Here’s a cautionary tale of good intentions gone awry. Several years ago, a major manufacturer’s executive team, looking to boost productivity, studied the management practices of other large corporations. The team’s conclusion: Borrow a page from General Electric’s then-CEO Jack Welch and regularly rank employees. Lavish rewards on the top performers, and routinely let go of the bottom 10 per cent.
What the team didn’t foresee was the disastrous effect the new system would have on teamwork. The rank-and-yank approach certainly did drive individuals to strive for stellar results, but it motivated them to do so at the expense of their teams.
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