Infosys has joined the growing list of companies which have junked the bell curve as a performance assessment tool for their employees. Earlier this year, CISCO, KPMG and Accenture had also discarded this system of employee appraisal.
Richard Lobo, Senior Vice President, HR, Infosys said, “From this quarter, we have removed the forced ranking and in the October appraisal, employees will be appraised on the open ranking. From now on, the managers will take a call and reward.”
The change in the performance assessment system has been pushed by chief executive Vishal Sikka and would affect the company’s 176,000 employees. Since taking over in August last year, Sikka has made several employee initiatives, including relaxation in dress code. Lobo said that the new system will be more open and flexible with a pronounced focus on rewards for performance.
Under the bell curve system of ranking the employees, managers have to mandatorily classify employees into three categories, and rank the performance of 70 per cent as average, 20 per cent as high and 10 per cent, low. The system has been criticised as it leads to a frantic race for employees to get to the top. Moreover, forced ranking of about 10 per cent of employees at the bottom creates “losers” in the group, even if the group as a whole had performed very well. Even in a team of high performers, someone still has to be at the bottom.