HR Glossary  >   Forced Ranking

Forced Ranking

What is Forced Ranking?

Forced ranking is a method to measure and rank the employees’ performance by comparing them with each other instead of measuring their performance based on common standards. The measurement is done by grouping the employees into 3-5 categories, such as the best workers, the worst workers, and a few more that fall between these two categories. Forced ranking is considered to be a controversial measure, as it gives space for favoritism and other unfair practices.

Forced Ranking Scale Example

The company ranks employees on :

  • A(Best Performers)- committed to work, engaged, and open to alliance and cooperation.
  • B(Average Performers)- having partial characteristics of Group A
  • C(worst performers)- non-performers
  • After the evaluation was done, the results obtained were
  • 30 % of employees came under group A and are best performers.
  • 60 % under group B performed moderately.
  • 10 % under group c are non-performers.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of companies' force ranking the employees?

The purpose of the companies behind conducting the forced ranking method is to identify the best and worst-performing employees. This method's outcome helps the company reward the top talents and even identify those who need additional training and development.

Is forced ranking advantages for all companies?

Forced ranking is relatively more advantageous to larger organizations that can easily compare employees' performances. In addition, appreciating the best performers and training underperforming employees through this performance evaluation method becomes simple and uncomplicated.

What are the disadvantages of the forced ranking?

As the method compares the employee against each other, it can lead to unhealthy competition. Employees may always have the pressure to perform better than their subordinates. In order to remain at the top of the list, some employees can also try inaccurate ways.

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