Nov 20, 2020

Nov 20, 2020

Nov 20, 2020

Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS): Benefits and Disadvantages

Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS): Benefits and Disadvantages

Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS): Benefits and Disadvantages

Markellos Diorinos

CEO, Bryq

Co-founder and CEO of Bryq, Markellos has a simple vision: to empower every organization to hire, grow and retain talent more effectively using science backed data.

Co-founder and CEO of Bryq, Markellos has a simple vision: to empower every organization to hire, grow and retain talent more effectively using science backed data.

Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS): Benefits and Disadvantages
Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS): Benefits and Disadvantages
Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS): Benefits and Disadvantages
Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS): Benefits and Disadvantages

As an HR person or manager, you always look for ways to improve things. One way you can help your employees improve is by giving them specific and helpful feedback. Make your employee appraisal process more manageable with a behaviorally anchored rating scale. Attain more data to help you accurately assess your employees’ performance.

What is a Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale?

A behaviorally anchored rating scale (BARS) is a system for measuring staff performance. It measures them according to defined behavioral patterns.

It offers both qualitative and quantitative data for your appraisal process. BARS includes the combination of quantified ratings, incidents, and narratives.

When comparing the employee’s performance against specific behaviors, you can assign a numerical value to them according to the anchored rating scale bars.

You will write out critical incident techniques (CIT) and the specific behavioral patterns you want to see. Then, you can compare the person’s behaviors against these to add a numerical rating.

BARS is a great way to clarify what the job requires for managers and employees. It also defines what the person should be doing and how they should do it. It’s essential for staff and their managers to be on the same page, so this is very useful.

How to Measure a Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale

The behaviorally anchored appraisal process uses a vertical scale. The points on it are from 5 – 9, going from poor to moderate to good performance.

The manager must first note all of the tasks an employee must do. Then, they can write out the behaviors that go along with those.

After that, they can rate the individual on those behaviors. A rating scale is created for the tasks by adding behaviors to grades between five and nine.

Every employee receives their own behaviorally anchored rating scale, each with behaviors relevant to their position. Ratings are given for each behavior for each employee. Rather than having universal criteria such as ‘smiles at customers’, each position will have different behaviors. So, a salesperson in a store may ‘make small talk and is friendly with customers’ while someone who stocks the shelves may have ‘smiles at customers’ as a behavior.

The BARS was created because many people don’t think that traditional ways of rating employees are accurate. The main issue with conventional methods is that they can be highly subjective. So, if your manager doesn’t like you, you will receive a bad rating. This new method aims to eliminate that risk by being more objective.

Measuring  BARS

Benefits of BARS

The behaviorally anchored rating scale is a great way to improve the performance of your employees or trainees and the overall business. Here are the benefits:

Reliable

These rating scales are highly reliable. Even when different people rate the individual’s performance, the numerical ratings remain the same. That’s because what’s being measured is performance against specific behaviors. The person either demonstrates these, or they don’t.

Clear

As certain behaviors are outlined in the scale, it is clear whether the person demonstrates these. There is little room for argument on this scale as everything is outlined clearly.

Accurate

As BARS is designed extremely accurately, errors are unlikely to occur. When comparing an individual to the performance dimensions, it is improbable that you will make a mistake. This accuracy only adds to the reliability of the test as well.

Objective

Many performance management processes are criticized for being too subjective. This method of rating performance couldn’t be more different as it is entirely objective. This is a great way to detach yourself as the person’s manager and assess them from an objective point of view.

Relevant

Not all performance appraisals include solely factors that are relevant to the position being appraised. They often take a one-size-fits-all approach, which doesn’t work well for most job roles.

Instead, the behaviorally anchored rating scale focuses on the behaviors required of that position. For example, a doctor with a suitable bedside manner will get a rating for that.

Employees Know Where to Improve

As each dimension is rated, staff know what to work on to improve their score for next time. To revisit our previous example, a doctor who didn’t score well on bedside manner can work on their patient empathy before their next appraisal.

Disadvantages of BARS

Rating performance is never easy, and it is no different with the behaviorally anchored rating scale. This method does have some drawbacks as well.

Cost

Although it is terrific that each appraisal is individualized to the staff member, this is time-consuming. The time cost alone makes this appraisal process extremely costly, especially for massive companies with many employees.

Requires Manager Buy-In

If one manager in the organization is not interested in conducting this process, there is no way they will get it done. Adding all the detailed information requires a lot of time and devotion.

Performance Dimension Similarity

Some performance dimensions can seem remarkably similar or even overlap entirely. This makes it hard to rate people on these dimensions, and there may be a lack of discriminant validity.

Who Would Find A Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale Useful?

Now that you know all of the pros and cons of BARS, you likely have an idea of whether it is worth implementing in your company. More prominent companies may be more likely to have the resources to make this appraisal method work.

The type of company this is best suited to is one with few different positions. Instead, it would work excellently for businesses where many people are in the same or similar roles. This requires less personalization and, therefore, takes less time to develop the rating scales the company needs.

You may find using the BARS system helpful if you struggle to eliminate bias from your appraisals. Get out of your rut of subjectivity and start evaluating staff on definable behaviors.

As an HR person or manager, you always look for ways to improve things. One way you can help your employees improve is by giving them specific and helpful feedback. Make your employee appraisal process more manageable with a behaviorally anchored rating scale. Attain more data to help you accurately assess your employees’ performance.

What is a Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale?

A behaviorally anchored rating scale (BARS) is a system for measuring staff performance. It measures them according to defined behavioral patterns.

It offers both qualitative and quantitative data for your appraisal process. BARS includes the combination of quantified ratings, incidents, and narratives.

When comparing the employee’s performance against specific behaviors, you can assign a numerical value to them according to the anchored rating scale bars.

You will write out critical incident techniques (CIT) and the specific behavioral patterns you want to see. Then, you can compare the person’s behaviors against these to add a numerical rating.

BARS is a great way to clarify what the job requires for managers and employees. It also defines what the person should be doing and how they should do it. It’s essential for staff and their managers to be on the same page, so this is very useful.

How to Measure a Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale

The behaviorally anchored appraisal process uses a vertical scale. The points on it are from 5 – 9, going from poor to moderate to good performance.

The manager must first note all of the tasks an employee must do. Then, they can write out the behaviors that go along with those.

After that, they can rate the individual on those behaviors. A rating scale is created for the tasks by adding behaviors to grades between five and nine.

Every employee receives their own behaviorally anchored rating scale, each with behaviors relevant to their position. Ratings are given for each behavior for each employee. Rather than having universal criteria such as ‘smiles at customers’, each position will have different behaviors. So, a salesperson in a store may ‘make small talk and is friendly with customers’ while someone who stocks the shelves may have ‘smiles at customers’ as a behavior.

The BARS was created because many people don’t think that traditional ways of rating employees are accurate. The main issue with conventional methods is that they can be highly subjective. So, if your manager doesn’t like you, you will receive a bad rating. This new method aims to eliminate that risk by being more objective.

Measuring  BARS

Benefits of BARS

The behaviorally anchored rating scale is a great way to improve the performance of your employees or trainees and the overall business. Here are the benefits:

Reliable

These rating scales are highly reliable. Even when different people rate the individual’s performance, the numerical ratings remain the same. That’s because what’s being measured is performance against specific behaviors. The person either demonstrates these, or they don’t.

Clear

As certain behaviors are outlined in the scale, it is clear whether the person demonstrates these. There is little room for argument on this scale as everything is outlined clearly.

Accurate

As BARS is designed extremely accurately, errors are unlikely to occur. When comparing an individual to the performance dimensions, it is improbable that you will make a mistake. This accuracy only adds to the reliability of the test as well.

Objective

Many performance management processes are criticized for being too subjective. This method of rating performance couldn’t be more different as it is entirely objective. This is a great way to detach yourself as the person’s manager and assess them from an objective point of view.

Relevant

Not all performance appraisals include solely factors that are relevant to the position being appraised. They often take a one-size-fits-all approach, which doesn’t work well for most job roles.

Instead, the behaviorally anchored rating scale focuses on the behaviors required of that position. For example, a doctor with a suitable bedside manner will get a rating for that.

Employees Know Where to Improve

As each dimension is rated, staff know what to work on to improve their score for next time. To revisit our previous example, a doctor who didn’t score well on bedside manner can work on their patient empathy before their next appraisal.

Disadvantages of BARS

Rating performance is never easy, and it is no different with the behaviorally anchored rating scale. This method does have some drawbacks as well.

Cost

Although it is terrific that each appraisal is individualized to the staff member, this is time-consuming. The time cost alone makes this appraisal process extremely costly, especially for massive companies with many employees.

Requires Manager Buy-In

If one manager in the organization is not interested in conducting this process, there is no way they will get it done. Adding all the detailed information requires a lot of time and devotion.

Performance Dimension Similarity

Some performance dimensions can seem remarkably similar or even overlap entirely. This makes it hard to rate people on these dimensions, and there may be a lack of discriminant validity.

Who Would Find A Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale Useful?

Now that you know all of the pros and cons of BARS, you likely have an idea of whether it is worth implementing in your company. More prominent companies may be more likely to have the resources to make this appraisal method work.

The type of company this is best suited to is one with few different positions. Instead, it would work excellently for businesses where many people are in the same or similar roles. This requires less personalization and, therefore, takes less time to develop the rating scales the company needs.

You may find using the BARS system helpful if you struggle to eliminate bias from your appraisals. Get out of your rut of subjectivity and start evaluating staff on definable behaviors.

As an HR person or manager, you always look for ways to improve things. One way you can help your employees improve is by giving them specific and helpful feedback. Make your employee appraisal process more manageable with a behaviorally anchored rating scale. Attain more data to help you accurately assess your employees’ performance.

What is a Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale?

A behaviorally anchored rating scale (BARS) is a system for measuring staff performance. It measures them according to defined behavioral patterns.

It offers both qualitative and quantitative data for your appraisal process. BARS includes the combination of quantified ratings, incidents, and narratives.

When comparing the employee’s performance against specific behaviors, you can assign a numerical value to them according to the anchored rating scale bars.

You will write out critical incident techniques (CIT) and the specific behavioral patterns you want to see. Then, you can compare the person’s behaviors against these to add a numerical rating.

BARS is a great way to clarify what the job requires for managers and employees. It also defines what the person should be doing and how they should do it. It’s essential for staff and their managers to be on the same page, so this is very useful.

How to Measure a Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale

The behaviorally anchored appraisal process uses a vertical scale. The points on it are from 5 – 9, going from poor to moderate to good performance.

The manager must first note all of the tasks an employee must do. Then, they can write out the behaviors that go along with those.

After that, they can rate the individual on those behaviors. A rating scale is created for the tasks by adding behaviors to grades between five and nine.

Every employee receives their own behaviorally anchored rating scale, each with behaviors relevant to their position. Ratings are given for each behavior for each employee. Rather than having universal criteria such as ‘smiles at customers’, each position will have different behaviors. So, a salesperson in a store may ‘make small talk and is friendly with customers’ while someone who stocks the shelves may have ‘smiles at customers’ as a behavior.

The BARS was created because many people don’t think that traditional ways of rating employees are accurate. The main issue with conventional methods is that they can be highly subjective. So, if your manager doesn’t like you, you will receive a bad rating. This new method aims to eliminate that risk by being more objective.

Measuring  BARS

Benefits of BARS

The behaviorally anchored rating scale is a great way to improve the performance of your employees or trainees and the overall business. Here are the benefits:

Reliable

These rating scales are highly reliable. Even when different people rate the individual’s performance, the numerical ratings remain the same. That’s because what’s being measured is performance against specific behaviors. The person either demonstrates these, or they don’t.

Clear

As certain behaviors are outlined in the scale, it is clear whether the person demonstrates these. There is little room for argument on this scale as everything is outlined clearly.

Accurate

As BARS is designed extremely accurately, errors are unlikely to occur. When comparing an individual to the performance dimensions, it is improbable that you will make a mistake. This accuracy only adds to the reliability of the test as well.

Objective

Many performance management processes are criticized for being too subjective. This method of rating performance couldn’t be more different as it is entirely objective. This is a great way to detach yourself as the person’s manager and assess them from an objective point of view.

Relevant

Not all performance appraisals include solely factors that are relevant to the position being appraised. They often take a one-size-fits-all approach, which doesn’t work well for most job roles.

Instead, the behaviorally anchored rating scale focuses on the behaviors required of that position. For example, a doctor with a suitable bedside manner will get a rating for that.

Employees Know Where to Improve

As each dimension is rated, staff know what to work on to improve their score for next time. To revisit our previous example, a doctor who didn’t score well on bedside manner can work on their patient empathy before their next appraisal.

Disadvantages of BARS

Rating performance is never easy, and it is no different with the behaviorally anchored rating scale. This method does have some drawbacks as well.

Cost

Although it is terrific that each appraisal is individualized to the staff member, this is time-consuming. The time cost alone makes this appraisal process extremely costly, especially for massive companies with many employees.

Requires Manager Buy-In

If one manager in the organization is not interested in conducting this process, there is no way they will get it done. Adding all the detailed information requires a lot of time and devotion.

Performance Dimension Similarity

Some performance dimensions can seem remarkably similar or even overlap entirely. This makes it hard to rate people on these dimensions, and there may be a lack of discriminant validity.

Who Would Find A Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale Useful?

Now that you know all of the pros and cons of BARS, you likely have an idea of whether it is worth implementing in your company. More prominent companies may be more likely to have the resources to make this appraisal method work.

The type of company this is best suited to is one with few different positions. Instead, it would work excellently for businesses where many people are in the same or similar roles. This requires less personalization and, therefore, takes less time to develop the rating scales the company needs.

You may find using the BARS system helpful if you struggle to eliminate bias from your appraisals. Get out of your rut of subjectivity and start evaluating staff on definable behaviors.

Gain a competitive edge with data-informed talent decisions.

Request a demo and see how our platform is Shaping the Future of Work.

Gain a competitive edge with data-informed talent decisions.

Request a demo and see how our platform is Shaping the Future of Work.

Gain a competitive edge with data-informed talent decisions.

Request a demo and see how our platform is Shaping the Future of Work.

Are you a talent looking to elevate your career?

Explore your strengths and weaknesses with our free Self-Discovery Assessment.

Are you a talent looking to elevate your career?

Explore your strengths and weaknesses with our free Self-Discovery Assessment.

Are you a talent looking to elevate your career?

Explore your strengths and weaknesses with our free Self-Discovery Assessment.

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