How do I ensure fair performance ratings in the stack ranking system? is on hold as primarily opinion-based. If it were a question about the ranking system itself I might agree, but this question asks how a manager can fairly rank his employees given the requirement to rank them relative to each other. That's a common problem, and answers would be valuable to have.

The OP speculates about some factors he could use, but I don't read this as an "is that good?" question. I read it as the OP showing his work, showing the ideas he's already considering. Answers would be free to address them, dismiss them, or utterly ignore them.

I don't see any comments suggesting improvements or requesting clarification, hence this meta question. Why is this closed and how would it need to change to be reopened?

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    I think the question is very reasonable, and I voted to reopen it. – Joe Strazzere Aug 26 '16 at 2:37
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    at the very least, I'd remove word "dreaded" from the title. I'd also check and remove all value judgements from question text. Although I personally believe that this system is dreaded we have help center saying: "avoid asking subjective questions where … your question is just a rant in disguise: “______ sucks, am I right?”" – gnat Aug 26 '16 at 4:14
  • I voted to reopen there are now for reopen votes. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Aug 26 '16 at 14:14
  • I thought this was a great question, and I'm glad it has been re-opened. Thank you Monica. – Lumberjack Aug 30 '16 at 16:50

The core question is, as stated:

I am very curious to know from experienced leaders how they tackled the evil of stack-ranking and managed to keep employee morale from sinking like a stone?

This is pretty much actively soliciting opinions.

The OP has no ability to actually influence the situation though. Well, I'm not sure what I'm not the guy deciding their paycheck. means. I guess the question to me reads like, "what are some ideas to rank employees using?" given the bulk of it talks about that. I think if most of the text was edited out to talk about just "how can I encourage employee morale when forced to evaluate my employees on a stack ranking system?" it'd probably be good, though.

Right now a lot of it als feels more like an open ended "what ideas do you have for ways to rank my employees?" and that really isn't a question which can easily or concisely be answered in this format well.

It's not clear to me which question they want to ask.

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    We ask people to provide experience-based answers, though, and this seems to be asking for exactly that. We don't just want random unsupported personal opinions. – Monica Cellio Aug 26 '16 at 0:40
  • @MonicaCellio see edit – enderland Aug 26 '16 at 0:49
  • Oh, I see. I read it as "how can I do this fairly when I'm stuck with this system?", where answers could be about things like metrics, peer reviews, and whatever. – Monica Cellio Aug 26 '16 at 0:51
  • @MonicaCellio I'm not sure. I could read the question being about that or I could read it about focusing exclusively on the employee morale aspect. It's not clear which the OP wants, though, and as it is written would be a huge discussion imo. – enderland Aug 26 '16 at 0:53
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    @MonicaCellio - I read it as "how can I do this fairly despite being stuck in this system?" Seems like a reasonable question to me, and one that many managers would like answered. – Joe Strazzere Aug 26 '16 at 12:06
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    I'm with you on this. That phrase alone is enough for a close in my view and while it could of course be edited out, that still seems to be the spirit of the question. The fact that the question seems to be mostly academic while also being too long and unclear only solidify the close. I think this could be edited to be on-topic but in its current state the close is correct. – Lilienthal Aug 26 '16 at 12:10

I think it's soliciting subjective answers, but answers based on experience ("experienced leaders"). I would classify this as a "good-subjective" question, rather than primarily opinion-based. After all, there are very few hard facts to be had in the subject matter of workplace.SE; if anything subjective got closed, there'd be almost nothing else left aside from citing statistics/surveys and saying "draw your own conclusions!".

I lack the rep to vote to reopen questions on this site, so I'll simply state my opinion here that I think it should be left open, for the reasons given above. Not only do I agree with the OP's opinion and statements about this question, but I am slightly confused by the reasoning used in enderland♦'s answer here: it seems they are conflating opinions and subjective answers grounded in experience.

The original question on the main site very clearly states that they want experience-based answers, and I have yet to encounter a SE site where this sort of question is banned. Is Workplace.SE the first of such a site, or is the opinion of enderland♦ in this answer not representative of the wider Workplace.SE community?

Or perhaps enderland♦ just had a brain fart and will soon rectify the issue? :)

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    Just to be clear, enderland didn't vote to close. The close-voters are Philip Kendall, Richard U, gnat, alroc, Paparazzi. – Monica Cellio Aug 26 '16 at 0:43
  • I might be prolific at posting and voicing my opinion but that in no ways means I am always right :-) – enderland Aug 26 '16 at 0:57

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