Spoke to a friend who manages a big technology group and is working on end of year evaluations. HR has set him up with a system where there are fixed percentages in each bucket e.g. %5 underperforming, 20% fair, %40 good, %20 excellent, %15 promotable or something like that. What’s remarkable is that people who come up with evaluation schemes like that are not immediately fired. Obviously, a well run group may have nobody in the 5% bucket and a bad (ordinary?) group may have everyone in that. And maybe a really good group could contribute a bunch of higher level managers and technical people? While a bad group should get no promotions at all?
This is a great example of corporate procedures that are designed to minimize work and risk for internal managers.