Microsoft axes criticized employee ranking system

|About: Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)|By:, SA News Editor

Microsoft's (MSFT -0.6%) "stack ranking" system, which forced managers to rank a certain percentage of employees as top, average, and poor performers, is being discarded. Former Microsoft workers have criticized the system for creating a work environment in which good employees occasionally received bad reviews, and in which workers felt as if they were competing with each other.

In an internal memo discussing the change, HR chief Lisa Brummel says Microsoft will now place a greater emphasis on "teamwork and collaboration" when reviewing employee performance, and will no longer have a "a pre-determined targeted distribution" for determining employee rewards.

The policy changes comes a few months after a reorg meant to foster greater collaboration between business units, and near the tail end of the Steve Ballmer era.

Interestingly, Microsoft is abandoning stack ranking just as Marissa Mayer gets criticized for implementing something similar at Yahoo.