Blizzard’s ‘Workplace Ranking’ for Employees Looks Like Hell [Update]

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A the story unfolded Bloomberg earlier today with the caption “Blizzard manager leaves to protest employee ranking system”. It sounds very commercial, maybe something that would land on an HR manager’s Linkedin newsfeed, but the things he describes are important because it sounds absolutely dystopian.

of the Lord how this “employee filing 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 on a bell curve and managers must give low marks to a certain percentage of staff. , according to people familiar with the change who asked not to be named to discuss a private matter. Managers were expected to give about 5% of employees on their teams poor “development” status, which would reduce their incentive pay and could prevent them from receiving raises or promotions in the near future. …

You’ll have to forgive me here, because despite my tenure in this job, I still live and work in Australia and so I’m not entirely familiar with the specifics of American office conditions, but What is this mess? You tell me that this company has implemented a system where 5% of its workforce, even if they are doing very well, even if they are good workwill be targeted – and suffer financially – just to meet a quota?

No wonder people are pissed off! One such person, Brian Birmingham, co-lead developer on classic world of warcraftgot so crazy that according to Bloomberg’s reports that he emailed staff last week to “express his frustration with this 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 management were that it was important to squeeze the underperformers in order to ensure that everyone continued to grow. This type of politics encourages competition among employees, the sabotage of each other’s work, people’s desire to find underperforming teams in which they can be the top performing worker, and ultimately erodes trust and destroys creativity.

Birmingham go on to say he cannot work under a system like this, which he and other managers (who have been told to keep it a secret!) have managed to ‘bypass or ignore’ in recent years. years, but which had recently started to apply. He reportedly told staff he would leave the company if the policy was not rescinded, but shortly after the email was sent he was called to HR and “fired”.

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

UPDATE 8:48 PM ETBirmingham released a lengthy statement on Twitter expanding on its thoughts on the policy and the state of corporate management in general. it starts gentlemen:

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