Blizzard's 'Workplace Ranking' For Employees Sounds Like Hell

Blizzard’s ‘Workplace Ranking’ For Employees Sounds Like Hell

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A story ran on Bloomberg earlier today with the headline “Blizzard Manager Departs In Protest of Employee Ranking System”. It sounds very businessy, perhaps one thing that may land on the Linkedin information feed of a HR supervisor, however the stuff it’s describing is essential as a result of it sounds completely dystopian.

Here’s how that “employee ranking system” is described in the report:

In 2021, Blizzard, a unit of Activision Blizzard Inc., applied a course of referred to as stack rating, wherein staff are ranked on a bell curve and managers should give low scores to a sure share of employees, in response to individuals conversant in the change who requested to not be named discussing a non-public matter. Managers have been anticipated to offer a poor “growing” standing to roughly 5% of staff on their groups, which might decrease their profit-sharing bonus cash and will hamper them from receiving raises or promotions within the close to future…

You’ll need to forgive me right here, as regardless of my tenure on this job I nonetheless stay and work in Australia and so aren’t absolutely on top of things on the specifics of American workplace circumstances, however what the fuck? You’re telling me this firm has applied a system the place 5% of its workforce, even when they’re doing simply tremendous, even when they’re going a nice job, will probably be focused—and undergo financially—simply to fulfill a quota?

No surprise individuals are pissed! One of these individuals, Brian Birmingham, a co-lead developer on World of Warcraft Classic, obtained so mad that in response to Bloomberg’s report he emailed employees final week to “to precise his frustration with this method”.

When group leads requested why we had to do that, World of Warcraft administrators defined that whereas they didn’t agree, the explanations given by government management have been that it was essential to squeeze the bottom-most performers as a method to verify all people continues to develop. This kind of coverage encourages competitors between staff, sabotage of each other’s work, a need for individuals to search out low-performing groups that they are often the best-performing employee on, and finally erodes belief and destroys creativity.

Birmingham goes on to say he can’t work under a system like this, which he and other managers (who were asked to keep it a secret!) had managed to “circumvent or skip” for the last few years but which had recently begun to be enforced. He reportedly told staff he would be leaving the company if the policy was not reversed, but shortly after the email was sent he was called into HR and “terminated”.

If you work at Blizzard and have been impacted by this policy, and would like to share your experiences, you’ll be able to contact us right here.