Grades aren’t everything! But apparently, employees at Facebook would disagree with this sentiment.

According to a CNBC report published on Tuesday, former Facebook employees say a ruthless ‘stacked ranking’ review process created a cult-like culture where they felt the need to feign happiness in a desperate attempt to form friendships with colleagues to advance their careers.

The former employees put the blame on Facebook’s bi-annual peer review system which heavily relies on the perception and feedback of colleagues.

The stack ranking process compelled employees to participate in after-hours social events, grab daily lunches with the team, and remain a positive advocate for the company to put on a good front with colleagues.

One former employee likened it to a ‘popularity contest.’

Any negative feedback is considered anonymous and can’t be challenged.

Once peer review is collected, employees at Facebook are ‘stack ranked’ and assigned a grade by management.

Employees who received two consecutive reviews of “meets expectations” – which they say is equivalent to the mighty ‘B’ grade – were canned in a couple of months.

The report suggests that Facebook’s twice-yearly reviews have contributed to the company’s growing list of scandals by encouraging a rush to roll out controversial features without considering the long-term impacts on user privacy.

The infamous “stack rank” system was introduced by Jack Welch, one of the world’s most respected and celebrated CEOs, known for his winning and time-tested philosophy on people management. Companies like Amazon and Microsoft had adopted the dreaded practice only to abandon it amid declining employee morale.

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