What is Mid-Point Differential or Mid-Point Progression?

Clearing the Confusion

Mid-point differential is also known as mid-point progression. Different authors use English differently to define or explain what is it, sometimes creating confusion although they mean the same thing:

“The percentage differential between mid-points” Lower Cape Fear SHRM

“Differentials between pay ranges – the percentage by which the mid-point of a range is higher than the mid-point of the mid-point of the range below – are typically between 15% and 20% but they can be as high as 25%.” Michael Armstrong in his book Handbook of Reward Management Practice

“The percentage difference between pay-grade midpoints” The WorldatWork Handbook of Compensation, Benefits and Total Rewards

“The mid-point progression determines the gap or distance between the salary ranges”

“Mid-point differential is the distance between mid-points. It is the gap between mid-point salaries.”

“Mid-point differential is the difference in wage rates paid in the midpoints of two adjacent grades. A midpoint progression is calculated by taking the difference between two adjacent midpoints as a percentage of the lower of the midpoints. Also known as the mid-point differential.” Glossary, University of Maine System

“A midpoint differential is the difference between midpoints of two adjacent grades expressed as a percent. They allow for progression from one level in a family to another level in a family, often increasing as the job hierarchy ascends. The higher in a salary range, the higher the mid-point difference.” Kenexa

“Midpoint differential is a characteristic of salary structure design that describes the percentage difference between the mid-point values of adjacent salary ranges. In general, if the company’s job evaluation approach doesn’t discriminate finely between levels, the result will be fewer salary range levels. Another factor to consider in concluding midpoint differentials is the company’s policy with regard to the cost of promoting employees into jobs at higher salary range levels. For example, a policy that limits promotional salary increases to 8% but with a mid-point differential may result in salaries for the promoted employees to fall below the new grade minimum salary value.” Keith Fortier and Christopher J.Fusco in their paper Salary Structures published in salary.com website

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