Eric Bohlman speaks eloquently regarding the damned bell curve
requirements which can inflict such pain on an organization by
necessitating that there be some "bad" among the "good". As mentioned in
another post (Thomas Benjamin) I offered that there are usually few good
metrics which would provide justification (quantifiable) for telling
someone across the desk that they are "bad" in relation to "our
standards", when the standards themselves are flawed in the first place.
Bell Canada found out that they were not as aware of the "facts" as they
might have been some years ago. Appraisals were breeding unhappiness among
the system's operators in that too many were falling "outside" the limits
of the time allotted for calls to be completed. A project was begun to
deal with the causes and over the period of a year the system was in the
main found to be "in balance", with the notable changes allowing the
operators to deal with the problems of the call as they felt necessary.
This proved to be within the control limits as a group, not as individuals
being "inspected" by management.
Too few companies allow for a bad hair day, but too many note that one has
occurred today, as if it had meaning over the course of a whole year, or
whether it had true meaning at all in the context of the system as a
whole. Yet this is what occurs in too many performance appraisal
situations. Flawed thinking (assumptions/conclusions) by management using
inaccurate data, leading to anger and hostility, conflict and
confrontation, not cooperation and contribution by the employees. This is
the great challenge in too many organzations today, as Eric points out.
Regards, John Constantine Rainbird Management Consulting Santa Fe, NM http://www.trail.com/~rainbird
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