How to get Valentines Day off? Go on strike!

Senior staff at HMRC are on strike today. Their beef is over the introduction of a new employee appraisal system which must find 10% of employees to be underperforming.

It sounds like the rank-and-yank system, aka 20-70-10 system, where the top 20% of the workforce are high-flyers, 70% work adequately and 10% are underperformers. Over time you get rid (yank) of the 10% to raise standards, but it’s recommended it is only used for 3 years, otherwise the 70% become the 10%!

The problem is it can be a bit subjective, open to personal opinion and discrimination. Employees may work harder just before the rank and yank happens, or creep around managers.

But used effectively, it can be a good appraisal system, raising standards and managing underperformers.


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