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Dear Seniors!
I am working in an organization of 5000+ employees.
My organization follows Bell Curve method for Performance Appraisal.
I have read much about the method on this forum.
My problem is that the rating for appraisal is very unrealistic like I can give maximum 5 marks (Range is from 1-10) to an employee whose performance against any abjective was 100%. As my team (of 85 people) is a new team so most of my team members are going to be rated as below average or low performers. If I follow the rules then all of my team will be demotivated and a high turn over can be expected in coming months.
Please guide, how can I manage this situation,

Hi Seniors Hope all are doing good Please Can Somebody explain me how many methods for performance System ? Jagdish Rawat
Waseem, some aspects not clear from the data presented by you include (i) If 100% achievement for an objective entitles a score of 5 on a scale of 1 to 10, what is the desired level of achievement for a rating of 6, 7, 8 & 9? (ii) Is the overall rating of an employee also based on the rating of competencies & skills? (iii) Is the Bell curve concept clearly explained to all managers (who are to initiate appraisals of their subordinates)?
It appears to me that you have probably not read/ fully understood the performance management philosophy/ policy of your organization. It is unlikely that an organization with 5000 (+) employees would have defined their appraisal criteria in a casual manner (as explained by you). Bell curve merely implies normal distribution, which means that all shades of performance (on a scale of 1 to 10) can be accommodated on the curve. And to distinguish these shades, percentage achievement for each shade needs to be quantified.

Dear Waseem & others: A bell curve distribution of employees on a 10 point scale has to have employees distributed at all points and it cannot be limited to peak point of 5, or do you have a normalization system in which your top performers get categorised in high performers group, even though you have given only mid-point rating. Is it that your group has done hopelessly bad that the max. credit could only be 5/10. As pointed out by by Shri Bhatia, if 100% achievement of objective lands one on 5 point, then wonder what would be the criteria for 6,7, etc. It is felt that giving a highest rating of 5 would be too miserly and there would be plenty of frustration and resistance in your group. Hence it would be advisable to keep pace with other departments and be more liberal in your rating of others. In my experience, this bell-curve approach , instead of motivating employees has more often than not demotivated a vast multitude of employees and needs to be rethinked.
Mr Bhatia! Guidelines on Rating are as follows;
0-1 Unacceptable
2-3 Needs Improvement
4-5 Meets Expectation
6-8 Exceeds Expectations
9-10 Exceptional
Overall performance is also based on Competencies and skills and grand total is the sum of rated average of objectives (70%) and competencies(30%).
I have joined the organization in March last year and the above mentioned rating is in practice since last three years. As already mentioned, my team is a new team thats why ambitious/overambitious objectives were set, so, the overall achievement of my team is below 100%. Regarding the understanding of Bell Curve process, a team from our HR department did extensive travelling across country, and had sessions to explain the process with all the managers responsible for doing performance appraisals.
Mr KKNair! There is no normalization process and I have the same feeling that giving a highest rating of 5 would be too miserly and there would be plenty of frustration and resistance in my team.

Waseem, overall achievement of your team being 100% is no indication of individual achievements of each of the 80 members of your team also to be 100%. If you are the Manager, you ought to be fair in judging who all were the best contributors ie, in the shade 'Exceptional'; who all 'exceeded expectations'; who all were in the list of those who 'met expectations' and who truly 'need improvement' in their skills & attitude to meet the expectations in future. As an example, there could be 5 each in the shade 'Exceptional' & 'Need improvement', 10 who 'Exceeded expectations' and the balance who 'Met Expectations'. When plotted, the end result is likely to be a 'Normal Distribution' ( Bell Curve) with the mean being between 5 & 6. This mean value of 5 - 6 indicates that your team, on the whole, has met the expectations of the management.

Your company management, therefore, rightfully desires that each manager ought to indicate which all members in his team have made how much contribution. The sum total of their contribution may mean that the team has met the expectations, but that is meaningless from the viewpoint of individual performance. A manager has to have the capability of distinguishing between the best, the second best, the next best & so on in his team, and not say merely that everyone has performed equally. Well, if you truly feel that they all are at the same level in their performance, you possibly did not allocate specific goals to each member in the team & did not track their individual achievement/ performance on a monthly/ quarterly basis. This also implies that you are possibly not aware of the technique of sub-allocation of goals & targets.

Check if you have a copy of the Goal Sheet for each employee & a record of your periodic counseling of each team member. If you have been doing that, the team performance should have been 'Exceeded expectations'.

Hello friends,
Can any body tell me how Bell curve use in the company for Performance appraisal system. in my company appraisal is repeat
each 3-4 month.that not for increment, we are celebrate as R&R(Reward & Recognition)we motivate our Staff,Supervisor, HOD's . So kindly send me format for bell curve.for this celebration. Till date i am using 360 appraisal for HOd's & for staff using HOD's marking in simple format.

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