This study investigates the role of compensation and its components such as payment, promotion, recognition, working condition and benefit towards academic staffs work motivation in Jimma University. The researcher stratified the total population of the study based on their college. The samples were selected proportionally and conveniently from the strata. In this study both primary and secondary sources of data were used. The primary data were gathered through questionnaires from 230 respondents of Jimma university academic staffs. An interview was also conducted with human resource personnel and each college deans of the university. Journals, books, internet, and other references were used as secondary sources of data. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics such as frequency tables and inferential statistics such as correlations and regression analysis The findings of this study indicated that there is a relationship between compensation and its components and employee work motivation. Respondents feel that, payment, promotion, recognition, working conditions and benefits are negatively affecting their work motivation in Jimma University.