Thread regarding Cummins Inc. layoffs

Forced Ranking

I need input from somebody who has actually been through a "rating calibration" meeting (e.g. managers). Is "forced ranking" still something that happens? When I was a wee lad, my manager told me "it's a rating, not a ranking." This could have been 1) b—s— or 2) technically true, but practically false. I can't help but to think it's the latter. I'm sure HR put the kibosh to the ranking years ago to cover their their asses, but the culture and expectation is still there. Knowing HR for the snakes they are, I'm also sure their perspective would be "We don't force rankings. We rate people based on their merits, it just so happens when we're done it forms a nice normal distribution, because science."

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Post ID: @OP+1a5E64Qm

8 replies (most recent on top)

Agree with your nepotism point as I did see it quite a bit (and the arrogance that went with it) when I went to Columbus for meetings. Another thing is the family member frat would change jobs quite often in Columbus so they could live there forever...never transferring out to see what it was like out from under their protected bubble. My viewpoint comes from working in a certain area of the country for probably too long.

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Post ID: @Aiku+1a5E64Qm

It's not about woke, it's about the working culture in Cummins that they want to change. You didn't take into account the nepotism that is rampant in the company in Columbus? Where one family member is helping another get a job etc. etc. etc.. And most of those that where hired via this way where being protected from friends and neighbors who helped them get the job. And add to it the racism that has been present and still is in Cummins on all levels and that may be the reason why rating/ranking and diversity is pushed. Because if you didn't have that it would be the old Cummins where you walk into a dept. and it may have 2 to 3 family members or more working together, with their attitude and also what behavior issues "racism" they may have brought with them.

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Post ID: @Aikm+1a5E64Qm

I worked at Cummins for 21 years as a SG 10 leader most of the time. I consider myself a very fair and outgoing person and was able to survive in a tough, competitive environment. I got along with everyone. Let's face it and tell it like it is... it is a RANKING system (done in private) and it is chocked up with racism towards all people except BL---S and personal favorites. It was just terrible witnessing all of the reverse discrimination that went on. I always spoke my mind in the meetings and saw so many wimpy managers cave in an instant and not stand up and do the right thing for the hard working people who eventually got the shaft. All the top leaders just want to portray that everything is just rosy. The CEO on down does not give a damn and will always look the other way. I saw many times where people that should have been fired for bad performance (once again, mainly black people) got away with lying all the time, cheating, stealing, bad attendance and bad attitudes towards everyone. They were ALWAYS raised up on the ranking list because it was simply stated, "We don't want any problems". Some of them got promoted. By doing this, it just continued to degrade and depress the work force. Of course, Hispanic, Asian and White people were pushed down to the bottom 10% and eventually were let go or quit because they were scared of their '3' rating. Believe me when I say that this is all true and it was so frustrating to see and have to manage and be a part of this hypocrisy. As a leader, you had to manage on 2 levels...the right way, the 'woke' way. Guess which one won out in the end! All of this will catch up with Cummins with declining productivity as all the good, experienced people who do the work and allot of hand holding, will be gone. In closing, don't get me wrong, there are great people of all races who still have pride in their work, but that is rapidly declining. I call it the pussification of corporate America. Sad times we live in now.

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Post ID: @Alhn+1a5E64Qm

I have no clue if it is still done the same way because I got "laid off" in 2016 not long after being promoted to a group leader position, but it is a mess. You sit in a big room with the managers (5 in our case) with an HR Rep up front running the computer. Everyone is initially slotted in a 3/3 Matrix with each axis being 1-3. Employees can initially be a 1, 2, 2+,2-, or a 3. From this initial rating, there is a dog fight between the managers trying to justify those that get the 1s. From that point it took about 2 hours for a consensus to be reached and I can assure you that it was 100% political. This happens months before you have your yearly evaluations based on your plan and employees that meet 100% of their yearly objectives can still be rated a 3 (lowest rating, no pay raise at all, and put on a development program). In our case, we had managers wanting to downgrade other section's employees just because they didn't know what they did because they didn't have a requirement to cross talk or work with that particular group. In our case, after all the dust settled and things calmed down...the managers made a final look at the matrix and blessed off on it.....but WAIT!.......the HR representative ran the numbers and there were not enough people ranked 3 to meet the percentage requirements to have 10% in the "ratings basement" so another huge argument ensued and 2 engineers that were originally deemed to have done acceptable work by consensus had to be dragged down to a 3 and put on the chopping block. F Cummins!

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Post ID: @4qzd+1a5E64Qm

I think being in a calibration meeting would be a ton of fun. You get to talk sh– about people and judge them... all the while bickering with your coworkers over petty things. It's like real life reality TV.

Unrelated, but all direct report should be able to read their manager's, err... I mean coach's, performance review.

  1. S. calling managers "coaches" always p-ss-d me off because HR wants you to think of your manager as "friendly older fellow that is gives everybody a trophy," when in real life it's because coaches coach children, and you're a child.
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Post ID: @4qsa+1a5E64Qm

Yes the directive is ratings not rankings from HR buuuut there’s the perspective that is should be a normal distribution. How much they push for that also depends how entrenched that area of the company was in the former forced rankings which were supposed to disappear around 7 years ago. I hadn’t had to do ratings in a group setting unless they were preparing from a RIF , I did have to do potential in a group setting. Managers and above are rated both on performance and potential. As also mentioned your peers will bring up the smallest thing about your direct reports, it’s petty some of the time. The entire process takes a ton of time and money and the real value of it is for when they RIF. I don’t work there anymore and I hope I never have to sit in a room at my new company and do that.

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Post ID: @wbi+1a5E64Qm

It’s politics plain and simple. Forced Ranking is the Bell Curve distribution: 10% at the top, 80% in the middle, and 10% at the bottom. Regardless of performance, that’s the distribution. If you had 10 subordinates, 8 will score a 2, 1 will score a 1, and 1 will score a 3. If your Manager likes you, you could be scored a 1, when you really deserved lower, if your Manager doesn’t like you, but you outperformed everyone on your team, you will likely fall in a lower score. The “click” is the measure; either you’re in, or you’re out.

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Post ID: @fgw+1a5E64Qm

I got a little insight on this from my manager when I worked for CMI. She told me that’s the managers basically get into a room and argue on behalf of their employees. It has nothing to do with the quality of your work and has everything to do about how well your manager can argue on your behalf. Face it, the other managers don’t have a clue on what people do outside of their own department—why should they get a say in your ranking? My manager would always argue that she should get rated low if one of her employees were rated low. She would argue that it was her job as a manager to get them to perform better or remove them. It should take an entire year for it to be corrected in a ranking meeting. She routinely have her employees getting ranked a “1”. I loved working for her. She was a bit pull in those meetings.

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Post ID: @bbu+1a5E64Qm

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