By mandating where and how to place people’s performance in a curve, the talent management team is only trying to game the system and forcibly comply with a belief
Organizations have become so firm in their need to comply with the bell curve profile that the process of appraisal has become stifling for managers and employees alike
Sanjeev manages one of the most high performing operations teams in one of India’s most reputed knowledge service companies. “This year has been good,” thinks Sanjeev, “because my team had the highest quality scores and we had the biggest output.” One thing has been bothering Sanjeev though! Despite clear evidence that his team has been the best among all other operations teams, Sanjeev’s HR partner reached out to him a couple of days back with the request that he cannot promote more than two. “Be careful Sanjeev,” advised the HR partner, “do not rate all your folks high. Your post-appraisal conversations will be more difficult to handle than you can imagine.” Sanjeev is a typical example of a manager who is caught in what we may call ‘the bell trap.’ After all, since things in life typically follow normal distributions so should performance.
The talent management team in Sanjeev’s organization feels that a ...
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