Bell curve and forced attrition?

Amazon R0cker
Jul 22 17 Comments

Do other FAANG companies also follow strict bell curves and keep targets for attrition? At Amazon this is followed quite strictly. While it is a forcing function for everyone to continuously keep raising the bar, it adds an extraordinary amount of stress level and unfortunately leads to back stabbing, politics and throwing people under the bus at times. In some organisations particularly I have come across good people (good at work) getting the short end of the stick because they either lacked social skills to navigate this mess of a policy or simply got on the wrong side of a table with an L7 or L8.

How do things work at Facebook, Microsoft and Google?

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TOP 17 Comments
  • Facebook zucckini🥒
    Facebook isn’t strict about curving. We don’t sacrifice the bottom 10% every cycle.
    Jul 22 3
    • Facebook Gatzby
      What happens to folks who don't get promoted to E4/E5 within the mandated timeline
      Jul 22
    • Facebook zucckini🥒
      The bar rises until the 4 is measured as a 5 would.
      Jul 22
    • Amazon R0cker
      OP
      I know a couple of Amazonians who joined Facebook a while ago. As per them Facebook is more brutal. There is no publicly announced bell curve and it's all peachy but in the shadows it is rife with back stabbing and managers throwing others under the bus to meet hidden attrition targets.
      Jul 23
  • Amazon broke&dumb
    The companies have no obligation to be nice or even to not be evil.
    So what if there is backstabbing and politics? Why should the shareholders care?
    Jul 22 1
    • Amazon R0cker
      OP
      My post isn't about politics and backstabbing. It is specifically snout Bell curve and forced attrition.
      Jul 23
  • Oracle / R&D TLead
    Why can’t Amazon do anything about it? I see SDMs here on blind. I am sure they must be aware of such situation and yet they do not do anything to improve it. Why’s that?
    Jul 22 5
    • Amazon VYVh57
      Because they view it as a strategy to not getting bloated with low performers which is easy to have happen when you are hiring so many people. Even if Amazon loosened up and didn't force low performers out, it still wouldn't be in the best interest for those people to stay at Amazon. Amazon won't allocate additional stock or raises to the low performers so their compensation will drop significantly.
      Jul 22
    • Amazon :$sqG@^f
      Everyone has a boss, even SDMs. Get out of line on this policy as a manager and you will find yourself forced out for failing to manage performance on your team.
      Jul 23
    • Amazon R0cker
      OP
      Low performers are as much a pain for managers as they are a drag on Amazon. Managers have all the incentives to get rid of low performers without the additional prodding of the bell curve.
      Jul 23
    • Oracle / R&D TLead
      Wait if we perform well without getting involved in the politics then should we worry about PIP at Amazon? I got an offer and I am not expecting for any promotion. All I want to do is come, learn and perform my best.
      Jul 23
    • Amazon R0cker
      OP
      PIP is the process which is followed to get a low performer back at the bar or give them an exit. My post is specifically about forced attrition which is the practice of forcing managers to put bottom 10% of their org on PIP and force them out.
      Jul 23
  • Microsoft blind pimp
    It is the same at MS if not worse.
    Jul 23 1
    • Microsoft DRrd70
      In your dreams
      Jul 23
  • Bose riplife
    I think only amazon has a strict curve , lay off the bottom 5-10% every year as a must .
    Jul 22 0
  • Microsoft ibSs75
    Sr manager here.Forcing a curve != as firing and yes, you need to rate your top and your bottom employee and merge with other managers. . Kind of the same existed in Microsoft before the “upgrade” that now peanut butters everyone instead and since rookie managers are not forced to think about this problem hard, you can end with low performers that zap from the top performers. Also, attrition is not a target in amazon, but a “signal” and looked at the VP/director level. Basically, if at around 300 engineers, there are no 4%-6% that could like be replaced with better ones or make room for the lower ranks to climb, it invites questions of the org being managed like a country club and not forcing to ask hard questions.

    My observation so far: in a 300 org there are always 10-15 people who you always wonder: wtf is this guys doing here
    Jul 27 1
    • Amazon R0cker
      OP
      Thank you. I agree that in a large sample size of 300 there are always stowaways who can be challenged to raise the bar or move out. And yes technically forcing the curve! = firing. But the direction on URA is very clear from my L8 and HRBP. 10% must be met at the L10 level.

      That said there are teams abound being run as country clubs and no mechanism seems to be able to break those.
      Jul 28

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