Is there something that is beyond the Bell Curve?

In the recent times we have been often hearing that companies are putting down their Bell curve based performance assessment and once a year review process. Predominantly the way of reviewing employees are changing tracks here. Salary and performance are two identical curves. But, most organizations club together both the curves and call it Bell curve. In the traditional method, companies review their employees and bucket them based on the rating assigned to them. A curve is drawn out of this which is called the performance curve. When the performance curve does not replicate the predefined Bell curve (salary curve), companies force fit employees to attain their desired Bell curve. When companies force fit employees, ratings of employees (that was given already) change to get in-line with the B curve. Thus, employees are losing interest due to loss in the process transparency.

The problem with the annual review process is that the goals assigned to employees (that too at the start of the year) are not structured based on the project, role and responsibilities. It is neither revised when the project changes nor updated. Should’nt the goals be tailor made pertaining to the role of the employee and project that he works for?

Companies have proofread this concept and are now trying to abandon Bell curve based performance assessment and once a year review process. IBM, Infosys, etc. and many other companies have got away with their Bell curves.

Infosys opts for more HR innovation


Infosys, the country’s second largest software services company is no longer using Bell curve for evaluating its employees. Earlier they had a standard set of goals irrespective of the nature of the projects. Now the goals are tailor made based on the employee’s profile and project requirements. The goal setting & evaluation has become more frequent (every 2 months) as compared to the previous half yearly or annual review process. The main idea is to bring in continuous feedback both from the managers and employees.

Source: Business Standard

Continuous, constructive, in the moment feedback enhances manager-employee collaboration and brings about work engagement. Feedback need not only be on the areas of improvements but instant appreciation notes and awards can motivate employees and boost them.

Welcome CHECKPOINT, Goodbye appraisal in IBM


IBM India has abolished the yearly appraisal methodology and has implemented the new appraisal system “CHECKPOINT” where employees will be subjected to 4 yearly reviews. There will be milestones or checkpoints set and more immediate feedback will be given rather than a yearly review. The idea is to get “more frequent feedback from managers”.

Source: Saikat Gupta (content writer)

Just changing the way of reviewing employees alone does not bring about the change that organizations look for. There’s also something beyond that. Changing the work culture, environment, review strategy, manager-employee relationship, peer-to-peer communication, keeping up the employee morale, employee first attitude are all building blocks for a successful organization. Then the employees become instrumental because they just need that trigger.

This is brought to light in one of the surveys conducted by the Times Jobs recently.

Bad work culture troubles India Inc employees

They held a survey among 1000 professionals across different sectors from India. 52% employees rated their workplace culture as bad while only 20% rated it as good while the reaming 28% felt that their company is working towards building a strong work culture.

  1. About 47% of the survey respondents said that they do not have a clear growth path in their organization.
  2. About 30% said that their reporting managers are bad (employees find managers to be annoying due to favoritism, rigidity, lack of domain knowledge)
  3. Around 22% employees stated that they lack learning and development opportunities & do not even have access to any learning & development tools to upgrade their skills
  4. About 16% of the employees are upset about their lack of recognition.

These 1000 professionals are the voice of the entire employee ecosystem that cannot be ignored or neglected. That’s the reason why several of the companies like IBM, Infosys, Axis banks, etc. are revising their employee review and assessment process.

Source: Times Jobs

Employee satisfaction and retention is one another area that has to be concentrated and paid attention to. Employees quit companies that do not satisfy them. And do you know what Axis bank has done?

Axis bank moves away from Bell Curve system

axis bank

Axis bank, the country’s 3rd largest private sector lender has moved away from the Bell curve to a new assessment method by the name “ACCELERATE”. The new system focusses on learning & development through which performance of employees will be measured. This in turn is used as the retention tool to battle attrition. Employee retention is one of their threats.

Employee retention turns out to be threat to the company because employees there are very caring to their customers and take proper time to answer their queries and concerns. This is definitely a strength to the company but they fear that knowing this their rivals might pitch on their employees. Hence, Axis bank has taken initiatives to retain their performing employees which any organization would do.

Source: Business Standard

The world is changing and if we don’t adapt to the changes, we may go unnoticed at some point in time. Many organizations unknowingly squander lot of productive hours in the review process and the way of reviewing employees and they believe that this is the actual amount of time that is consumed by other organizations too. What every organization should know is that using the software can be cost-cutting and time saving to remarkably huge numbers. The software serves the real purpose:

  1. Aligns employees with organization’s goals
  2. Streamlines individual’s goals
  3. Brings in employee engagement
  4. Enables manager-employee collaboration
  5. Brings about employee motivation and satisfaction
  6. Gives development and training opportunities to enhance employee’s skills & expertise

And also,

  1. Brings transparency to the process
  2. Brings down the time spent on follow-ups, reminders, etc.
  3. Cuts down cost and time
  4. Enables employee’s faith on the company

When you understand the real benefits of using the software for your performance management process and start using it real time, you can never go back to the same old method what so ever.

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