Found an article in Bloomberg.com – number one on their list of 10 Management Practices to Axe is a good one -
The idea behind forced ranking is that when you evaluate your employees against one another, you’ll see who’s most critical on the team and who’s most expendable. This theory rests on the notion that we can exhort our reports to work together for the sake of the team 364 days a year and then, when it really counts, pit them against one another in a zero-sum competitive exercise. That’s a decent strategy for TV shows such as Survivor but disastrous for organizations that intend to stay in business for the long term. What to do instead: Evaluate employees against written goals and move quickly to remove poor performers all the time (not just once a year).
Forced ranking is something most managers areÂ asked to do if they’re in the game long enough, and it’s so ingrained in many corporate cultures that it takes some backbone to resist. When John was managing a technology group several years ago, he had the opportunity to supervise a fantastic group of people. He ranked them all “outstanding” and was told by his manager that he couldn’t do that.Â It took quite some doing to convince the heirarchy that they really WERE all outstanding, and to play silly games with HR to make it everyone’s evaluations come out accurate and fair.
The only possible result from people who actually DO forced rankings are these:
Option One – Your people step on each other climbing the “ladder” and currying favor.
Option Two – Decent employees who refuse to participate in Option One start devoting their energy to looking for work in a more cooperative environment.
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