Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Microsoft and Yahoo Doomed By Forced Firing By Ranking

Microsoft and Yahoo Doomed By Forced Firing By Ranking

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  • Microsoft does away with stack ranking | ZDNet

    Microsoft does away with stack ranking
    Nov 12, 2013 · Stack ranking, an employee-evaluation process that has been roundly criticized by many current and former Microsoft employees, is …
  • Microsoft kills Ballmer’s morale-wrecking employee ranking ...

    Microsoft kills Ballmer’s morale-wrecking employee ranking system
    Here’s how you know the Steve Ballmer era is truly ending at Microsoft: The company has finally killed off stack ranking. ZDNet reports that Microsoft …
  • Why Microsoft Dumped "Stack-Ranking" - Digits - WSJ

    Why Microsoft Dumped ‘Stack Ranking’
    Nov 12, 2013 · The sometimes loathed employee-review system has been a fixture of Microsoft for years. Lately, critics said the system — under which 

  • www.businessweek.com/.../yahoos-latest-hr...ranking-workers-on-a-curve
    Nov 12, 2013 · If Marissa Mayer is as good at identifying winning startups as she is at embracing contentious human resources practices, Yahoo! is going to be just fine.
    If Marissa Mayer is as good at identifying winning startups as she is at embracing contentious human resources practices, Yahoo! (YHOO) is going to be just fine. Several months after the great work-at-home kerfuffle of 2013, Yahoo employees were up in arms about a new policy that forces managers to rank employees on a bell curve, then fire those at the low end. According to AllThingsD, Marissa Mayer reportedly told Yahoo workers that the rankings weren’t mandatory, but many people disagree... Yahoo has waded into the “third rail of human resource management.” Forcing managers to rank their employees along a bell curve was popularized in the 1980s (thanks, Jack Welch), but lately it has fallen out of favor. 
    Just over 5 percent of high-performing companies used a forced ranking system in 2011, down from almost 20 percent two years earlier. ..research suggests that employee performance doesn’t follow a bell curve at all. Instead, most people are slightly worse than average (PDF), with a few superstars

  • http://valleywag.gawker.com/yahoo-is-forcing-employees-to-rank-each-other-and-they-1462900871/@maxread

    Yahoo! has recently implemented an archaic bell curve ranking system, compelling employees to artificially spread colleagues over a range of bad to good—even if reality doesn't actually reflect itself on a curve. That's the thing about bell curves: they look so great on paper, but not so much when you're looking around the room and thinking of who might get fired over it. Maybe it's you! And indeed, heads are rolling from the artificial curvature:
    According to a multitude of top-ranking posts on an anonymous internal message board used by Yahoo to vent their frustrations to top staff, employees there are becoming increasingly upset by an evaluation system instituted by CEO Marissa Mayer that has apparently resulted in the firings of more than 600 people in recent weeks...the "Quarterly Performance Review" system forces managers to rank some of their staff with designations of "Occasionally Misses" and "Misses," even if it is not the case
    Businessweek also points out that this kind of rationalized review is just bad for business. Of course, it's horrible for morale: AllThingsD says livid employees, who are basically being asked to betray their coworkers in the name of statistical neatness, are taking to an internal message board with their gripes:

    Microsoft Just Killed The Controversial 'Stack Ranking' Review System That Killed Employee Morale

    Here's one big internal problem with Microsoft, according to Vanity Fair:
    Eichenwald’s conversations reveal that a management system known as “stack ranking”—a program that forces every unit to declare a certain percentage of employees as top performers, good performers, average, and poor—effectively crippled Microsoft’s ability to innovate. “Every current and former Microsoft employee I interviewed—every one—cited stack ranking as the most destructive process inside of Microsoft, something that drove out untold numbers of employees,” Eichenwald writes. “If you were on a team of 10 people, you walked in the first day knowing that, no matter how good everyone was, 2 people were going to get a great review, 7 were going to get mediocre reviews, and 1 was going to get a terrible review,” says a former software developer. “It leads to employees focusing on competing with each other rather than competing with other companies.”

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-was-destroyed-by-its-stack-review-process-according-to-new-vanity-fair-expose-2012-7#ixzz2kSxfHZKR

    She implemented the same system at Google, which was just ripped off from Microsoft. (which I think was ripped off from G.E.) 

    @Sam Biddle

    This ranking system is actually a performance evaluation method that, while no longer perhaps the most popular system, is certainly not "archaic".
    Basically she's trying to cut the fat in a bloated company and keep the superstars. Can't blame her. I will acknowledge it sucks for the employees but major organizational change is never easy. Her communication could be better.


    And the diagnosis of Microsoft's decline usually centers on the system of stack review, which turned individuals in departments against each other.
    But any system of evaluation organized around groups would have its own perverse effects.
    Let's say that the groups were measured against each other and the weakest 1 in 10 disbanded. The marginal work groups would be highly reluctant to cooperate with others, lest they be dragged down. And the better performers in each group would try to leave for a team of their peers, fearful of being dragged down.
    Whatever system is chosen, individuals will game. So the only real question for top management is this: at what more or less granular level do you need cooperation to obtain?Reply1