Soft Skill - Performance (Review)

Paretian Distribution

People simply don’t fit neatly on a bell curve. The assumption that individual performance follows a Gaussian (normal) distribution is false. The “picture of performance” is better represented by a Paretian distribution. See The Best and the Rest: Revisiting the Norm of Normality of Individual Performance


Pay Difference

We looked at every peer reviewed study we could find, and in every one when there was a bigger difference between the pay at of the people at the bottom and the top there was worse performance.

Numerical Ranking

The harshest critics of performance reviews and ratings argue that numerical rankings and pay differentiation are perhaps the most damaging parts of the system, and that any regime that preserves them can’t hope to truly change

For decades, General Electric practiced (and proselytized) a rigid system, championed by then-CEO Jack Welch, of ranking employees. Formally known as the “vitality curve” but frequently called “rank and yank,” the system hinged on the annual performance review, and boiled the employees’ performance down to a number on which they were judged and ranked against peers. A bottom percentage (10% in GE’s case) of underperformers were then fired


The focus isn’t on grading how well people are doing, but on constant improvement


The GE app forces users to categorize feedback in one of two forms:

  • To continue doing something,
  • or to consider changing something.

Documentation / Reference

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