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

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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, possibly one thing that will 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.

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 referred to as stack rating, during which workers are ranked on a bell curve and managers should give low rankings to a sure share of workers, based on folks aware of the change who requested to not be named discussing a personal matter. Managers had been anticipated to provide a poor “creating” standing to roughly 5% of workers 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 reside and work in Australia and so aren’t totally up to the mark on the specifics of American workplace circumstances, 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 effective, even when they’re going a nice job, will likely be focused—and endure financially—simply to satisfy a quota?

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

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 had been that it was essential to squeeze the bottom-most performers as a means to verify everyone continues to develop. This kind of coverage encourages competitors between workers, sabotage of each other’s work, a want 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 may contact us right here.


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