I wana know about this performance appraisal method?
From Pakistan, Lahore
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Hi Already there is a psot on this subject and I have given my reply I am reproducing the same Go through this post pl Siva
From India, Chennai
Once the appaisals are done & ratings submitted it the system, the rating go through a normalisation process to ensure that overall ratings are in the form of a bell curve (eg on a rating of 1-5), maximum emplyees must fall at a rating of 3, similarly not more than 10% at a rating of 1 & 5.
Eg If an apprasiee is at 4.8 rating & the system has exceeded its quota of 5 rating with employees having 4.9 & 5.0 ratings, the rating of the appraisee with 4.8 is considered as 4 so that the curve is not deshaped
The ratings can be viewed by the appraisee only after the normailisation is done.
I work with TCS & this system is successfully implemented in my org

From India, Mumbai


Personally I am completely against the implementation of Bell Curve appraisal system in India. It had considerable success in the west because of the work culture followed by corporates there.

In India we tend to have a more emotional approach and hence such an implementation could seriosly hamper the name of the company in the Candidate and Graduate Market.

Three major flaws I see in this system are:

a) This system is implemented department wise instead of the entire employee database and hence there are chances that the worst in some departments are much better than the average in other departments but still they are forced to leave.

b) When this system is implemented in a department where the performance has been very good and the company cant afford to fire the lower 10% the bonuses and the raise in salary is quite less compared to other departments and hence sooner or later the firm seems the top 20% leave because they are not happy with their respective packages.

c) This system alongwith improving the top performers in your company would also attract hyper competitive nature among employees and hence resulting into a dysfunctional working environment in the same department.

d) The trainees are generally the ones who get fired.

Now for the implementation:

Its generally based on three levels of performances the top 20 is extraordinary the mid 70% is ordinary but the backbone of the company and the rest 10% are the guys who are worthless and cant be trained and hence are fired if the performance doesnt improve for three consecutive years.

The appraisal system is done department wise and The respective line managers are supposed to rate employees into these three groups.

The candidate who is not able to come out of the lower 10% for two/three years is then fired.

I hope the above clears all doubts on drawbacks and implementation of bell curve appraisal system

Will have to agree that the bell curve with a few tweaks can be very fruitful. Please check the attachment for a better implementation of tweaked bell curve appraisal system.

Thanks & Regards,


From India, Thana

Attached Images (Download Requires Membership)
File Type: jpg 4_types_of_managers.jpg (18.9 KB, 2076 views)
File Type: png bell_curve_forced_ranking.png (8.4 KB, 2278 views)
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File Type: doc create bell curve in XL.doc (52.5 KB, 7988 views)
File Type: doc Bell Curve Appraisal Tool.doc (32.0 KB, 6963 views)


Hi AJ,
Thanks for sharing such an information on the Bell curve Methodology.I tried with your guidelines as a test run but for random, data Analysis icon is not there in Tools. Kindly guide me on this.
Rachna Sinha
# 040 23100600/ 601

From India, Hyderabad
Hi AJ, The info is indeed extremely helpful. Dear Friends, I also wanted to know if there is any certification course or something of the sort. Regards, Pranali
From India, Chandigarh
I'm Robert Bacal, author of a number of performance management books published by McGraw-Hill. This is a topic of interest to me, since I'm absolutely AGAINST the use of the bell curve. A number of companies, including Microsoft have stopped using it, and there have been some successful lawsuits in the USA.
here are some resources.
Employee Ranking Systems Reference Library
Does rank and yank improve productivity?
Here's more questions and answers on ranking, rating, etc.
If anyone has questions, I'd be glad to answer them here.
Robert Bacal
<link outdated-removed>

From Canada, Ottawa
hi..i’m newcomer...but really interested with this blog..can anyone share with me a force ranking we have one?:|
From Malaysia, Johor Bahru
Dear Sir
I am highly satisfied with above answer ,but i have some confusion .......
As per the attached Diagram Which one is top Performer20% , middel performer 70% and lower performer10% . (Negative or positive)
Requesting you to pls explain me as per attached diagram in which i am getting many confusion
Waiting for your reply as i have to submit my project...

From India, Mumbai

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File Type: jpg normalcurve.jpg (17.4 KB, 492 views)


Hi!! I understand the concept of Bell curve, however, I am been asked to show a bell curve on an excel. The hypothetical numbers are given. A 5, B 15, C 60, D, 10, E 10. I know that there is already a post on how to depict a bell graph on excel but would request if anyone can walk me through or make it simple by writing down the step.
Thanks a ton!!

From India, Bangalore

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