What is a Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale? An effective approach for assessing employee performance is a behaviorally anchored rating system. Keep reading!

What is a Behaviorally Anchored Rating ScaleAny type of business can benefit from using behaviorally anchored rating scales to help discover the most productive employee behaviours and enhance workplace culture.

Therefore, learning more about the subject can benefit both your career and that of your firm.

In this article, we define behaviorally anchored rating scales, explore their main benefits and downsides, and give examples of how they might be used in real-world settings.


What is a Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale?

A tool for monitoring employee performance is a behaviorally anchored rating scale, which bases ratings on predetermined behavioural patterns.

A vertical scale with ratings from five to nine is generally used in the process to depict different performance levels, from very poor to excellent.

When using it, managers first list all of the duties that an employee must fulfil before adding certain behaviours to each grade from 5 to 9.

Given that each behaviour listed on the scale is pertinent to a particular function within the organisation, the behaviorally anchored rating scale can assess individual employee behaviour.

Because of this, the manager’s behaviour must typically be tailored as closely as possible to each role.

Uses of behaviorally anchored rating scales that are most typical include:

1. Talent Acquisition:

Recruiters have a greater chance of choosing the most qualified individuals if they are clear on the behaviours that they are looking for in applicants for particular posts.

2. Employee Development:

Managers can provide their staff members with particular behavioural goals by using the behaviorally anchored rating scale.

3. Performance Management:

The most typical application of behaviorally anchored rating scales is for the evaluation of employee performance using predetermined behavioural patterns.

4. Growth Planning:

Managers can also use behavioural patterns to give their staff members a direction for growth.

5. Succession Management:

It can be simpler to identify current employees who may be possible successors for higher roles if you are aware of the precise ideal behaviour for each role.

6. Firm Culture:

By recognising both acceptable and unwanted behaviours, stakeholders in the firm can work to enhance the culture.

Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scales | Advantages and Disadvantages

The following are a few of the most significant benefits of utilising behaviorally anchored rating scales:


The fundamental benefit of behaviorally anchored rating scales is that they are more objective than traditional rating systems since they evaluate employee performance in comparison to predetermined behavioural examples rather than just a manager’s subjective assessment.

Simple to Use:

They provide highly specific behavioural examples for each rating on a well-designed behaviorally anchored rating scale, making it simple for managers and staff to comprehend.

Really Individual:

Management can assess personnel and all jobs in an organisation using behaviorally anchored rating scales to assess them according to unique standards.

Based on How a Worker Behaves:

Employers and employees can more easily identify the precise standards for success and failure in each position when rating scales are behaviorally anchored since they only concentrate on the behaviour of the employees they are intended to evaluate.

Defines Performance Expectations:

When performance is evaluated using a behaviorally anchored rating scale, it is often simpler for the employee to understand exactly what has to be done to improve.


Employees are more likely to know what they need to improve on and what is expected of them when specific desirable and undesirable activities are defined, which in turn increases the likelihood that they will achieve greater performance levels.


Utilising behaviorally anchored rating scales may present the following difficulties:

Can Take a Long Time to Develop and Put into Practice:

The process of developing a behaviorally anchored rating scale for each employee within the organisation can take a while because it requires individualization. However, it’s usually worthwhile because the staff’s enhanced performance can make up for the time required to apply the scale.

Some Performance Indicators May be Missed:

A behaviorally anchored rating scale typically cannot capture all job expectations, which may make it more challenging for an employer to assess some employees.

Even in this case, it nevertheless facilitates the employer’s overall task by providing a basis for judgment that is impartial.

Need Supervisors with Extensive Knowledge:

A successful behaviorally anchored rating scale typically needs specific data on each person and their position inside the firm. This can be a problem, but it can also be a useful tool for evaluating manager performance.


Possibly Need Regular Updates:

Some roles have criteria and requirements that are constantly changing, therefore behaviorally anchored rating scales may need to be updated often based on new information.

This can also be a useful strategy for keeping abreast of recent advancements in the sector.

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