The numbers don't lie, fantasy football is a $1 billion industry with 27 million people completing annually. With such an emphasis on statistics and rankings, why haven't we adapted this practice into the workplace? Perhaps drafting employees will increase production; perhaps knowing where you stand will motivate; perhaps not? .... Read the full article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/sap/2012/08/28/fantasy-football-time-to-rank-and-draft-employees/
Will this strategy work? Are people too self-centered to compete fairly? Has anyone ever attempted this before? Would love to hear your thoughts.
Forced ranking in the workplace is a slippery slope. Proceed with caution:
Novations Group Survey Uncovers Growing Disenchantment with Forced Ranking Performance Management Systems (date is 2004, but this is a widely cited study)
I reviewed my own citations, and thought a little more about it. I think it is very easy to confuse sorting with ranking, especially in HCM. Sorting happens when we evaluate performance inputs: 40 yrd dash, bench press, experience with prior football programs, etc. But ranking occurs when we evaluate outputs: touchdowns, yrds per carry, Pro Bowl appearances, etc. Thus, we sort applicants, but rank employees, and need to be very careful that we don't use sorting criteria (or sorting results especially) to rank peformance.
Forced Distribution, as I have known it called before, is a terrible way of making high-performing people realize that there is little point in performing very well if you can't be the top 2 or 3 performers. It usually proves to employees that the company is more focused in limiting its financial rewards to its staff, whether this is the desired purpose or not.
Agree...it proceeds from the notion that talent is both scarce and is something "you either got or you don't", and is reinforced by the structure in flat organizations, where upward progression may be limited to 2 or 3 spots.
Additionally, a lot of managers have graduated from MBA programs that practice forced ranking for grading, or have worked in "up-or-out" professional service firms that also apply such evaluation. It is deep in our psyches, and we often assume that because it is a widespread practice it must also be valid.
There is a lot of be said for good ranking schemes, but even some of the most heavily scrutinized ones are not without a lot of controversy, for example the Bowl Championship Series for college football in the US.
I know it may seem like my standard answer, but I think data and analytics can help us do better than what we are doing now, even if it includes forced ranking.