Research says no. So, what are the pros and cons of the bell curve rating system? Pushes management to deal with issues promptly Managers tend to rate performance leniently to not create any tension, avoiding the often uncomfortable but necessary conversations that could demotivate staff if communicated poorly. Can be a motivational tool for productivity If you have employees that like to work competitively, or work in a cut-throat environment such as hard sales or commission focused, the stack ranking method could increase productivity amongst the team to drive sales to avoid being placed in the low-scoring percentage. Quickly identifies top performers The bell-curve model helps management to very quickly identify the top performers, which will prompt reward benefits and recognition that can go a long way to retaining the best talent within the organisation. The lower scoring employees could still be great performers who meet the role expectations, but are pushed into this bottom category simply because there is nowhere else to place them against their peers in this rigid model.

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The Bell Curve system of performance appraisal intimidates HR managers as much as employees. For a long time, this forced ranking system has remained a topic of debate, but companies still continue to use it.

Because in the eyes of leadership teams it rewards top performers who create most part of the value for their companies. In simple words, they continue to use it because it benefits them. But is that really the case? We try to figure out in this article.

Majority of employees will be in-between, the category known as average performers. The ratio of percentages adopted for low:average: high varies among companies. Bell Curve: Advantages A major advantage of Bell Curve appraisal system is that it rewards high-performers, thus giving them more encouragement to work harder for the goals of the company.

On the other hand, it can also help in identifying the suitability of jobs for individual employees if done the right way. It also helps in managing leniency of HR managers while rating employees and forces them to rate people strictly. If you want to implement some other method of performance appraisal, your search for human resource management software may get a bit more difficult.

All of this helps companies in achieving their goals easily. Bell Curve: Disadvantages We just saw how the Bell Curve system helps companies in achieving their goals. But how many of those goals are actually achieved because of it? It seems not a lot. By forcing your HR managers to fit only a fixed number of employees in that gradient you may be discouraging the remaining high-performers or good performers at least who could have brought more business to your company.

Final Thoughts: Is it Relevant Anymore? Despite the number of companies that continue to deploy it, a few industries have already realized that this performance appraisal method is not good for them.

Make your Performance Management fun and easy! Get Free Demo Saajan Sharma Saajan Sharma is a digital marketer and blogger with several years of experience in the industry.


Relevance of Bell Curve Method of Performance Appraisal

Bell Curve Performance Appraisal Management System Brief summary There are various performance appraisal systems which exist and used by the different organization. In this system, the employees are categorized based on the ranking given to their performance. The system uses three categories namely, top performer, average performer and low performer employees based on the performance. The bell curve performance appraisal system provides a systematic way to identify the star performers and to link their performance with appropriate reward.


Performance Appraisals: Should You Grade Your Employees on a Bell Curve 🔔?

There are two questions you have asked. Whether HR does this on their own or whether Managers are involved? Now this will make a decent bell curve. You may now ask, why these two mid points. Retention and sourcing is a major issue today.

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