Microsoft - forced curve stack ranking is brutal for regular employees. Cushy ride for managers | Glassdoor
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Helpful (3)

"forced curve stack ranking is brutal for regular employees. Cushy ride for managers"

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  • Work/Life Balance
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Employee - Software Development Engineer in Redmond, WA
Current Employee - Software Development Engineer in Redmond, WA
Doesn't Recommend
Disapproves of CEO

Pros

good name recognition in your resume. get an idea of the scale of work in a big company.
If you are a manager it is cushy ride. If you are an employee very difficult for a developer due to constant deadlines and demands, OK for program manager and testers

Cons

too much process and bureaucratic. constant change in direction is normal. Common to reset the project direction every few months and start from scratch. Stack ranking (where employees are compared to each other in their level every few months and forced into a curve distribution) is brutal. If you are a developer here, you don't feel like you are competing with the other companies to deliver a better product , instead you are competing with your coworker. Coworkers will not help each other, instead will backstab each other so that they finish higher in the curve. It is a bit easier if you are a program manager, because you don't have any real deadlines. Developers have a deadline almost daily and put in crazy hours in most teams. Also easier if you are a lead, since you typically would delegate all work to reports, get credit for all successes but are typically not blamed for project failures,

Manager has to fill up a slot between 1 to 5 (performance grade) in their team by force. This is called stack ranking and is very political. About 2 months of the year, managers just spend time doing that. Typically they pick least favorite employees for 4 or 5 . And by HR rule , they have to contantly tell them they are underperforming so that those employees leave soon. Also internal transfers are only possible for people who get 1 or 2 rating. The other employees are ignored during internal applications.

There are also many ethnic cabals inside there.
There is also an official internal effort to force out older employees and replace they with younger employees. For managers though, there is no such effort. Managers are treated as gods by the company.

Advice to Management

abolish forced curve rating. Have an simple performance rating based on "did he meet all his deadlines and deliverable" . Also make managers more accountable.

Other Employee Reviews for Microsoft

  1. Helpful (3)

    "Great place to work"

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Architect in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Architect in Redmond, WA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    If you are a software engineer, you wil learn a ton about software development and have great opportunities to grow and enhance your technical skills. The company has a very broad range of projects to work on, so you can work on pretty much any kind of software that you want to work on. Your colleagues will be super-smart. The company is well run day-to-day and you can learn from you rmanagers and senior technical people. Decisions are thoughtful - you do not worry about abrupt changes in directions.or suddently the company deciding to shutter your division.

    Cons

    Senior management is cautious about new technologies, which has led to missed opportunities in lots of new markets. It is a competitive internal culture and employees are ranked against one and other for performance reviews, all the way up to executive levels. Because of that, management is not as cohesive or cooperative as they ought to be.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Great to learn SDLC, growth is limited"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Program Manager in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Program Manager in Redmond, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Stability, work-life balance, builds solid products

    Cons

    Plays catchup with new technology

There are newer employer reviews for Microsoft
There are newer employer reviews for Microsoft

See Most Recent

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