Sandia’s outmoded employee evaluation system is based on an idea that many other companies have abandoned: rate employees 1 to 5 and set rigid rules about how many can be in each category. Then base bonuses, raises, and promotions on those rankings.
Sandia claims to hire nothing but “the best of the best”. Then it says that a majority of those must be rated mediocre (3) and below. Next, it says that managers must base these ratings, in part, on subjective criteria like “attitude”. In other words, to get a top rating, you have to brown-nose your manager better than anyone else in the group and also back-stab your colleagues, with whom you work every day. Do you think that makes for great team cooperation?
Now a new wrinkle has been added to make the ranking and raise policies even less fair. Sandia will let colleagues add evaluation comments to each other’s evaluations. An employee will be shown who has added comments but not what each person said. That makes back-stabbing even easier and potentially makes the evaluation system even less fair. Get ready for flying lawsuits.
There’s a reason that companies like Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and other large firms have done away with this unfair evaluation system. Sandia, always behind the curve, has decided to double down on injustice to “the best of the best”.