There is this debate of whether the bell curve is a right fit for performance ratings and salary hikes in the current dynamic world of corporates. Bell curve which forces a small set of high performers and a small set of bad performers to each side of the curve is pioneered by GE.
image courtesy: fistfuloftalent
Though it is virtually followed by many large organizations, many of the companies debate that it is not the right way of reviewing the employees’ performance.
Microsoft and Adobe decided last year, to not to use bell-curve as employee assessment tool any more. Indian IT major Infosys too is rethinking whether to use this statistical model as a tool to rate its 150,000-plus employees. It is understood that performance rating is evolving with respect to the current trend. One should consider individual contribution rather than just relative performance. The bell curve creates a conflict as it limits the number of high performers. In fact Infosys replaced the bell curve with the performance curve, where it assumes that most employees are high performers, some are average and very few perform poorly.
There are other players – Internet companies Google, Twitter and LinkedIn that do not use the bell curve.
To conclude, the performance evaluation methods followed by big organizations are slowly changing from traditional bell curve to more employee favored methods.