Designing Performance Appraisal Forms – Rating Scale

The 2 common POINT rating scales used in performance appraisal forms are (a) Graphic Rating Scale (b) Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS)

The graphic rating scale form is a performance appraisal checklist on which a manager simply rates performance on a continuum such as excellent, good, average, fair, and poor. The continuum often includes a numerical scale, for example from 1 (lowest performance level) to 5 (highest performance level).

The BARS is similar to the graphic rating except that it provides a description of each assessment along a continuum. Like with rating scales, the continuum often includes a numerical scale from low to high.

The graphic rating scale can be used for many different jobs, but BARS forms have to be customized to every different type of job, trait or competency.

BARS forms overcome the problem of subjectivity by providing an actual description of the performance for each rating along the continuum, rather than one simple word (excellent, good, etc.) like graphic rating scales. A description of each level of performance makes the assessment a more objective accurate measure. However, developing potentially hundreds of different BARS take a lot of time, money and expertise.

In infrequent cases, some appraisal form provide definitions of applicability to the job factor.

Very Important: Essential to the performance of the job. (A) Important: Significant in the performance of the job. (B) Somewhat Applicable: Not essential to the performance of the job. (C) Not Applicable: Not required in the performance of the job. (D)

Graphic rating scale can vary from 3 points to 8 points. Below are some examples. The list here is not exhaustive.

Three Points Graphic Rating Scales

Not Rated Acceptable Unacceptable
Exceeds Meet Does Not Meet
Far exceeds job requirements (A) Meets job requirements and/or exceeds in some critical areas (B) Partially meets job requirements and needs improvement in some areas (C)
4 – 5 = Exceeds ExpectationsQuality and quantity of work is routinely higher than expected. Performance reflects high degree of initiative, commitment to excellence and ability to anticipate and respondto FIT’s needs. Employee demonstrates mastery of all job functions and frequently“raises the bar” in contributing to new systems and procedures. 2 – 3 = Meets ExpectationsSatisfactorily performs assigned activitiesand achieves expected outcomes. Work assignments typically are completed on timeand meet all quality standards. Employee works under general or minimum supervision, with demonstrated understanding of all job functions and expected standards. 1 =Below Standards or Expected ResultsPerformance is below standards. Employee does not fully achieve assigned goals. Work assignments are not consistent in meetingquality standards or deadlines. Employee requires close supervision and does notconsistently demonstrate the ability to perform

job functions at expected level of proficiency.

Exceeds expectations Satisfactory performance Needs Improvement
Completed In Progress Tabled
Exceeds Requirements (Performance is at a level below established objectives with the result that overallcontribution is marginal and substandard. Performance requires a high degree ofsupervision.) Meets Requirements(Meets established objectives in a satisfactory and adequate manner. Performancerequires normal to some degree of supervision.) Needs Improvement(Job performance easily exceeds job requirements; performance approaches bestpossible attainment.) Not Applicable

Four Points Graphic Rating Scales

Exceptional Highly Effective Effective Improvement Required
Exceeds Standards Proficient (Achieves Standards) Marginal (Achieves Standards) Below Standards
Exceeds Expectations Meets Expectations Improvement Needed Unacceptable
Outstanding Very Good Good Improvements Needed
Exceptional (E) Successful (S) Learning (L) Unsatisfactory (U)
Excellent(10) Good(7 to 9) Satisfactory(4 to 6) Poor(1 to 3)
Exceptional Above Expectations Meets Expectations Improvement Needed
Above Expectations Meets Expectations Needs Improvement Unsatisfactory
Consistently exceeds standards Consistently meets standards Sometimes meets standards Consistently below standards
Exceeds Expectations Solid Performance Needs Improvement Unsatisfactory
Outstanding Performance  80% to 100% (The jobholder has exhibited an exemplary level of job performance and accomplishments. He/She has demonstrated ability to overcome significant obstacles to produceoutstanding work.) Good Performance 60% to 79% (This jobholder has showninitiative and caliber of work has consistently reflected a proactive response tothe outputs and goals of the business unit.) Satisfactory Performance 40% to 59% (The job holder has exhibited a positive attitude to work and output has been acceptable with nosignificant areas of failure or concern.) Weak Performance Below 40% (The jobholder has exhibitedmarginal and inconsistentperformance or demonstrated an inability orunwillingness to meet basic requirements of the job.)
4 3 2 1

Five Points Graphic Rating Scale

Excellent Very Good Good Fair Poor
Very Good Good Average Below Average Poor
Highly Effective Effective Improvement Required Unsatisfactory N/A
Very High High Meets expectations Needs improvement Poor
Outstanding, far exceeds requirements Exceeds requirements in most areas Meets requirements to a high level, exceeds in some areas Meet requirements to a satisfactory level Partially meets requirements and needs improvement
5 4 3 2 1
Outstanding Exceeds requirements Meets requirements Needs improvement Unsatisfactory
Outstanding Exceeds expectations / requirements Meet expectations / requirements Improvement Needed Unsatisfactory Job Performance
Exceptional (5) Exceeds expectations (4) Meets Expectations (3) Below Expectations (2) Needs Improvement (1)
Very good Good Average Below average Poor
Exceed standards (5) Exceed standards (4) Meets standards (3) Does not meet standards (2) Does not meet standards (1)
Excellent (Performance consistently far exceeds normal job requirements.) Exceeds Expectations (Performance consistently exceeds normal job requirements.) Meets Expectations (Performance meets job requirements.) Needs Improvement (Performance does not meet job requirements; minor performance deficiencies). Unsatisfactory (Performance fails to meet job requirements; major performance deficiencies.)
Excellent (5) (The Appraisee has exceeded the agreed targets and has consistently produced results of excellentquality and demonstrated a high level of productivity and timeliness. The Appraisee is a modelof excellence in both the results achieved and the means by which they are achieved.) Very good (4): (The Appraisee achieved all the agreed outputs in line with the agreed targets. The Appraiseeconsistently meetsexpectations for the outputs achieved and the means by which they areachieved.) Good (3): (The Appraisee achieved most, but not all the agreed outputs in line with the agreed targets, and there is no supporting rationale for not meeting the other commitments.) Fair (2): (The Appraisee has achieved minimal outputs in line with the agreed targets and without asupporting rationale for inability to meet the commitments.) Poor (1): (The Appraisee has not achieved most of the agreed targets and without supporting rationale fornot achieving them.)
Consistently ExceedsExpectations Exceeds Expectations inSome Areas or Some Times Meets Expectations Does Not Meet SomeExpectations Consistently Falls BelowExpectations (RequiresImprovement Plan)
Outstanding Commendable Satisfactory Needs improvement Unsatisfactory
Exceptional Exceeds expectations Meets Expectations Below Expectations Needs Improvement Not Applicable
Consistently exceeds expectations Exceeds expectations Meets Expectations Below Expectations Consistently below expectations Unobservable or not applicable
Exceeds Standard(Consistently surpasses job standards to improve personal performance and advance corporate mission) Area of Strength(Meets all job requirements and performs above standard for a specific competency) Meets Standard(Performs all job requirements satisfactorily) Needs Improvement(Standards for all competencies are met but performance is weak or inconsistent; improvement is needed in aspecific competency) Below Standards(Fails to perform the minimum requirements of the job and immediate improvementis necessary) Not Applicable(Performance is not observed or the competency is not a responsibility of the position)

Six Points Graphic Rating Scale

Outstanding (Exceptional in ability, capacity and performance) Very Good (Very Effective) Good (Competent and conscientious) Satisfactory (Average performance with some shortcomings but will improve with experience and training) Not quite satisfactory (Below average performance) Unsatisfactory (Definitely not up to the required standard)