Having had the pleasure of working in Redmond for quite a while, I fully agree with Mini:
Mini-Microsoft: Limited Round-Up, New Souls, and Old Problems: "what if we had unbalanced differentiated rewards: keep the high-end and drop the low-end? Continue to reward the super-contributors and people who obviously committed a lot of time and effort to get excellent results far beyond their peers. But drop the hunt for finding the Kims of the workforce. More time goes into protecting people who are solid contributors but at risk of getting zero or mediocre rewards. Why? Because we have a statistical need, it seems, to ensure somebody gets zilch. Because surely there are a batch of people in your team deserving of zilch. Don't make us statistically decide that people deserve the zilch. But reward groups who move on the obvious zilchie deadwood, Microsoft-mismatches, and low-contributors through-out the year. Otherwise, we'll continue keeping them around to ensure the bottom is properly zilch-padded."