Forced Rankings


Jack Welch termed the theory of forced rankings in his book “Straight from the Gut”.  Contrary to popular belief he wasn’t an advocate of terminating workers indiscriminately.

The belief is that 20% of the employees are the highest producers and should be recognized and compensated as such.  70% are the middle of the pack and worth saving. The bottom 10% of people aren’t performing.  This is called the 20-70-10 approach.  The idea is to constantly upgrade the bottom 10%.





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3 thoughts on “Forced Rankings

  1. Rajiv says:

    Brilliant post. However, these rankings are often very, very subjective. 90% of appraisals are subjective. Rigorous appraisals don’t really exist!

  2. To be able to rank employees, employers need to KNOW their employees. We have devolved into a society where talking about work is more effective than actually working.

  3. norrvall says:

    Deming teaches us that rankings is one of seven deadly diseases of management. It is a serious barrier that management faces to improving organisational effectiveness.

    There is a serious flaw in the assumptions behind the 20/70/10 rule. The performance is more dependent on the system of work than the individual employee.

    Agree that people should receive feedback on their work, but this should not be based on output it should be feedback on the judgments they made to get to the outputs or outcomes.

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