The Bell curve is a graphical representation of any data which tends to appear in a bell-like shape. It generally depicts the normal distribution, where the peak represents the mean, median, and mode. They are commonly used to analyze financial and monetary data. But now, in the HR domain, it is also used in performance management.
Performance assessment using a bell curve demands groups of people to be classified as poor, average, or good. It helps in the analysis of the employees' performance. According to this assessment, even though the employees are good, they are categorized to fit in the bell curve given the need. Such forced rating and skewness in grading may result in being unjust to the individual employees. The below image depicts the performance analysis of the employees on a scale that is 1- Poor, 2- Average, and 3- Excellent.
With the help of a bell curve, one can generate statistics based on real-world data and collect repeated measurements of any equipment. As for HR, it allows managers to gain insights into employees’ overall performance. The curve can be divided into three parts corresponding to which top, average, and poor performers can be identified. Managers can also select employees eligible for performance appraisals.
A bell curve can be good or bad for organizations and their employees. Primarily, it is more profitable for larger organizations that have 300+ employees and not for smaller ones. Because compared to large, small, and medium enterprises have fewer data, which distorts the result of the curve. A bell curve has its own pros and cons for different companies despite all these.
Measuring performance is an essential operation for companies, and implementing a bell curve system can be much helpful. Following are the benefits of it.
Benefits of the bell curve:
As much as this method is easy and fast to perform, it carries significant disadvantages too because employees who are not eligible for the process are also considered compulsorily.
Drawbacks of the bell curve:
Bell curve rule is the rule of 68 95 99.7, which describes an appropriate method for calculations. The rule can be elaborate as follows:
Bell curve is widely used due to the below reasons.
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