I work for a company that is rolling out a stack ranking process. I received a solid positive performance review this year (higher rankings are rare), and was told by my boss that he and his boss were very happy. In the past, he offered constructive criticism, which I applied. I was told certain aspects of my performance this past year were much improved. No criticisms or suggestions for improvement were offered on this most recent review.
We were recently told that a small number of upper level managers with whom I rarely interact (several levels above me) moved what my boss said was a substantial number of people moved down without speaking to any of the direct or next level up managers in order to force a bell curve. I was told last week by my boss that I was moved to the bottom tier. He said no reason or explanation has been given. He talked with HR and with one of the upper level managers involved to ask how the decision was made and for the criteria used to rank me. Neither could remember. No criticism of me was provided. He asked if they had read my performance appraisal, and was told they didn’t have time for that.
My boss said likely there will probably be a meeting of the higher ups to discuss the process that was used.
Is there anything else I can do to avoid the same scenario in the future? I told my boss the only approach for improvement I see is to focus on my visibility to management many levels above me. He agreed to help with this approach.
Do other agree this is the best approach, and is anything missing in our strategy? He advised against me going to HR, as that fellow didn't seem open to further discussion.
I appreciate the information from the "Why is it important to gain “visibility” in the workplace?" post. While this is helpful, my situation is somewhat different as I a stack ranking issue with upper management component. Increasing visibility may or may not be the answer as there are still lots of unanswered questions regarding what happened and why. It can't hurt, but may not be enough.