Source | https://www.reviewsnap.com
The common practice of professional “grading on the Bell Curve” does little to improve employee performance. In fact, it does quite the opposite – employee performance (and happiness) plummets. So, to answer the question, “Should employee performance be judged on a Bell Curve?” the answer is no. A performance appraisal shouldn’t be conducted on a group level with individual performance expectations… they should be performed on an individual basis for group improvement. Here’s why (with a couple of examples to drive our point home).
“On those occasions when managers lead truly high-performing teams, someone still must be ranked low, despite meeting performance plan goals. To replace that person with an unknown is expensive.” 
- Grading on a Bell Curve rations high performers, regardless of those who perform well. These are (typically) the top 10% of the workforce.
- Forced rankings set a “losers” group at the bottom of the employee food chain. These are (typically) the bottom 10% of your team.
- Then there’s everyone else, the middle of the herd. Because they make up 80% of the employees you just scaled, that’s where your budget for employee growth goes.