Despite there being no signs of Kevin ever applying himself at work, he always seems remarkably well informed and well-read.

He’s just lazy and will do as little as he can get away with at work, without sounding any klaxons in HR.

Selecting Kevin for redundancy requires some forethought. He’s always five moves ahead.

One area where organisations slip up is the distribution of the scores in a redundancy exercise.

It’s an easy mistake to make. In order to select Kevin, there needs to be clear blue water between Kevin’s scores and the employees above him who are retained.

Kevin will spot a statistical anomaly or outlier quicker than anyone reviewing Professor Ferguson’s work.

Bell curve distribution is essential. No bell curve, Kevin will throw a curveball and catch you out.

Kevin will smell a rat if everyone in the pool scores perfect scores for the redundancy criteria and he scores badly.

There will be a distribution of scores in any selection pool. With some employees scoring the top marks for some criteria, most employees scoring average marks for most criteria and some employees scoring the lowest marks for some criteria.

The trick is to ensure Kevin’s bad scores are warranted by the objective data. If there is no objective data to warrant a score, Kevin should be scored as an average or middle mark for that criterion if it is a 1, 3 or 5 scoring system.

It is very difficult to argue against being average when there is no evidence to suggest you are excellent. It is easier to argue against being poor when there is some evidence to suggest you are average some of the time at that criterion.

So distribute the scores on a normal bell distribution curve. Kevin won’t be able to argue against poor scores for some criteria where the scores are supported by data that cannot be debated. Kevin also won’t be able to argue against average scores if there is no evidence of excellence on his record.

Box Kevin in, by boxing clever. Play the percentage game. Make Kevin’s scores ones he can’t argue about.

A win on points is still a win, no need for a knockout.