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Ask L2: Ranking Employees From Best to Worst - Is This Normal??

“Being human centered, I don’t like this idea. Is this practice normal?”

Disclaimer: Identities are kept confidential. The advice given here should be taken at your own risk. If you are having true mental or physical issues, please seek professional assistance.

I manage a team and I’ve been asked to rank my employees from best to worst every month. I immediately felt icky about it. I was convinced that from a business perspective that’s the easiest way to determine who would get laid off if we ever needed to do that. Most people on my team are contractors, so I know they’d lay off contractors first and not FTEs.

I’m struggling with determining if this is a make-or-break for me. Being human centered, I don’t like this idea. Is this practice normal?


I don't know if it's normal, but I can totally see how icky that would feel. That said, I can think of environments where maybe it wouldn't be totally out of the ordinary. If you were running a call center and team members were rated by very specific metrics and KPIs and they were ranked on performance against those metrics, I don't think that's unreasonable. If success in the role is related to these three indicators and all of those are quantifiable in an indisputable way, then while it may not feel great, it wouldn't be wholly unfair or unkind.

I can, however, think about a hundred other ways that a policy like this could be very misused, and most of that would be related to ranking people on subjective matters that are hard to quantify. If five managers could rank the same team differently because the indicators are not standard or totally a matter of preference, that would be a bridge too far for me.

It might be good to ask why. Maybe your leadership can tell you why they have chosen this way to manage teams. Explain that you feel a little uncomfortable with it because you don't see the full picture, and maybe the response you get will tell you what you need to know. If they say that it's how they make sure that metrics are being regularly evaluated and that employees are getting regular feedback, that might not be a bad thing. If they say it's because they want to be able to slash teams based on the data that you're compiling and that makes you uncomfortable (and it would make me hella uncomfortable), then you know that as someone who cares about the individual people involved, this isn't the place for you.



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2 opmerkingen

Amber Hammes
Amber Hammes
06 sep. 2023

Lol, "human centered"

Where else should I put the target, sir? On the human or the baby? Hurt the BABY?

Amber Hammes
Amber Hammes
06 sep. 2023
Reageren op

Sorry if I am the asshole, but I realized my first comment was unclear. It is absolutely abnormal to hang around with idiots like this. Time is valuable, friend, but not like this.

There are good referral bonus $$ in your future if you find the right recruiters in your industry. People at this company are so dumb they don't know that life isn't supposed to be like this. Sorry you got stuck there with such a great group of folx for so long... (5 minutes or 5 yrs, dngaf)

Once you find your way out, the poor saps will be emboldened by a mere glimpse of some other mythical place where there is more to life than work...

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