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(The Business Journals)   Nothing boosts morale like mandating 40% of your workforce be rated less than "Meets Expectations" before the annual review cycle. Especially when raises are tied to your performance rating   (bizjournals.com ) divider line
    More: Asinine, CSC, child custody, morale, boosting, Gary Burtless, statistical model, U.S. Department of Labor  
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2416 clicks; posted to Business » on 29 Apr 2014 at 8:35 AM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-29 07:46:58 AM  
I guess that's one way to attain a high turnover rate and reduce institutional knowledge
 
2014-04-29 08:14:06 AM  
Will this apply to the C level? How about to the BoD?
 
2014-04-29 08:23:52 AM  
I imagine pitting employees against one another is a good way to kill off cooperation, collaboration, innovation and productivity. I wonder how many employees are preparing to short their company stock.
 
2014-04-29 08:50:54 AM  
Next week:  Business wonders why employee morale, productivity, and company loyalty is so low.
 
2014-04-29 08:53:48 AM  
Stupid libtards strike again.

If you're only meeting expectations, I can't give you a raise.  If I rank you lower, that gives you an opportunity to exceed expectations in the next review period, and then I can give you the money you deserve.  A poor ranking is actually a gift.

And I totally promise to do that.  Totes pinky swears.
 
2014-04-29 08:55:42 AM  
Probably the stupidest way to run a company, even Microsoft figured that one out.

Plus for me I like to be on a team where I'm learning something from everyone. I think that would put me at their lowest level on the scale. So now everyone's going to look for a bunch of idiots to team up with so they look like the best.
 
2014-04-29 08:57:42 AM  

Notabunny: I imagine pitting employees against one another is a good way to kill off cooperation, collaboration, innovation and productivity. I wonder how many employees are preparing to short their company stock.


Citigroup started doing this several years ago. Too bad that after Robert Rubin convinced Chuck Prince to get involved in the real estate loan fraud the stock became worthless.
 
2014-04-29 09:03:45 AM  
Danaher does the same thing for its companies. Sucks when you have a person dept that was already gutted from being a 20 person dept.
 
2014-04-29 09:04:31 AM  
Make that a 3 person dept currently.
 
2014-04-29 09:04:48 AM  
When I worked at Computer Associates, I managed a fairly large group. We had a forced ranking system in place. I had to divide my direct reports into thirds. If you were in the top third, you were eligible for increases and bonuses. If you were in the bottom third, you were subject to termination at the drop of a hat.

The reviews were only permitted to have negative comments on them. This allowed HR to terminate anybody, any time, for any reason.

If you were in the top 1/3, you just knew you were "Top Third". Everybody else knew their exact position. If you were in the bottom third, you got the HR-mandated "flush" clause, indicating that unless Your performance improved immediately, dramatically and consistently, you would be subject to further HR action, including termination.

Before I left, I created an express review form. It had Name, Rank and two check boxes: "You Suck" and "You're Fired".  "You Suck" came pre-checked.
 
2014-04-29 09:05:26 AM  
CSC's CEO should be taken out & beaten with a bullwhip. Then, fired.
 
2014-04-29 09:06:08 AM  
This system works really well. For one year. You starting cutting into the flesh in the second year.
 
2014-04-29 09:07:11 AM  
I once had a manager invite the team I was working on to discuss everyones employee survey.  I think the positive response for compensation was 15%.... maybe.  Teammmate after teammate laid out their reasoning why they exceded expectations and they were persuasive arguements.  The reply "I only have so many exceeds expectations to give out".  I am amazed he lived through that meeting.
 
2014-04-29 09:08:14 AM  
Funny how we choose to apply zero sum thinking.

CEOs make 300x what employees make = stop your whining plebs the economy isn't a zero sum game.

Performance reviews contingent on giving raises to middle class people = performance must be a zero sum game, if one person does well it must mean some lazy bastard is worse, no raise for you.
 
2014-04-29 09:09:55 AM  
My company's strategy is to just not reward anyone anymore regardless of their performance.  So we really don't sweat our appraisals.  They're meaningless.
 
2014-04-29 09:11:26 AM  
CSB:

We were informed that we may not rate ourselves a "5" (on a 1 to 5 scale) on any performance metric on our most recent review. Under "knowledge of operations procedures" I rated myself a 5. When questioned on how I could be a 5 (and gently reminded that no one is a 5 on anything), I reminded them that I authored all of the operations procedures. We moved on after that.

/CSB
 
2014-04-29 09:23:16 AM  
Who has two thumbs and just sold his CSC stock?  This guy!
/seriously, fark that
 
2014-04-29 09:26:49 AM  
If your employer tells you you've failed to meet expectations at your performance review they're normally hinting that you should find another job ASAP so they won't have to fire you and/or for HR to have a paper trail of unsatisfactory performance so they can fire you without legal issues. The decision has already been made and working harder is highly unlikely to change it.

If you start telling 40% of your staff each year that they're failing to meet expectations you can expect massive turnover.
 
2014-04-29 09:29:46 AM  

MayoSlather: Funny how we choose to apply zero sum thinking.

CEOs make 300x what employees make = stop your whining plebs the economy isn't a zero sum game.

Performance reviews contingent on giving raises to middle class people = performance must be a zero sum game, if one person does well it must mean some lazy bastard is worse, no raise for you.


HR diktats are for the plebes.  Senior executives are above all that nonsense.  I highly recommend belonging to senior management.
 
2014-04-29 09:32:32 AM  

Notabunny: I imagine pitting employees against one another is a good way to kill off cooperation, collaboration, innovation and productivity. I wonder how many employees are preparing to short their company stock.


It depends on how its implemented. Most likely it's going to be a case of "I need an adrenaline rush so I can outrun this bull that's chasing me - I know! I'll shoot myself in the foo... ah ah ha ha! No, I'll shoot myself in the hand! BOOM!". They get the adrenaline rush they want in the short term, but in the longer term the blood loss is going to cause them to fall down and get trampled by the bull. But in the short term, there's that adrenaline rush that lets them run faster. Maybe fast enough to get to safety, and to a place they can bandage that mangled hand.
 
2014-04-29 09:32:35 AM  

Marcus Aurelius: MayoSlather: Funny how we choose to apply zero sum thinking.

CEOs make 300x what employees make = stop your whining plebs the economy isn't a zero sum game.

Performance reviews contingent on giving raises to middle class people = performance must be a zero sum game, if one person does well it must mean some lazy bastard is worse, no raise for you.

HR diktats are for the plebes.  Senior executives are above all that nonsense.  I highly recommend belonging to senior management.


Only the US plebes.

This guy is still employed by my benevolent overlords.
 
2014-04-29 09:33:00 AM  
At my last job, I got the highest review score in my entire kitchen. Still didn't get a raise. Cheap bastards
 
2014-04-29 09:41:19 AM  
40% of the people you hare fail to meet expectations? Sounds like they need to fire everyone in HR, including the VP in charge.
 
2014-04-29 09:42:46 AM  
FTFA:

"Research shows that this statistical model, while easy to understand, does not accurately reflect the way people perform," Bersin wrote in the Forbes article. "As a result, HR departments and business leaders inadvertently create agonizing problems with employee performance and happiness."

There, I think I found the root cause. The folks in HR are generally not the brightest of the bunch. Generally, HR has no idea about what anybody even does, and quite possibly has only a passing knowledge of what the company produces and what goes into that. Then, some other HR professional that took an introductory stats course publishes an article about distributions and it becomes gospel.

If I'm ever appointed dictator in charge for life, HR is going to go back to being Personnel. They'll administer benefits and make sure the paychecks go out on time, and that is it.
 
2014-04-29 09:45:41 AM  
dilbert.com
 
2014-04-29 09:50:05 AM  
Actually worked for one company that abdicated responsibility by forcing us to write our own evaluations.

Then we would have a meeting with our supervisor, where they would tell us how wrong we were.

Two years later they sent out emails of what they wanted us to Copy And Paste into the evals.

Management in this country is a joke.
 
2014-04-29 09:51:00 AM  
I just dont understand why the economy is recovering so slowly.
 
2014-04-29 09:55:28 AM  
So...

...if someone has a department staffed by fifty idiots who do nothing useful, twenty of them will get accurate "partial or does not meet expectations" assessments and thirty of them will get inaccurate "meets or exceeds" ratings.

On the other hand, a small department with five hand-picked employees who do every job to spec and on time has to count two of their people on the lower ranks, even though their actual work is all better than everyone in the larger department.
 
2014-04-29 09:59:25 AM  

cirby: So...

...if someone has a department staffed by fifty idiots who do nothing useful, twenty of them will get accurate "partial or does not meet expectations" assessments and thirty of them will get inaccurate "meets or exceeds" ratings.

On the other hand, a small department with five hand-picked employees who do every job to spec and on time has to count two of their people on the lower ranks, even though their actual work is all better than everyone in the larger department.


EFFICIENCY
 
2014-04-29 10:02:12 AM  

Heraclitus: Management in this country is a joke.


My guess is that in 10 years a lot of mid-level management will not exist. If your job is to collect data generated by the frontline grunts and turn it into reports for senior management, you can be replaced with existing software.
 
2014-04-29 10:07:43 AM  

Notabunny: Heraclitus: Management in this country is a joke.

My guess is that in 10 years a lot of mid-level management will not exist. If your job is to collect data generated by the frontline grunts and turn it into reports for senior management, you can be replaced with existing software.


Nah.

We're just offshoring front line and maintaining the people who collect the data that says we're getting decreasing quality in return.  And that data is being reported and ignored because it's inconvenient.
 
2014-04-29 10:12:38 AM  

Satanic_Hamster: Next week:  Business wonders why employee morale, productivity, and company loyalty is so low.


You say that as if they cared about those things.
 
2014-04-29 10:24:56 AM  
My former boss has worked for CSC for close to 15 years.

How he manages to show up for work every day and not go home and want to eat a bullet is beyond me..
 
2014-04-29 10:51:29 AM  
And recruiters wonder why I'm not terribly interested in doubling my salary by leaving the public sector.
 
2014-04-29 10:58:27 AM  
They can overcome the problems of diminishing morale and brain drain with totally awesome processes.  With the right processes, you can do anything.  My company even has a process for innovating!  With the correct methodology, we can do "out of the box" thinking, as long as we adhere to the prescribed steps.
 
2014-04-29 11:04:42 AM  

Wellon Dowd: 40% of the people you hare fail to meet expectations? Sounds like they need to fire everyone in HR, including the VP in charge.


I was thinking the same thing.  Send the VP packiing, fluch the HR deptartment and fire the managers for not training their folks.  A 40% "Does not Meet" rating is an institutional failure.  Sounds like a plan hatched by an accountant. Companies should never ever be run by accountants or lawyers.
 
2014-04-29 11:09:13 AM  

mofa: They can overcome the problems of diminishing morale and brain drain with totally awesome processes.  With the right processes, you can do anything.  My company even has a process for innovating!  With the correct methodology, we can do "out of the box" thinking, as long as we adhere to the prescribed steps.


Use Six Sigma and ISO standards, create a  multi-volume manual that has no less than six pages dedicated to documenting the ass-wiping process. It will totally help productivity and morale!

I hate corporate America.

Lawnchair: And recruiters wonder why I'm not terribly interested in doubling my salary by leaving the public sector.


Yup. I've worked in both, Even though the public sector has its issues (fifedoms, "not my job"), they are much more tolerable than the stuff the private sector has dreamed up.
 
2014-04-29 11:20:59 AM  

buzzcut73: Use Six Sigma and ISO standards, create a multi-volume manual that has no less than six pages dedicated to documenting the ass-wiping process. It will totally help productivity and morale!

I hate corporate America.


I learned a great deal from doing my first Six Sigma project:
1) Pie charts are mandatory
2) People are more likely to return questionnaires if you helpfully send them out with all answers already checked
3) If you're suggesting something that saves ten dollars a week, you should estimate the savings made by tens of thousands of employees over many years.  This makes every idea a million dollar idea.

For my second Six Sigma project, I created a powerpoint template that people could use for their Six Sigma projects, practically at the level of Mad Libs.  I got a $50 award, which is essentially a million dollars.
 
2014-04-29 11:27:12 AM  

mofa: buzzcut73: Use Six Sigma and ISO standards, create a multi-volume manual that has no less than six pages dedicated to documenting the ass-wiping process. It will totally help productivity and morale!

I hate corporate America.

I learned a great deal from doing my first Six Sigma project:
1) Pie charts are mandatory
2) People are more likely to return questionnaires if you helpfully send them out with all answers already checked
3) If you're suggesting something that saves ten dollars a week, you should estimate the savings made by tens of thousands of employees over many years.  This makes every idea a million dollar idea.

For my second Six Sigma project, I created a powerpoint template that people could use for their Six Sigma projects, practically at the level of Mad Libs.  I got a $50 award, which is essentially a million dollars.


I really think my path to millions should involve coming up with the next bandwagon for corporate managers to jump on so I can fleece them for cash and waste a bunch of what could be otherwise productive time for them keeping them busy writing manuals and sending people to my expensive training seminars.
 
2014-04-29 11:29:08 AM  
If you want to see how stack ranking ruined Microsoft, check out Vanity Fair, of all places:  http://www.vanityfair.com/business/2012/08/microsoft-lost-mojo-steve- b allmer
 
2014-04-29 11:32:35 AM  
My job has something similar. Massive company. Raises tied to performance (of course). Management gets everyone into a meeting. They say: "No one gets a 5. No one sucks enough to get a 1 or 2. Basically you all will get 3s."
My review: All 3s. So I'm not expecting a raise.
/stock is up 20+% from last year
//and we bought 2 competitors in the last year
///"tough economy means no raises, sorry folks"
 
2014-04-29 11:32:56 AM  

mofa: buzzcut73: Use Six Sigma and ISO standards, create a multi-volume manual that has no less than six pages dedicated to documenting the ass-wiping process. It will totally help productivity and morale!

I hate corporate America.

I learned a great deal from doing my first Six Sigma project:
1) Pie charts are mandatory
2) People are more likely to return questionnaires if you helpfully send them out with all answers already checked
3) If you're suggesting something that saves ten dollars a week, you should estimate the savings made by tens of thousands of employees over many years.  This makes every idea a million dollar idea.

For my second Six Sigma project, I created a powerpoint template that people could use for their Six Sigma projects, practically at the level of Mad Libs.  I got a $50 award, which is essentially a million dollars.


I learned that if going through a NPI cycle to agressively maintain the original target cost.  Any modification that lowers your cost under that point is to be put into a folder to be revisited and implimented in the cost reduction cycle a year later.
 
2014-04-29 11:33:04 AM  

Sasquach: CSB:

We were informed that we may not rate ourselves a "5" (on a 1 to 5 scale) on any performance metric on our most recent review. Under "knowledge of operations procedures" I rated myself a 5. When questioned on how I could be a 5 (and gently reminded that no one is a 5 on anything), I reminded them that I authored all of the operations procedures. We moved on after that.

/CSB


Why the heck do they have a five then?

On my most recent self-appraisal (which is a complete waste of time, because I work for a newspaper that currently has raises frozen), they had a section on communication. They tell you what the goal is, a few good things that you can do, and then list what they call "STOPetencies", which are things you may be doing wrong or want to avoid. The first one is to avoid confusing or jargonized words and phrases. My comment on that section (we had to summarize how we are doing in each section) was that I have a hard time taking a review seriously when it tells me to stop using jargonized words right after they use a made-up word like "STOPetencies".

I expect to get canned any day now.
 
2014-04-29 12:05:55 PM  

Saiga410: mofa: buzzcut73: Use Six Sigma and ISO standards, create a multi-volume manual that has no less than six pages dedicated to documenting the ass-wiping process. It will totally help productivity and morale!

I hate corporate America.

I learned a great deal from doing my first Six Sigma project:
1) Pie charts are mandatory
2) People are more likely to return questionnaires if you helpfully send them out with all answers already checked
3) If you're suggesting something that saves ten dollars a week, you should estimate the savings made by tens of thousands of employees over many years.  This makes every idea a million dollar idea.

For my second Six Sigma project, I created a powerpoint template that people could use for their Six Sigma projects, practically at the level of Mad Libs.  I got a $50 award, which is essentially a million dollars.

I learned that if going through a NPI cycle to agressively maintain the original target cost.  Any modification that lowers your cost under that point is to be put into a folder to be revisited and implimented in the cost reduction cycle a year later.


I learned that the people responsible for certifiying a Six Sigma project tend not to have a strong understanding of statistics, so there was no harm in revisiting the base assumptions of my Monte Carlo simulation so that my end numbers came out right.
 
2014-04-29 12:09:27 PM  
I used to work for a company that did this type of thing. During the year-end review process I could consistently rate myself as exceeding every outlined metric I was supposed to be rated against. Every year my manager apologized profusely that even though I did indeed exceed performance on all my objectives, they could only rate so many people in the company at those levels so my performance had been negotiated down. The year before I left, internal employee engagement scores for non-managers had come back as a 2 out of 10 and they were hemorrhaging all their best people to competitors. Upper management was baffled. Their completely clueless solution was great, though. Every employee got a new objective to be rated on during my last year there: we could only get a "meets expectations" score for our year-end reviews if our department's average employee engagement score was >5.

I assume the beatings continued until morale improved, but I didn't stick around long enough to find out.
 
2014-04-29 12:24:22 PM  
I had a boss a few years back that was the words biggest buffoon. He got the job from his friend who was his boss that was just like him. So having two morons in stereo tell you that you sucked was annoying. I pretty much had to put my brain on cruise control, go in ,do work and go home. When I got my review it was the biggest steaming pile of shiat ever. It pretty much praised him and said we were lucky to have him. I think the only 5 I got out out the 1-5 ranking was for attendance. No raises for anybody and there were so many spelling mistakes it gave all of us a nice chuckle. We did get him back when it was our turn to review him and this went right to corporate. I dont think anybody gave him a score higher than a 2. He ended up getting the lowest score for a manager in company history. His boss/buddy told him about the scores and he told us he would get us all back and slammed his office door. The next year nobody bothered to fill out the review since he was still there, but his buddy was no longer boss. The new boss came in and talked to all of us about the morale issues and we all pointed to the boss. He was gone a few months later and we have a great boss now. Still would like more money though.
 
2014-04-29 12:26:57 PM  
I'd like to point out to the thread that here in the reality warp of DC, CSC is considered one of the shadier beltway bandits. They low ball contracts, and fill positions with the barely qualified. If they win a contract, they'll prune out all the higher paid folks, and save some money for a year or so. Then they'll hire back the best folks for decent money and run them into the ground fixing everything, then find a way to let them go (usually it's a temp to perm arrangement where perm never happens, or it's a lowball).

They don't care about institutional knowledge or long term retention, they're a churn and burn operation.
 
2014-04-29 12:32:47 PM  
Thanks, Jack Welch. Hope there's an extra hot place in hell for you.

/He started it.
 
2014-04-29 12:58:59 PM  

Diogenes: My company's strategy is to just not reward anyone anymore regardless of their performance.  So we really don't sweat our appraisals.  They're meaningless.


I think we work for the same company!
 
2014-04-29 01:00:21 PM  

Notabunny: Heraclitus: Management in this country is a joke.

My guess is that in 10 years a lot of mid-level management will not exist. If your job is to collect data generated by the frontline grunts and turn it into reports for senior management, you can be replaced with existing software.


Not until software acquires the capacity to lie convincingly. Your job isn't merely to report upwards - it is to report GOOD NEWS upwards.

CSB: Our monitoring tool was converted to automatically open a Severity One ticket every time specific alerts were triggered. This of course caused no end of false alarms. Which was great for our department heads, because false alarms can be handled quickly by untrained personnel. So we had an astonishing amount of incidents handled by our outsourced L1 support, and very fast, too!

Confirming that outsourcing worked, which was the point of the exercise.
 
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