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  • Writer's pictureKohei Yoshino

Ways To Evaluate Employee Perforamance

Graphic Rating

Graphic rating is graphic rating scale is a performance appraisal method that lists desired personal and behavioural traits for each role and has responsible individuals (e.g., manager) rate job incumbents for each item on the list on a numbered scale (Jay, n.d.). The examples of traits could include but not limited to integrity, punctuality, quality of work, job knowledge, absence, quality and quantity of work, leadership, and loyalty to the company (Brannick, 2019). A job analysis is necessary to understand what the requirements of the job are. In other words, rating scales must be carefully selected on the basis of primary tasks and duties identified through a thorough job analysis (Brannick, 2019). As mentioned by Brannick (2019), even though a job has a “manager” in the title, it is possible that the job requires no supervision of others. For this reason, a generic rating will not be useful in effectively evaluating the role and job analysis is required in effectively conducting a performance appraisal using graphic rating.

Behaviourally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS)

BARS aims to provide behavioral descriptions to help people understand what the points on a rating scale mean (Brannick, 2019). The behaviors and associated numbers are intended to provide guidance to the rater, who can compare the employee’s behavior to the examples given and see where it fits on the rating scale. For example, the raters may be provided with a scale of 1-5 along with anchors (e.g., always completes all project deliverables in time under budget within the scope as the score of 5) to determine which number should be selected for the behaviour of the person who is being appraised. Collecting job analysis data is crucial for conducting performance appraisals using BARS since the data is required in developing the list of anchors and desired behaviours for the specific role used in the rating scale (University of Minnesota, n.d.).

Outcome-based Appraisal

Outcome-based or results-based methods measure one’s performance based on the accomplishments and outcomes they produced. For instance, a sales employee can be measured by confirming whether he or she met the sales quota for the quarter (University of Minnesota, n.d.). This approach focuses on the key performance indicators for the role (e.g., number of new clients obtained, number of products manufactured, or number of mistakes made) and does not often fully take into account the factors such as communications skills or desired behaviours rated through graphic rating or BARS (University of Mennesota, n.d.). Job analysis data is helpful in determining the key performance indicators that need to be measured for the role as well as in understanding the difference in performance that may exist among the individuals who hold the same role (e.g., sales representative). For instance, if person A has sold significantly more products than person B, the job analysis data can be used in developing training, coaching, and mentoring programs to address the performance gap.

Why it is valuable to have different types of evaluations

Each method outlined above aims to evaluate job incumbents’ performance from different angles and different kinds of appraisal methods are suited for different types of jobs and industries. As outlined above, the graphic rating is effective in evaluating the individuals’ specific traits in relation to the job and BARS looks at the individuals’ actions within a specific job while the outcome-based method focuses on the individuals’ accomplishments based on the established key performance indicators. As noted by University of Michigan (n.d.), however, many organizations use these methods in combination instead of simply using just one method depending on what they are trying to evaluate.


Brannick, M. T., Levine, E. L., & Morgeson, F. P. (2019). Job and Work Analysis: Methods, research, and applications for human resources management (3rd ed.). Sage.

Jay, Shanji (n.d.). Graphic Rating Scale: Advantages, Limitations, Examples, and Best Practices. Academy To Innovate HR

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05. 1. 2023

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