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Blizzard’s “workplace ranking” for employees sounds like hell

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The painting: A blizzard

A the story continued Bloomberg earlier today with the headline “Blizzard Manager Walks Out to Protest Employee Ranking System.” It sounds very business-like, perhaps something that would land on an HR manager’s Linkedin feed, but the things it describes are important because sounds absolutely dystopian.

here is as that “employee ranking system” is described in the report:

In 2021, Blizzard, a unit of Activision Blizzard Inc., implemented a process called stack ranking, in which employees are ranked based on a bell curve and managers must give low ratings to a certain percentage of staff, according to people familiar with the change that requested not to mention private matters. Managers were expected to give a poor “development” status to roughly 5% of the employees on their teams, which would reduce their profit-sharing bonus and could prevent them from getting raises or promotions in the near future…

You’ll have to forgive me here, because despite my seniority in this job, I still live and work in Australia and am not entirely familiar with the specifics of American office conditions, but what the fuck? You’re telling me that this company has implemented a system where 5% of its workforce, even if they’re doing just fine, even if they’re going to great jobwill be targeted – and suffer financially – just to meet the quota?

No wonder people are angry! One of those people, Brian Birmingham, one of the lead developers World of Warcraft Classiche got so angry that according to Bloomberg’s report that he emailed staff last week to “express his frustration with the system.”

When the team leaders asked why we had to do this, World of Warcraft the directors explained that while they disagreed, the reasons given by executive management were that it was important to squeeze the lowest performers as a way to ensure that everyone continued to grow. This type of politics encourages competition among employees, sabotage of each other’s work, a desire for people to find low-performing teams where they can be the best performers, and ultimately erodes trust and destroys creativity.

Birmingham goes on to say that he cannot work under this kind of system, which he and other managers (who have been asked to keep it secret!) have been able to “bypass or bypass” for the past few years, but which has recently started to be about to him. to be implemented. He reportedly told staff he would leave the company if the policy was not changed, but shortly after the email was sent he was called to HR and “rescinded”.

If you work at Blizzard and have been affected by this policy and would like to share your experiences, you can contact us here.

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