Blizzard’s ‘Workplace Ranking’ For Employees Sounds Like Hell [Update]

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

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

In 2021, Blizzard, a unit of Activision Blizzard Inc., carried out a course of known as stack rating, by which staff are ranked on a bell curve and managers should give low scores to a sure share of workers, based on folks accustomed to the change who requested to not be named discussing a non-public matter. Managers had been anticipated to present 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 must forgive me right here, as regardless of my tenure on this job I nonetheless dwell and work in Australia and so aren’t totally up to the mark on the specifics of American workplace situations, however what the fuck? You’re telling me this firm has carried out a system the place 5% of its workforce, even when they’re doing simply tremendous, even when they’re going a nice job, shall be focused—and undergo financially—simply to fulfill a quota?

No surprise individuals are pissed! A kind of folks, Brian Birmingham, a co-lead developer on World of Warcraft Traditional, received so mad that based on Bloomberg’s report he emailed workers final week to “to specific his frustration with this method”.

When crew leads requested why we had to do that, World of Warcraft administrators defined that whereas they didn’t agree, the explanations given by govt management had been that it was vital to squeeze the bottom-most performers as a means to ensure all people continues to develop. This form of coverage encourages competitors between staff, sabotage of each other’s work, a need for folks to search out low-performing groups that they are often the best-performing employee on, and in the end 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.


UPDATE 8:48pm ETBirmingham has launched a prolonged assertion on Twitter increasing on his ideas concerning the coverage and concerning the company management scenario generally. It begins right here:


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