I remember the days when I had to take classes and exams that used the curvebell system to determine one’s grade. This means that even if you scored 80 out of a 100, you may still score a C, provided the rest are as or more competitive than you do. Those were the days.
Moving to working environment, I’ve always thought that only the investment banking and the front sales people get graded based on their performance metrics. That means the more sales you pull in for the company, the more commission you make and the better your appraisal at the end of the year. That’s at least what everyone thinks right. But if you are those working in the back or middle office, do you still need such a system? Can’t it be a system where everyone works in tandem and improve and help each other? What is the need for such competitive environment for people working in the back office?
This article shows that Microsoft used to have such a system for their employee’s grading appraisal. To me, it is just plain brainless for them to begin that system in the first place. Competition, in a sense, is healthy. I don’t see any wrong in pushing the employees to be at their best feet all the time. But in such environment you usually get a lot of politics, unhappiness and back-stabbing in the process. Not the type of working environment I am completely comfortable at. Luckily enough, Microsoft realised it and they are changing the grading system. Now it sounds like a much better environment to work at with One-Microsoft Strategy (sounds exactly like the project I had at my current company)
What do you think? Does a competitive environment brings the best out of the employees?