Professional and Career Topics

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Employee Performance Ratings

  • 1.  Employee Performance Ratings

    Posted 07-07-2022 08:30 PM

    Has anyone encountered an employee performance rating system in which management requires scores to fit an expected distribution, such as a bell curve? 

    Bill McAnally
    Columbus MS

  • 2.  RE: Employee Performance Ratings

    Posted 07-08-2022 09:55 AM
    I have not run into that, but I don't think it is ever right to force people to fit along a bell curve. If everyone is meeting expectations, no one should be ranked in a way that they appear to be failing or underperforming.
    I've known people that had college professors grade on a bell curve, and it seems ridiculous to me. If everyone does their best to learn the material and earns an A, why should some of them be given a C?

    I think any performance review for an individual should be independentof how others in the group are performing. I wonder if that kind of ranking system squashes employees' desire to work as a team...
    I know in a bell curve graded course I would be much less likely to feel motivated to help other students that were confused.

    Statistics are nice, but sometimes a given sample won't fit a nice little standard curve. I don't think we should manipulate assessments of people's performance to make them fit a predetermined distribution. 

    Heidi C. Wallace, P.E., M.ASCE
    Tulsa, OK

  • 3.  RE: Employee Performance Ratings

    Posted 07-11-2022 10:59 AM
    In my opinion, that is a very naïve take for two reasons. First, the bell curve is more for the manager than the employees. If Manager A is a tougher reviewer than Manager B, is it fair that Manager A's employees be rated below Manager B's? What are the odds of everyone in Manager A's group 'deserving' a C? Wouldn't that point to a problem?
    Second, if everyone gets and A (or a C, or a B...), it is not much of an evaluation. Remember how bell curves tend to fit natural systems? Employee reviews and class scores are no different. If you do not see any difference in the scores