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Posted Thursday, July 19, 2012 9:17 PM


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Post #1332672
Posted Thursday, July 19, 2012 9:22 PM
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I think maybe the manager who thought that system up was a '2'.
Post #1332674
Posted Thursday, July 19, 2012 11:22 PM
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Thats a crazy system!

If you did have a group of people to begin with that had people who were 1 and 2, after you had weeded them out you would then be forced to rank people who previously 3,4, or 5 downwards even if their performance improved
Post #1332693
Posted Friday, July 20, 2012 1:52 AM
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Sounds utterly ridiculous. Yes, you need to identify the severely underperforming people and either fire them or move them to a different job more suited to their talents, but in this stacking system, if you do that somebody more competent then becomes the "bottom tier" and is suddenly in trouble. It seems to me that the whole system is designed to make less work for managers--instead of fairly assessing their staff all they have to do is stack them against each other using some KPIs and make all their decisions based on that!
Post #1332754
Posted Friday, July 20, 2012 2:22 AM
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This type of system seems to be a way of finding excuses to keep wages down to a certain extent. The rankings can be used to limit raises. As there will be a quota of staff in each quota it has nothing to do with ability. It could also be argued that it is open to abuse - ie the top ranked staff just happen to get on best with their bosses. I am glad I do not work in this sort of environment - as I have never been a 5 or a 1 I think I would get lost in the middle ground. It must be horrible to be be labeled this way - the job titles and grades can be bad enough at most organisations in setting the hierarchy let alone having this sort of grading thrown into the mix.
Post #1332765
Posted Friday, July 20, 2012 2:42 AM
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I think it's a terrible system. This means you could have a room full of the best and brightest, all of whom would be a '5' in a random sample of workers, but someone has to still be a 1 or a 2 because that's how the system works.

This reminds me of a couple of other barometers for standards that work in the same way

- Employment demographics and targets. I'm pretty sure from the depth of my mind that some companies and public sector work places aim to employ a certain percentage of the workforce from minorities or based on gender, so they're letting a persons race, age or gender play a part in their decision making process. Given two applicants of approximately equal ability, they let their targets decide who should get the job.

- Exam grades. Some exams use a system where only the top n% can get the top grade, which is great in some ways as it prevents everyone passing an easy exam with a high mark but there are so many ways this can work against a person. One exam group may be composed of more talented people on average than another group sitting the same exam. Because of that, someone with a higher actual mark might end up with a lower grade than someone who scored a lower mark but was still in the top n%

There is nothing wrong with assessing ability relative to others as long as it's used alongside consideration of expectations for the job etc. Scoring someone with a low mark simply because relative to their colleagues, they're not as good as them without considering their raw ability to do the job is the mark of someone who frankly isn't very good at being a manager in my opinion
Post #1332772
Posted Friday, July 20, 2012 2:57 AM
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This loathsome ranking system has been in use at Logica, where I work, for several years.
Post #1332781
Posted Friday, July 20, 2012 3:20 AM


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This is the "bell-curve" performance evaluation system that is unfortunately, in practice in most IT consulting service based organizations that I know of. The sub-processes have very attractive names, but in the end, it's exactly what is mentioned in the editorial.

In the end, the managers have a hard time convincing their team why someone was a "3" or a "4" (or in some cases even a "2"). In many cases, the unfortunate team member would have been left out from a band just because of a point or two in the system.

The good part is that many organizations are now realizing the drawbacks with respect to employee morale and have started experimenting with hybrid systems - which will mature over time, but is a move that I support.


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Nakul Vachhrajani.
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Post #1332790
Posted Friday, July 20, 2012 4:31 AM
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As a techniucal hiring manager, I strive to hire only the best, the 1s. If I make a hiring mistake, and I have made a couple in 50 years in the field, I correct the problem immediately. That being said, how do I rate people as a 1,2, 3, 4, or 5 at the end of a rating period. The whole forced distribution system of rating staff is detrimental to maintaining a high quality staff. As I look at young companies that I worked for, there was no forced distribution until HR staff was added. I can't help but wonder if distribution is to help HR justify their existence. The concept sounds like something devised by a 5, who should have disappeared long before his/her rating was due.

Gary Jones
Post #1332832
Posted Friday, July 20, 2012 4:35 AM
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paul.knibbs and skanker, your comments are spot-on!
Post #1332835
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