Back to the Bell Curve… and Individual Performance!

Performance Appraisals Don’t Improve Performance.

OK, I take it the sub-heading has grabbed your attention sufficiently for you to want to read both this post and the LinkedIn article that sparked the post. Also, you may want to return to my first post about the use of the Bell Curve as a measurement tool for greatness in the workplace.

The linked article highlights the shortfall of the Performance Appraisal, that dreaded process used widely by so many companies to encourage improved productivity. Two responses jump out at me in answer to the previous sentence… badly used and NOT! So, in summation, the badly used system is most definitely not the route to improved productivity or even personal growth.

So, why is the practice still so widely used? Back to the Bell Curve, I’m afraid. In my previous post about the sodding curve I postulated that as the curve is used to categorise the shortcomings of the “average” worker we should also use the curve to squarely point out that managers are also classed on their performance by using the curve. Then I said the use of the curve explains the lack of good managers, now I say that’s why the management classes are still hanging onto the dreaded appraisal systems.

No, not their bunch of carrots… their big sticks, to keep the masses in line! It matters not that productivity, happiness or well-being is negatively impacted. If you take their crutch away they’ll be exposed… as frauds… far too easily! Imagine asking them to manage by positive intent and not by fear. The vast majority making up the corporation management layers would be lost. Clueless, with nowhere to turn, nowhere to hide!

I urge you, do read the linked article. Read it, even if all this does is prepare you a tad better for the next round of appraisals. Mostly though, I hope somehow that by thinking about the systems in place we can in some ways suggest improvements and more positive dialogue and maybe even reward for creativity which could result in personal growth that in turn could benefit the workplace.

Yes, maybe I’m dreaming… you know what? If I don’t, I wouldn’t be able to challenge you to think a bit more about issues like bell curves and performance appraisals and their shortcomings!

A truism as seen on a gate in Rush, Co Dublin, Ireland

Maybe just a tad inappropriate as a photo, yet… come to think of it… maybe the life styles we so desire are directly linked with our happiness, or the lack of it, in the workplace!

About aj vosse

Love life, live love... share life... share love!
This entry was posted in Factual Opinion, Family & Life, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Back to the Bell Curve… and Individual Performance!

  1. jbwye says:

    Awww AJ – isnt that a tad negative, and not at all like you? (But no – I havent bothered to look up the Link you suggest)
    I think appraisals depend on the spirit with which the participants enter into them. The few I have partaken in have been useful, energising and wholesome affairs which have resulted in positive outcomes…. but then, I work for charities.


    • aj vosse says:

      Yep Jane, I would’t class the charities as big business or the corporate jungle. I know a few folk who work in the charity world, they are special. It’s a vocation and not the hyena-eat-hyena of the commercial environment!

      I’m not trying to be negative… toward the end of the piece I say if all I achieve is to prepare folks a little better then I think I’ve reached a positive outcome!

      I’ll end by saying I’ve been very harshly critiqued on a few occasions by mis-managers, because they couldn’t cope with my creative approach to doing business! With a smile on my face!


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