Not all employees can be above average, but sometimes the performance appraisal process seems like that. If managers are hoping to boost the chances of their employees avoiding being negative, companies may find it difficult to identify stars or identify weak links when vacations are needed. The need for managers to categorize bell curves eliminates this problem, even though it creates others as it happens.
Follow the signs
A bell curve assumes that there is a normal distribution of skills in a company. This is a statistical term that means most people live within two standard deviations of the average, and a large number of employees fall into each part of the distribution. Thus, a small number of high achievers rest on the right side of the bell curve, while some of the worst performers are on the left. Implementing the bell curve in employee surveys means that your employee rankings come in this style, mostly with average ratings.
Strict limits on employee ratings are required to use bell curves. For many reasons, there is a restriction on how many employees can be given the highest ranking, or it is required that one out of every ten employees get the lowest score. In a small company, this may mean that the owner is in charge of the classification and ranks everyone above everyone else. In large companies, the bell curve can be recorded at the divisional level, meaning that managers can find themselves fighting for their employees’ positions in a larger unit.
Employers who intend to rate their employees should specify standards and expectations. For example, a salesforce can be ranked by its total selling dollar or its performance to its target number. The other can be rated based on the client’s assessment. Many companies rank their employees in different areas and then determine their position on the bell curves by adding numbers. This will allow employers to tell staff members where they are short and develop a plan to improve performance.
Applying bell curves is not always easy or desirable. A company that relies on collaboration and work teams, for example, cannot be supported by a system of scrutiny that pit its employees against each other during performance appraisals. In these cases, administrators need to take extra precautions in enforcing the system to ensure that it does not promote unhealthy competition or honor. Keeping your spirits up on a team where some people are highly rewarded, and others are viewed negatively when everyone is responsible for the same project, can challenge even the most experienced manager ۔