1. The ratings are demotivating
Most companies uses a 1-5 scale to evaluate the employees once a year. Since the distribution of ratings tend to skew against the higher performance and hence devalues the rates (and we don’t trust the middle managers to be objective), some companies uses forced or ‘guided’ bell shaped distributions, like the one to the right.
In this example, 2% of the employees get the 1-score. We don’t want low performers, and if you get a 1-score, you are already on your way out. Sorry. Bye.
20% gets a 2 – usually called “approaches expectations”. This is of course not good enough, so these employees typically gets a performance improvement plan. We haven’t given up on them, but if they don’t improve, they could expect to get a 1-score next year. Are these employees demotivated beforehand, or will they be, when they realize that what they did, is not good enough? What is the egg and what is the hen?
Luckily,53% is doing fine and gets a 3. Management calls it: ‘meeting expectations’, and gives a little speak on how high the expectations are in this company, and how great it is to be able to meet them. But it is a 3 out of 5. It is average. Average sucks. Nobody wants to be average.