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CEO justifies employee termination by comparing with Cricket Team performance?

We got a rumor that my CEO is planning to terminate few employees from the enterprise using the concept called ‘employee performance curve’ or ‘Bell curve’, and he wants to implement this strategy every year. Bell Curve means – Employees performance are categorized based on low performers, average performers, and high performers. By using this approach, my boss plan is to identify the bottom 5% of the employees whose performance is weak. By the time he came up with this strategy, the company was doing well with good profits. We are getting new customers and lot of repeat business from existing customers. It’s true that few of the employees were not putting their efforts in company success.

The day has arrived, during a Q&A session in company’s town hall, one of the employees raised his voice about employee firing rumor. My boss had made a clear statement that he is not going to fire the best or average performers. He is only planning to fire the bottom 5% low performers by taking last one-year performance assessment. He also mentioned that top performers will be rewarded, and average performers will get decent hikes. Immediately after the announcement, there is a murmur among the employees. One of the employees raised his hand and asked. How do you justify that an employee who is dedicated to the company from last five years is not doing well from last year, and you are planning to remove him? Don’t you consider his previous achievements?

The answer from my boss is awesome. “Let’s consider our Indian Cricket team that has 11 players. Let’s assume 10 of the players are playing well and India is winning every match. But there is one experienced player who is not doing his best from last one year, but keeping his past 6 years performance in mind, the selection committee has given many opportunities to him from last one year. Even after playing many matches in this year, he didn’t learn from his mistake and his contribution is very less or nil. Do you still support that player to continue with the Indian cricket team and enjoy all the benefits or drop him from the team and select a new player who is doing well in domestic cricket?”

Pin drop silence in town-hall.

“Removing one player among 11 players is almost 10% of termination based on Bell Curve, but, I am just removing 5% of employees that too least performers. So you no need worry if you are the best performer.”

This one example has clarified why the boss is keen in terminating the bottom performers.

Disclaimer: This article is written with the views considering in my real life experiences.

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