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Forced distribution

This is similar to the forced choice method as both end up with a "bell shape" result. But in forced distribution, the assessor may have to add a few employees to the very poor or outstanding in order to arrive at a required number of people in those groups. Forced Choice The forced choice method is another performance appraisal method you can use.

The appraisal is based on a choice from a number of pre-written statements. There is no provision for a rating that you think falls between two choices. This is the reason why it is called forced choice.

The end result is a "bell-shaped" evaluation results. The majority of employees will fall around the middle range. There are very few people in the non-performance and outstanding performance ranges of the scale.

This method does not truly reflect actual performance level of employees. One of the risks is that superiors may rate all their people within the middle range. This does not serve any purpose. But it can lead to dissatisfaction.

Forced Distribution

Forced distribution is a form of comparative evaluation in which an evaluator rates subordinates according to a specified distribution. Unlike ranking methods, forced distribution is frequently applied to several rather than only one component of job performance.

Use of the forced distribution method is demonstrated by a manager who is told that he or she must rate subordinates according to the following distribution: 10 percent low; 20 percent below average; 40 percent average; 20 percent above average; and 10 percent high. In a group of 20 employees, two would have to be placed in the low category, four in the below-average category, eight in the average, four above average, and two would be placed in the highest category. The proportions of forced distribution can vary. For example, a supervisor could be required to place employees into top, middle, and bottom thirds of a distribution.

Forced distribution is primarily used to eliminate rating errors such as leniency and central tendency, but the method itself can cause rating errors because it forces discriminations between employees even where job performance is quite similar. For example, even if all employees in a unit are doing a good job, the forced distribution approach dictates that a certain number be placed at the bottom of a graded continuum. For this reason, raters and ratees do not readily accept this method, especially in small groups or when group members are all of high ability.

Forced Choice Selectively low cost, easy to use; difficult to explain to those evaluated.

Forced Distribution method This is a ranking technique where raters are required to allocate a certain percentage of rates to certain categories (eg: superior, above average, average) or percentiles (eg: top 10 percent, bottom 20 percent etc). Both the number of categories and percentage of employees to be allotted to each category are a function of performance appraisal design and format. The workers of outstanding merit may be placed at top 10 percent of the scale, the rest may be placed as 20 % good, 40 % outstanding, 20 % fair and 10 % fair.

Advantages of Forced Distribution This method tends to eliminate raters bias By forcing the distribution according to pre-determined percentages, the problem of making use of different raters with different scales is avoided. Limitations of Forced Distribution The limitation of using this method in salary administration, however, is that it may lead low morale, low productivity and high absenteeism.

Employees who feel that they are productive, but find themselves in lower grade(than expected) feel frustrated and exhibit over a period of time reluctance to work.