Friday, September 11, 2015

I am not a number

As we await more details on the BBC's Nine Box Grid that categorises the performance and potentia of 3,000 managers, I'm grateful to former HR Director Lucy Adams for a Twitter point to a Hardvard Business Review article, "Why more and more companies are ditching performance ratings".

The essence: "In short, we found that social threats and rewards, like one’s sense of status or fairness, activate intense reaction networks in the brain. This explained the intense reactions people had to being assessed on a ratings scale".

"Top ratings lead to high status, promotions, and raises—yet it’s not like at school, where everyone can get an A if they work hard enough. With a forced curve, a manager with a hardworking team of 10 people may only be allowed to give one or two of them the top rating. As a result, people directly compete with each other for rewards, hurting collaboration. As our forthcoming research will show, when Microsoft removed its ratings, employee collaboration skyrocketed."

"Of the 30 companies we studied, one preliminary finding that jumped out was that after a company removed ratings, managers talked to their teams significantly more often about performance (three or four times a year instead of only once). More frequent communication helps with employee engagement, development, and fairer pay, as managers better understand how their people are doing."

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