GeneralHr Library

For whom the bell curve tolls

Source |washingtonpost .com  |  BY: Jena McGregor

The news that a corporation is overhauling the way it does performance reviews usually only matters to the employees who work there.

But it’s much more than just a trivial H.R. change when that company is Microsoft, and when the overhaul includes axing a longstanding and controversial tactic. Rather, this could very well be an obituary for one of the corporate world’s least popular workplace practices.

“Stack ranking,” or “forced rankings,” which compares employees’ performance against one another and requires that managers plot team members along a distribution curve, may not ever truly die away. Yet as companies increasingly try to reward collaboration, and meanwhile grow frustrated with the performance evaluations they have in place, many H.R. consultants and researchers expect more and more organizations to side with Microsoft’s recent move.


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