Bell curve is a process where the employees are told to rate other employees due to whom an employer gets an overview and almost correct data of its highest performers, average performers and low performers. It is a process of normalization where the organisation is able to locate where and on whom they have to focus for better outcomes. The HR then accordingly deal with employees once they know which category they fall under.
The chart of a bell curve has three categories and is largely divided as 20% best performers, 70% average performers and 10% low performers. Thus, the company focuses on the 20% of the best and 10% of least performers of their company. For the bottom line they equip them with training and learning to make them productive but at the time of sacking this 10% lot are among the chosen ones.
Some people believe it is an ancient way of dealing with appraisal and analyzing ones performance. Many new age companies are moving away from bell curve and has started practicing other engagement methods such as ongoing feedback, open communication, employee engagement, performance chart that can be seen in performance management system. These help in healthy and positive surrounding of a workplace that sadly isn’t there in bell curve method.