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rating scale definitions  
Posted: 10/01/2009 07:57am   723 Views
   (2 ratings)

We may be revising our rating scale definitions.  Would anyone be willing to share definitions that have worked  well?  Below is what we currently have for our 5 point scale.  Thank you!

5. Outstanding Performance

Employee performance is outstanding and far exceeds performance of peers. This may include one of the following:
• Exceeds goal targets.
• Employee meets or exceeds expectations in spite of unusually challenging circumstances.
• Employee’s performance influences others to perform better, by either: i) naturally motivating and inspiring others to perform better, ii) coaching others, or iii) creating results that pave the way for others and/or are used as a model.

4. Excellent Performance

Employee performance is excellent and completely satisfactory. The next step for this employee would be to exceed targets, and/or influence others to improve their performance. Employee requires little guidance to perform at a high level.

3. Good Performance

Employee performance is good, but still has room for growth. Employee requires occasional guidance for performance to be completely satisfactory.

2. Low Performance or Developing

Employee shows potential, but performance is low. Employee may be new to the job or task and is developing. Employee requires frequent guidance.

1. Unacceptable Performance

Employee performance is poor and requires significant improvement in the short-term. Employee may actually be doing things that negatively affect others’ performance, or puts Hagerty at risk.


rating scale definitions  
Posted: 10/01/2009 08:24am   Revised: 10/01/2009 08:25am  

We have a five-point scale as well; labels currently are: Outstanding, Exceeds Expectations, Meets Expectations, Needs Improvement, Unsatisfactory. We view the "Meets" rating as solid/strong performance - conceptually, if expectations are set high (as they should be), meeting all expectations is not a slam dunk or measure of "simply showing up." Using the traditional scholar grading scale (which can be a challenge when using a five-point performance rating scale), we would view "Meets" as an "A paper."  Exceeds = A plus ; Outstanding = A plus plus . Needs is closer to a C/D, and Unsat is naturally an F. Many get caught in viewing the ratings as A, B, C, D and F, which means your middle rating (Meets in our case) is often perceived as a "C."  Probably more than what you were asking for, but felt the need and desire to expound a bit...    


rating scale definitions  
Posted: 11/13/2009 05:21pm  

We currently use a 2 point ranking: 2 = exceeds; 1= meets expectations; 0=does not meet.

We have been using this measurment for the past 4 years. It has been working well, but may not provide enough options for performers that fall between exceeds and meets. especially if they have a few objectives where they performed at different levels.


rating scale definitions  
Posted: 11/13/2009 05:30pm  
   (1 rating)

In the 2009 Mercer survey of 1,000 companies, 52% used a five level rating scale.


rating scale definitions  
Posted: 11/16/2009 05:45pm  
   (1 rating)

Here are some previous discussions that have occurred on this topic ...



rating scale definitions  
Posted: 11/17/2009 06:58pm  
   (2 ratings)

Heck, we're happy to share the descriptive standards for rating employee objectives.  

5 - Outstanding - The employee far exceeded expected results on the objective such that the organizational goals were achieved that otherwise would not have been

4 - Excellent - The employee surpassed expected results in a substantial manner on the objective

3 - Successful  -  The employee achieved expected results on the assigned objective

2 - Minimally Successful -  The employee only partially achieved expected results on the performance objective

1 - Unacceptable -  The employee failed to achieve expected results in one or more assigned performance objectives

I'm a little surprised that others haven't offered up anything. Hope this adds some additional value to the posting. 


rating scale definitions  
Posted: 11/18/2009 12:06am  
   (1 rating)

Wrote a book on it, but my favorites are still Super, OK and Lousy.  All the rest is just wasted verbiage really unnecessary when everyone can agree with those simple clear assignments and the final dollars will be based on refined complex tradecraft applications that don't lend themselves well to formal explanations, anyway.  Forget rules; KISS.  Call 'em as they are and give them what you decide is the right amount:  that's all that matters.


rating scale definitions  
Posted: 11/18/2009 06:02am  
   (3 ratings)

I believe many have landed on a five-point scale, but at the end of the day, I don't feel there is a "perfect" scale - if there was, we would have all adopted it years and years ago. We constantly change the scales, labels, forms, etc., all in pursuit of the "perfect" evaluation (which, I'm convinced [personally] does not exist). Most important (above form designs) is the conversations leaders have with their employees around managing performance - daily coaching; aligning line-of-sight to individual and departmental/company goals, delivering 'difficult' feedback, recognition for great work, etc. If we fail there, the 'perfect' scale or form design is moot. 


rating scale definitions  
Posted: 11/18/2009 06:24am  
   (1 rating)

Interestingly, the five point scale follows the Likert five point scale, which is the most widely used scale for survey questionnaire responses. When responding to a Likert questionnaire item, respondents specify their level of agreement to a statement. The format of a typical five-level Likert item is:

  1. Strongly disagree
  2. Disagree
  3. Neither agree nor disagree
  4. Agree
  5. Strongly agree

Agree with Scott's comments on what is important in terms of performance improvement.


rating scale definitions  
Posted: 11/18/2009 10:12am  
   (1 rating)

Right on, Scott!  Agree 100% - communication of results is definitely the key!


rating scale definitions  
Posted: 11/19/2009 12:22pm  

Most of my clients have 5 ratings and similar definitions.  


rating scale definitions  
Posted: 11/20/2009 06:24am  

I discovered an interesting and pertinent article this morning from the Corporate Leadership Council on Implementing Effective Rating Scales. Please feel free to contact me directly if you'd like a copy of it (I don't believe I have the abiloity to attach a PDF doc here). 


rating scale definitions  
Posted: 11/23/2009 08:33am  
   (1 rating)

Level 5 (E) Exceptional
This rating occurs infrequently and acknowledges one or more of the following achievements: completion of a major goal, work performance that far exceeded expectations this year due to exceptional quality in all essential areas of responsibility, and/or an exceptional or unique contribution in support of unit, department, or University objectives. Although used infrequently, this rating is achievable by any employee.

Level 4 (EE) Exceeds expectations
Work performance consistently exceeds expectations. Demonstrates very high level performance in all areas of responsibility.

Level 3 (SME) Successfully meets expectations
Solid performance that consistently fulfills expectations and at times may exceed expectations.

Level 2 (I) Improvement needed
Performance does not consistently meet expectations. A professional development plan to improve performance must be outlined and monitored, with timelines for improvement established.

Level 1 (U) Unsatisfactory
Performance is consistently below expectations, and/or has failed to make reasonable progress toward agreed upon goals. Significant improvement is needed in most aspects of this position. In Section 4, a plan to correct performance with timelines must be outlined and monitored for improvement.



rating scale definitions  
Posted: 11/24/2009 08:49am  

Performance Appraisal Rating Definitions

The Rating System and Definitions

The five rating categories are the same in all four performance appraisal options and are aligned with the campus merit rating system. The definition and criteria for each of the ratings are listed below:

O=Outstanding: performance exceeds expectations and is consistently outstanding

Employee may meet the following criteria:

  • Significantly, and consistently exceed expectation(s) by producing a high quality and quantity of work.
  • Undertake additional job functions/duties, through their own initiative, that further the goals of and make significant contributions to the department, division, and organization.
  • Be dependable, highly reliable and follow through on all provided or otherwise undertaken assignments and be effective in a variety of settings including one on one communication, writing skills, correspondence, and public situations.
  • Demonstrate exceptional in-depth knowledge of their job functions/duties and be highly recognized by others within the University community or within their area of expertise as an authority in their area of work.
  • Exhibit model behavior that exemplifies the values and qualities of the organization and that is worthy of emulation by supervisors/staff members.
  • Skillfully and in a highly reliable manner handle multiple and varied types of tasks with competing priorities.
  • Skillfully resolve conflict in the midst of differing opinions by creatively developing a compromise within competing interests.
  • Exhibit teamwork or is a team player in varied settings and influence others to work collaboratively to bring about a positive impact while furthering the goals of the department, division and organization.

M=More than Satisfactory: performance consistently fulfills the job requirements and exceeds expectations

Employee may meet the following criteria:

  • Routinely meet and exceed expectations and role requirements by producing a high quality of work on a consistent basis.
  • Possess full knowledge of their job functions/duties, as well as, other related aspects of the department, division, and organization, with the ability to explain and articulate such aspects clearly to others.
  • Be dependable, highly reliable and follow through on all assignments.
  • Be recognized by peers, managers, students and other customers/personnel as collaborative, skilled, and reliable.
  • In representing the department, division or organization, effectively interact with peers, managers, colleagues, other University staff, students, parents, and the public.
  • Consistently exhibit model behavior that exemplifies the values and qualities of the organization.
  • Exhibit teamwork or is a team player in varied settings without prompting and can work collaboratively with others.
  • Demonstrate the ability to take on progressive responsibility with a high level of success.

S=Satisfactory: solid performance and consistently fulfills the job requirements

Employee may meet the following criteria:

  • Competently perform job functions/duties on a day to day basis and regularly meets expectations and job description requirements with some tasks performed beyond expectations.
  • Possess full knowledge of their job functions/duties.
  • Be perceived by peers, students and other customers as collaborative, skilled and dependable.
  • Regularly interact effectively with peers, managers and other University staff, public, parents, and students
  • Exhibit teamwork or is a team player in varied settings and collaborates with others

I=Improvement Needed: performance does not consistently meet the job requirements

Employee may meet the following criteria:

  • Sometimes complete their assignments/tasks in a competent manner or requires clarification or time extensions.
  • Inconsistently perform their job functions/duties or responsibilities.
  • Demonstrate minimal initiative.
  • Requires supervision due to low performance or skill level.
  • Engages in less effective or less than positive interactions with peers, colleagues, management, students or members of the University community.

U=Unsatisfactory: performance consistently fails to meet the job requirements

Employee may meet the following criteria:

  • Consistently fail to competently complete their assignments/tasks and consistently fail to produce quality work product even with clarifications or time extensions.
  • Consistently fail to meet expectations and job description requirements
  • Work at a level of minimum standards, with inconsistent productivity.
  • Fail to possess full knowledge of their job functions/duties.
  • Be perceived by peers and managers as non-collaborative and not being a team player.
  • Ineffectively interact with peers, managers, other University staff, students, parents, or the public.
  • Take little or no initiative, even with prompting




rating scale definitions  
Posted: 11/24/2009 10:40am  

Performance Rating Guidelines

This document contains guidelines that are illustrative, but not exhaustive, concerning the standards of performance expected for each rating level on the staff performance appraisal form. These guidelines are not meant to be rigid criteria, but should be used as guidelines to assist employees and supervisors in understanding and applying the performance ratings. 

Rating Definition                             


 Unsatisfactory:   0 – 1 (rate in quartiles)

Employees at this level clearly and consistently fail to meet all or most significant job expectations.  The employee shows either unwillingness or an inability to improve. When performance is at this level, disciplinary action will be taken. 

 Illustrative Examples (not intended to be exhaustive)

  • Purposefully insubordinate
  • Habitually negligent in carrying out responsibilities
  • Habitually misuses telephone and/or computer resources
  • Purposefully wastes materials; damages equipment or property
  • Requires substantial supervisory monitoring, consultation, and modification to implement goals and priorities in a timely and/or effective manner
  • Unwilling or unable to respond to crises, obstacles, and/or changes in program direction
  • Often fails to recognize and identify routine problems

Needs Improvement:   1.25 – 2.75 (rate in quartiles)

Employees who do not regularly meet overall expectations or who regularly meet or exceed job performance expectations in some areas, but do not regularly meet expectations in other performance areas.  The employee has demonstrated some willingness or ability to improve performance and resolve deficiencies that are less than satisfactory and which require that steps be taken to improve performance. Employees in this category need improvement to reach the fully successful level.  When performance is at this level, corrective action is warranted. 

 Illustrative Examples:    (not intended to be exhaustive)

  • Performs in an unreliable or inconsistent manner when completing work; fails to complete tasks without frequent reminders; often exceeds the expected time frame to complete assigned tasks
  • Often looks for reason why assignments cannot be accomplished  rather than figuring out how to complete work
  • Requires considerable supervisory monitoring, consultation, and modification to implement goals and priorities in a timely and/or effective manner
  • Fails to anticipate or respond effectively to crises, obstacles, and/or changes in program direction 
  • Does not make meaningful contributions to solving problems
  • Rejects new ideas without due consideration 
  • Talks and/or behaves abrasively and/or offensively; exhibits discourteous or disruptive behavior
  • Fails to adhere to time and attendance rules






 Range:  3 – 3.75 (rate in quartiles)

 Employees rated at this level regularly meet and occasionally exceed expectations.  A rating at this level indicates that the employee is a competent, productive, and valued member of the team.  A fully successful employee consistently meets expectations within specified time and cost limits, understands and supports department and College-wide goals and priorities, contributes innovative and creative approaches to meeting and furthering achievement of the College’s mission. Employees rated at this level are considered to be fully meeting the expectations of the position and should demonstrate all of the characteristics described in the illustrative examples. 

 Illustrative Examples (not intended to be exhaustive)

  • Produces the quality of work to meet and occasionally exceed job expectations 
  • Applies logic and reason successfully when making decisions; makes infrequent errors due to oversight and/or misunderstanding
  • Applies appropriate judgment in responding to and referring questions or resolving problems
  • Willingly implements new techniques, considering the concerns and suggestions of others
  • Accepts constructive criticism
  • Handles suggestions to problems reasonably and within an appropriate time frame
  • Is a good listener; provides appropriate information to others; assists others with projects when asked
  • Minimizes wasted time or downtime; continuously tries to improve work performance
  • Maintains up-to-date knowledge of relevant procedures and functions
  • Readily accepts a change once the team decides to move in a direction
  • Promotes/supports department, colleagues, supervisors, administration, and the College in action and in words
  • Adheres to time and attendance rules 





Rating Definition 




Range:  4 – 5 (rate in quartiles) 





Illustrative Examples    (not intended to be exhaustive)

  • Routinely volunteers for extra work/responsibility while maintaining strong job performance
  • Consistently exceeds quotas or production standards
  • Often suggests new policies, procedures, techniques as a need emerges rather than waiting until the need is overwhelming
  • Maintains a positive and professional manner even when under severe provocation or pressure; welcomes constructive criticism 
  • Effectively juggles multiple priorities, tasks, and/or user requests
  • Helps facilitate change in a positive manner
  • Readily assumes responsibility 
  • Demonstrates an exceptional commitment to service over time, thus representing the department  in a manner that reflects well on the College internally & externally
  • Communicates clearly; fosters communication in every direction by actively engaging in the exchange of information and encouraging this activity in supervised staff
  • Recognized for exceptional expertise and leadership




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