Bell Curve in Performance Appraisal – Is it Relevant or Not?

Bell Curve performance appraisal system
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Organizations use the performance appraisal report to evaluate the employees’ job performance. It mainly assesses the employee’s achievements and shortcomings and provides feedback. As per the appraisal report, employees get promotions, bonuses, pay hikes, or even the termination process is taken place through the performance management process. Companies follow several appraisal methods for company growth. Out of them, one of the oldest methods is the Bell Curve performance method.

 

Let’s Light up the Bell Curve Process.

A Bell Curve performance appraisal system is one of the crucial employee performance management systems that intimidates H.R. managers and employees.

 

What is the Meaning of the Bell Curve, or Why do We Call it Bell Curve?

Bell Curve is a graph that looks like a bell. Only a small number of people (including the worst performers, lying on the left edge and top performers on the right edge) are the outliers of this curve, And most of the employees are placed in the middle of the curve. With these Bell Curve activities, an organization can generally arrange a normal distribution of the employee performance appraisal process.

 

But for the micro-management, is it worthful? or with the constantly evolving work atmosphere of this corporate world, the Bell Curve method is becoming redundant.

 
Also Read: 6 Reasons to get a Performance Management Software this Year
 

Characteristics Features of the Bell Curve

The average of a bell curve proportion is always located in its middle, and it is consistently the highest in the range. There must always be a single bell with one peak. The standard deviation of the bell curve is formularized.

 

Is the Bell Curve Performance Method Relevant? What are the Advantages or Disadvantages of Bell Curve Performance Management?

Like every appraisal system, Bell Curve measurement has some pros and cons as well. Before selecting the proper Employee appraisal method, It is time to count on this method in detail.

 

Advantages of Bell Curve Appraisal Method

What are the advantages of the organization implanting the Bell Curve method for evaluating employee performance?

 

Easy Identification of Top Performers

In the Bell Curve method, organizations can easily detect employee performance. Therefore, it is highly feasible to identify the employees who are ranked the highest. It saves time for managers in the decision-making process. Instead, they can focus on rewarding techniques to motivate them.

 

And in the case of detecting the worst performers, if one is interested in boosting their performance, managers can plan some career counselling courses for the custom growth of those employees who are interested in grooming them for the future.

 

Impartial Evaluation by Managers

Numerous managers are pretty strict in the case of performance rating, whereas some are just as lenient with t. With the bell curve method, managers can keep the performance record on track and can push team members to maintain a fair team rating balanced.

 

Tracking of Yearly Growth of Employees.

With the Bell Curve performance appraisal method, you can keep track of your performance record periodically. As per the poor performing percentage of the Bell Curve, the manager can identify problem areas and target interventions and create some strategies to upbuild the performance record for the future.

 

Proper Allocation of Resources

H.R. can enjoy the appropriate assessment of employee performance appraisal reports with the Bell Curve graph. With a Bell Curve graph, there is a visual representation of every employee’s performance. Organizations can identify whether there is a need to allocate resources for training or some other resource allocation method will be taken place immediately.

 

Motivation Building

Building Motivation is one of the vital roles of the Bell Curv appraisal method. It can be a genuine motivating factor for employees as they can improve their performance to see them from the mid to right edge of the Bell Curve system. It can drive enthusiasm and productivity through the performance of the employees, which reflects in the highest possible ranking and reap its benefits.

 
Also Read: Performance Appraisal System in Manufacturing Sector and Benefits
 

Disadvantages of the Bell Curve Method

Bell Curve doesn’t Count Teamwork.

Teamwork is in trend in contemporary office culture. Provided tasks are segregated between teams. The Bell Curve system is the single performance management selector, so it does not work for teamwork features.

 

As per the changing workplace dynamics, it is becoming irrelevant and inaccurate to the purpose of the employee performance appraisal method. Moreover, Forced Rankings are very unfamiliar and demoralizing for employees nowadays. It is time to take the other employee performance assessment methods to replace the Bell Curve.

 

Competitive Environment Among Employees

A Bell Curve method leads to a competitive environment in the working culture and discourages the employees who work together in a team. The performance fluctuation among team members leads to team inadequacy, and more of those employees rated low after a long hard work starts to suffer r from low self-esteem issues. In the end, it affects on moral growth of the organization.

 

Not Accountable for the Smaller Company or Start-Ups

Small companies or start-ups need micromanagement in keeping track of employees’ performance. As the Bell curve is one of the oldest methods, it is unsuitable for an organization with fewer than 250 employees. If any small companies put the details over it, the probability of employees ranking would be incorrectly increasing.

 

Moreover, due to fewer employees, with the Bell Curve employee performance curve, it becomes more challenging to fill all three categories and would have also made some wrong tracking.

 

Forced Rankings – Affects Worse Employees’ Minds.

A bell curve method leads to fluctuation in employee performance ratings. It not only drives the risk of diminishing the top performer’s value but also often deteriorates the value of the middle and worst performers. Bell Curve leads to the forced ranking method. Without going through the proper employee’s performance or qualification, the Bell Curve graph provides an automated version of the forced ranking of employees.

 

This ranking system can affect salary scaling as organizations start to fix performance appraisals based on the graph rating without assessing an employee’s qualifications and overall performance. So, for teamwork, this method is no longer effective in ranking individual employee performance.

 

Team Segregation Affects Productivity

Companies now follow modern performance management systems, focusing on teamwork management and collaborative output. Bell Curve is not fitted here. As this performance management method doesn’t count the Teamwork activities, it shows inaccurate and Unfair Assessments of employee performance; it diversifies the losers and winners, discouraging collaboration and decreasing productivity.

 

Human Resource (Cost) Accounting Method

Human resource accounting is an accounting process for an organizational resource. It measures the costs and revenue balance within the work atmosphere during recruitment, selection, hiring, training and development, human assets, etc. It also involves measuring the micro-management at the time of cost counting performance of the organization.

 

Assessment Centre Method

With this assessment-centred method, organisations can identify the skill or potentiality of the employee performance and productivity through a bunch of exercises that include 1. Selection, 2. Career pathway, 3. Research on potentiality, 4. identifying the talent, 5. succession planning, 6. Candidate performance development and analyse.

 

Critical Incident Method

With the Critical Incident method, organisations can measure whether employee performance meets the key performance indicators(KPI). If the staff member doesn’t meet the minimum KPI specification, then management decides whether they would provide the training or counselling or terminate the employee’s contract.

 

Some Other Employee Appraisal Systems are the following:

Assessment Centre Method

With this assessment-centred method, organisations can identify the skill or potentiality of the employee performance and productivity through a bunch of exercises that include 1. Selection, 2. Career pathway, 3. Research on potentiality, 4. identifying the talent, 5. succession planning, 6. Candidate performance development and analyse.

 

Critical Incident Method

With the Critical Incident method, organisations can measure whether employee performance meets the key performance indicators (KPI). If the staff member doesn’t meet the minimum KPI specification, then management decides whether they would provide the training or counselling or terminate the employee’s contract.

 

360-Degree Feedback Appraisal System

A 360-degree performance appraisal system is one of the best solutions for a complete team performance report. Organizations can analyze the performance report by using the review of around approx.

 

7 to 12 people together. With this system, a team can understand the strength and weaknesses of team. it helps to improve performance through self-assessment or team assessment process. In this appraisal system, employees can submit a feedback form as well.

 

Behaviourally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS)

A measuring system known as a behaviourally anchored rating scale (BARs) rates employees as per their performance and specific behavioural patterns. This pattern is categorized and appointed a numerical value used as the basis for rating performance.

 

At The End

Though the recent work culture bell curve seems like a highly rigid system of performance ranking your employees, it can help your managers with helpful performance insights and make the decision-making process a little easier.

 

There is something to be remembered that it is a fully automated system, so often, it fails to detect the overall team performance report or genuine performance analysis. So if you are already continuing with the Bell Curve method, then keep some different software aside for a complete look at your organization’s workforce.

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