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Old 09-30-2016, 07:05 AM   #21
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When the megacorp I was at started mandating that a certain percentage of workers be placed in the "not meeting expectations " bucket, it was effective for a few years. There was some dead wood, and the forced ranking provided the "evidence " to allow for the poor performers to be let go.

But after a few years, the truly poor performers were gone. The forced rankings then put good workers, who maybe had a rough year or got put on a dud project, on the chopping block. Good, capable workers were being let go and replaced with new people. The new people had sort of a free pass for a few years where they (justly) protected from being placed in the bottom 10%. So then another average worker would have to be slotted low and was in danger of being terminated. It was a vicious cycle.

Managers with a large enough workforce met the forced ranking by rotating different people through the bottom 10% each year. If a worker spent only one year in the bottom they usually weren't terminated-- but two years was the ticket out the door.
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Old 09-30-2016, 07:55 AM   #22
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For those still w*rking, in OMY syndrome or recently retired, how did you handle the forced ranking of your direct reports at MegaCorp.....that is the corporate mandate where 70% of your direct reports have to be rated "at expectations", 20% above expectations, and 10% have to be rated "below expectations" whether they met their goals or not.
that was always tough
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Old 09-30-2016, 08:01 AM   #23
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When the megacorp I was at started mandating that a certain percentage of workers be placed in the "not meeting expectations " bucket, it was effective for a few years. There was some dead wood, and the forced ranking provided the "evidence " to allow for the poor performers to be let go.
But after a few years, the truly poor performers were gone.
...........
My experience, too, and at MegaMotors the bottom ranked were almost always the oldest workers. There was a feeling that since we were eligible to retire at 55 that anyone older was overstaying their welcome and hogging a position. An older guy who knew what he was doing and could do it effectively in 40 hours was seen as lazy whereas a kid who ran around like a lost puppy for 60 hours fixing and re-fixing his mistakes was seen as energetic and enthusiastic.

Thank you God for getting me outta there!
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Old 09-30-2016, 09:44 AM   #24
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...
Thank you God for gettign me outta there!
+1
I was in my favorite cafe yesterday having my favorite coffee and reading one of the business books I had just picked up after a leisurely stroll to the library (ah, the joys of retirement). At a nearby table a group of business people were quietly discussing some candidate for a hiring process they were obviously in the middle of. It was almost comical listening to how serious they were taking the discussion. Almost comical, I say, because what I heard (I was never interested enough to look up) was an exact mirror of who I used to be. If you're still working and acting as if the fate of the world depends on some business process, be afraid. Be very afraid. The life energy you waste, particularly on the political stuff, is only your own.
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Old 09-30-2016, 10:10 AM   #25
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We had that at last mega. I fought it tooth and nail for 22 years. My contention was that if I had 10% below expectations then I was not doing my job. I was very aggressive about that stance and got way with it. It is one of the most ridiculous systems I have ever seen.
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Old 09-30-2016, 10:48 AM   #26
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The funny part to me is this was popularized by Jack Welch who was later shown to be a corporate kleptomaniac. Divorce papers detail Welch's perks from GE - Sep. 6, 2002
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Old 09-30-2016, 11:05 AM   #27
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Oh.... BTW, one of the biggest proponents of this style of management was Enron...

I worked with a couple of people at Enron and it was a dog eat dog existence... if you were ranked low you were let go...


We all know what happened to them!!!
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Old 09-30-2016, 11:36 AM   #28
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+1
I was in my favorite cafe yesterday having my favorite coffee and reading one of the business books I had just picked up after a leisurely stroll to the library (ah, the joys of retirement). At a nearby table a group of business people were quietly discussing some candidate for a hiring process they were obviously in the middle of. It was almost comical listening to how serious they were taking the discussion. Almost comical, I say, because what I heard (I was never interested enough to look up) was an exact mirror of who I used to be. If you're still working and acting as if the fate of the world depends on some business process, be afraid. Be very afraid. The life energy you waste, particularly on the political stuff, is only your own.

If I correctly understand one of your points then I could not disagree more with what you are saying. If you take only one process seriously it should be hiring. It is the single most important function a manager has and if you need to discuss it with other people then even better.
Maybe you were just making a general comment about seriousness but if you are going to get serious about thing, make it hiring.
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Old 09-30-2016, 11:48 AM   #29
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I had to participate in a forced ranking system at our company when we hired someone from GE as our president. After ranking everyone in the company, we fired the bottom 10% and put the next 10% on notice that they would be let go if they didn't improve. The company struggled for a few years and the ex-GE president eventually moved on as the company stock decreased in value. The rational for the system was to raise the level of talent in the company. It probably did clear out some low performers, but I don't think it truly benefited the company.
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Old 09-30-2016, 12:55 PM   #30
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We had that at last mega. I fought it tooth and nail for 22 years. My contention was that if I had 10% below expectations then I was not doing my job. I was very aggressive about that stance and got way with it. It is one of the most ridiculous systems I have ever seen.
My old Megacorp found a new low.

"Oh you're in that job title, we don't have them anymore". Sad to see very talented people shown the door, many were promoted to the position!
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Old 09-30-2016, 01:11 PM   #31
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Yeah, Jack Welch's "vitality curve". We called it "rank and yank". To me it felt more like "decimation", except that was a punishment for cowardice for Roman soldiers. In my decades at megacorp on both sides of the table, I saw years when it was not enforced, and then years when managers were told to "go back and find more people to give bad reviews to". It has been used to clandestinely reduce headcount. Recently it appears to be falling out of favor, since I don't think it's very enticing for millennials or generation Z's.
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Old 09-30-2016, 01:30 PM   #32
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One of the major policies at my employer of 36 years. A combination of forced rankings and reapplying for my job in 2009 gave me the resolve to make the final push to ER this year.
It was funny after years of great reviews I got blindsided by forced rankings in 2014. The drones were long ago culled from the team and we had a nice cohesive productive team. I did let it slip that I had no fear about my job and could hang it up at any time. This was a subtle ploy to feel out any severance packages. Instead I got dinged with a 4 out of 9 rating.
The funny thing was that this year I gave my notice before the evaluation process and my evaluation score shot up. This was hilarious considering I only did what I wanted for the last year. It was obvious that they did not want to waste a poor evaluation on somebody who was leaving anyway.
I left on good terms and basically felt I got my year of severance by taking the time for a farewell tour of all my customers.
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Old 09-30-2016, 02:22 PM   #33
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Oh my, this thread conjures up many bad memories.... I had between 50-80 people on my team, and I'm very, Very, VERY, V E R Y glad indeed that I don't have to deal with this anymore!
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Old 09-30-2016, 02:30 PM   #34
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If I correctly understand one of your points then I could not disagree more with what you are saying. If you take only one process seriously it should be hiring. It is the single most important function a manager has and if you need to discuss it with other people then even better.
Maybe you were just making a general comment about seriousness but if you are going to get serious about thing, make it hiring.
When you're in that quagmire, all of it--the politics, management and so-called "leadership" mechanics, organizational logjams, etc.--seems so serious, almost life and death to hear the way people talk about it. Yes, if you're in that quicksand, I agree wholeheartedly nothing is more important for a manager than the crucifixion one must endure in hiring "the right people". And for what? Only to see another valued person on the "team" move on and have to go through the whole process again, perhaps. Or to have to deal with another team member who isn't performing, or an absenteeism issue, or to find your favorite executive leadership member has been replaced by one whose head is in a very dark place, or to find out a key project you've been working on for the last six months has just been killed. In business, it's just one piece of BS after another, like a kaleidoscope of never ending dysfunction that in the end amounts to...what? (I am reminded of that scene in the old Jack Nicholson movie where he retires after decades only to later see his boxes of precious office files stacked near the garbage after his replacement starts)

My point is, after retirement, the whole thing is just silly. Once you receive your get out of jail card, the mental energy you wasted on all that becomes laughable, at least it is for me. Now I'm off to my favorite cafe, my favorite coffee, and my book.
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Old 09-30-2016, 02:51 PM   #35
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...............It was funny after years of great reviews I got blindsided by forced rankings in 2014............
The humorous part was how fast ratings changed for anyone when there was a change in their immediate manager. Golden boys tumbled into the mud and slackers suddenly became the new boss' right hand man. It can be highly subjective.
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Old 09-30-2016, 03:14 PM   #36
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The humorous part was how fast ratings changed for anyone when there was a change in their immediate manager. Golden boys tumbled into the mud and slackers suddenly became the new boss' right hand man. It can be highly subjective.

Agreed! This thread is reminding me why I got out of management!
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Old 09-30-2016, 03:48 PM   #37
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(I am reminded of that scene in the old Jack Nicholson movie where he retires after decades only to later see his boxes of precious office files stacked near the garbage after his replacement starts)
he was an actuary too!
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Old 09-30-2016, 05:37 PM   #38
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This thread is giving me nightmares.

Not only did my megacorp have forced rankings. They also made you have "quantifiable goals" stated at the beginning of the year - and the rankings were (potentially) based on whether you met the goals.

The problem is - the goals were required to be very specific... but they'd change programs/projects on us - so we'd end up with out of date goals every time. I was working on project X - which was the hottest project... then it was put on the back burner in favor of project Y and I was shifted over to that one... so of course I didn't meet my deadlines or quotas on project X. There were years where I was on my 5th project away from the stated goal project by the time they were doing the evaluation and ranking...

I lobbied to put "Work on whatever project my boss tells me to today, as hard as I can, and as fast as I can" on my stated goals - but that wasn't deemed specific or quantifiable enough.
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Old 09-30-2016, 10:31 PM   #39
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I was working a contract at an insurance company that just merged with another, and so they were going to have layoffs.

I was wanting to quit that contract and get one close to home.

So I told the manager, that with all the turmoil and the uncertainty of which projects would continue due to the merger, that I was willing to end now, and that would be one less headcount in her group.

She was pretty happy to have a layoff volunteer, instead of a regular employee.
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Old 10-01-2016, 06:18 AM   #40
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Went through that ranking BS for almost a decade. Every company is different, but the megacorp I was in, reviews were a joke. Measurable results? LOL. Just LOL, and no further details necessary.
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