An article titled, “Ranking Employees: Why Comparing
Workers to Their Peers Can Often Backfire,” was recently
published by Knowledge@Wharton. The article identified
the following erroneous assumption:
Employees who are compared to other workers will
either work harder to stay ahead of others or work
harder to improve a low ranking.
Research has shown that the opposite of this assumption is
what occurs in the majority of positions. In fact, most
people who are compared to others either become complacent
because of their high ranking or tend to give up when they
are relatively far behind their peers. The result is that
company productivity and performance is jeopardized.
HR CONTRARIAN POINTER: Workers work best when compared to
an established standard against which they can measure
When we have people competing against each other, they may
end up enriching themselves to the company’s detriment.
When people compete against themselves based on
responsibilities and expectations that are designed to
achieve the goals of the company, they are more engaged
The key to getting employees to compete against themselves
is getting managers to do that hard work of pinpointing
responsibilities and expectations. Without this effort by
managers, companies are left with fuzzy performance
ratings and misguided rankings, both of which have a
negative impact on company objectives.
If you would like to read the Wharton article, click on
the link below: