It is a performance management system that requires managers to rate employees based on a predetermined distribution curve. This system is called a "forced curve" or "normal distribution." Typically, employees are rated on a scale of 1 to 5, and the ratings are then distributed according to a bell curve. For example, in a company with 100 employees, the top 10% might receive a rating of 5, the next 20% might receive a rating of 4, the middle 40% might receive a rating of 3, the next 20% might receive a rating of 2, and the bottom 10% might receive a rating of 1. The forced distribution system is intended to prevent managers from giving all employees high ratings and to ensure that performance evaluations are more objective. However, this system has also been criticized for creating an overly competitive work environment and for punishing employees who may be performing well but fall into the lower end of the curve.
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