development website. Individual employees should be informed of their increases before those increases are effective.

7.2.3 Review Procedures for New Employees

Once a new employee’s salary is established (see Section 7.1.6, Determination of Individual Salaries), their salary should be reviewed and adjusted by the same annual performance review process that applies to all current employees. The timing of the first salary increase depends on when the individual was hired. See Annual Merit Increase Eligibility and Effective Dates. In some cases, an off-cycle merit increase might be appropriate, depending on when the individual was hired. See Off Cycle Merit Increases.

7.2.4 Review Procedures for Union Service Staff

Union service staff employees will be reviewed by separate procedure as provided for by the various collective bargaining agreements. The Human Resources Officer for the area and the Labor Relations staff in Human Resources should be contacted for information regarding review policies and procedures.

7.2.5 Salary Equity Review Process for Women and Minority Group Members

All salaries, including those of women and minorities, should be commensurate with responsibilities, requirements, experience and performance. The salaries of women and minorities should be reviewed to ensure that they are equitable to others in the organization with similar responsibilities, experience, expertise, and level of performance. If salary inequities are identified, they should be brought to the attention of the Senior Officer so they can be reviewed separately and, where appropriate, adjusted.

The annual review instructions, which are sent individually to each department, specify that particular attention is to be given to assuring that the salaries of women and minorities are commensurate with their responsibilities, qualifications, and levels of performance and that these salaries are equitably related to the salaries of other similarly qualified employees in their organizational units with comparable positions.

In addition to the special efforts that are made during the annual review process, the Compensation Office initiates and responds to a number of equity issues throughout the year. These issues may arise as a result of special studies initiated with Human Resources or they may be initiated from a variety of sources including individuals, department administrators, and the Ombuds persons.