Infosys India Does Away with the Bell Curve Model of Performance Evaluation

November 17, 20158:23 am491 views

Infosys India has recently done away with the bell curve model of performance evaluation to bring in more room for innovation in HR. The country’s largest software services company plans to now opt for periodic review of goals set for employees, not just once or twice every year.

The company believes since the nature of goals change with a change in staffer’s profile or change in project decisions. The idea that could work here would be to facilitate continuous feedback from employees, which will help the company plan for specifics in career development.

Earlier, the company used to have standard set of goals, irrespective of the nature of projects. “Now the company is looking at a lot more flexibility within project teams to customise or tailor the relevance of goals,” says Pravin Rao, Chief Operating Officer at Infosys.

Earlier, the setting of goals used to happen every quarter, six months or sometimes once in a year, depending on the employee. Now however, the kind of work the employee is doing keeps changing after every two months, so periodic assessments is the way out.

Since evaluation mid-way between the old goals and context, then setting new goals for the work he/she is doing. Hence goal evaluation becomes a continuous cycle for continuous feedback.

See: 6 Keys to Improve Performance Reviews

After Vishal Sikka, former technology head of German software company SAP, took over the helms at Infosys last year as the managing director and chief executive officer, the company has been implementing a series of employee-friendly measures. Some of these measures were to keep a check on the high attrition rate and make the staff more productive.

One of things enacted in place at Infosys India was to set up a “SWAT team” comprising of members from different functions and practices. These members looked at alternative pathways to improve processes and policy on staffers.

Since the team came into place a year back, the company has implemented more than 150 changes based on feedback. Among the changes include, allowing employees to wear casual dresses on all working days in a week and also allowing use of social media at work.

The Bell Curve model of performance evaluation is a forced ranking approach with evaluators assigned to keep certain number of relative employees in a grade.

“Removal of bell curve model gives a lot more flexibility in the system and reduces the angst during performance evaluation. In the long run, it will make people much more comfortable and would reinforce the belief that it is a fair organisation, there’s a lot of opportunities on career development and so on,” added Rao.

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Also read: Two-way appraisal: Is that the way to a better workplace?

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