What is Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS)?

Every company has an appraisal system. The appraisal is conducted at the end of the year and an employee’s promotion, increment, bonus, and other perks depend on the appraisal. If the appraisal of an employee is negative, that employee may lose the job as well. As employee appraisal is a very sensitive job, care must be taken in using the right appraisal method. In the traditional appraisal method, a general question is asked and there are multiple answers to it. The appraiser will tick one answer that is true for the employee being assessed. Now a much better appraisal method called the ‘Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS)’ is being used by many companies. 

Today the appraisal system has improved a lot. BARS is a much better and accurate appraisal system compared to the traditional one. Many companies use Candidate Sourcing Software to pick the most qualified employee of the company. In the future, these appraisal systems will become more sophisticated and we will be able to retain the best talents. 

What is Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS)?

The Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS) has both qualitative and quantitative elements, thus making the appraisal more accurate than the traditional appraisal scale. This scale uses a particular behavior of the employee in a given situation and gives points based on it. The statements used in the appraisal are more specific, unlike the traditional appraisal method. 


Traditional appraisal: ‘The employee’s office timing’

  1. Never comes on time, 2- Not very punctual, 3 – Moderately punctual, 4– Punctual, 5- Very Punctual

BARS: Point 4: ‘He comes to office on time most of the days’

Point 8: ‘He comes to office at 9 am every day

Traditional appraisal: ‘The employee’s customer service skills

1 – Very poor, 2 – Poor, 3 – Good, 4 – Very Good, 5 – Excellent

BARS: Point 5: The employee greets the customers all the time.

           Point 7: The employee greets the customer, asks about the problem, and makes effort to solve it immediately. 


How to measure BARS

You should do some research before using this as part of your performance management plan. You need to understand BARS properly before you can execute it. You need to follow some steps. First, you should get examples of adequate and inadequate behavior in the particular job the employee is doing. Then you must convert the data to performance dimensions. This you can do by using various behaviors that are displayed on the job. The subject matter experts in your office must then translate the behavior to their performance dimensions. Then you must rate the behaviors from 5 to 9. You should then keep the low deviated standards and discard the higher deviated standards. This way the final scale will be developed.

Benefits of BARS

This appraisal scale is very easy to use. This scale is individualized, thus letting companies appraise every position. It has clear standards that make the appraisal process accurate and less confusing. The appraisal is completely based on the behavior. So, using the scale measures can be taken to improve the behavior. The employers will have a better understanding of the behaviors and can make important business decisions based on them. This appraisal method is fairer than the traditional method and portrays a more accurate observation about the person being appraised. 

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