Pretty Ugly – The Perfect Oxymoron for Performance Appraisal to describe it in many facets. From any employee perspective it is a journey of unexpected events which could turn pretty or ugly and in most cases it starts pretty because the managers rate them well and ensuring that they are ‘pretty’ but by the end of the journey it turns to be ‘ugly’ because of the (in)famous bell curve.
Bell Curve or Forced Normalization are one of the most misunderstood concepts in Human Resources. It wouldn’t be improper to say that these are also most abused words in any employees’ career.
To build a high performance work culture and maximize / optimize the budgets, we would require to continue with Bell Curve / Forced Normalization, at the same the question is how do we ensure that the journey isn’t so ungrateful or unfailing. Some of the best practices which will turn the tide can be described as follows :
Share the Logic: The business logic of Bell Curve needs to be shared with the employees in a transparent way. The need why the employee cost can be only xx % of the total budget and how much rise in this budget is business affordable needs to be shared to managers. Failing this leads to speculation.
Co Create it : The normalization has to be a group process consisting of business managers and HR should only facilitate this with information. HR can influence only in those instances where in specific incidents have been noted of some employees.
Communicate: Communicate to employees the overall picture and the names of the normalization committee etc. so that they start believing that the process is owned by their managers and not by someone else.
At The Strategist we believe the above are some of the simple steps which each of us can take to build credibility in the process and thereby ensure that we phase out this oxymoron of Pretty Ugly associated with Performance Appraisal. . .
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