Performance Rating Scales

  • Ronald L. JacobsEmail author


An area of practice of increasing importance to human resource development (HRD) professionals is the design and use of performance rating scales. Unfortunately, there seems much uncertainty about what constitutes best practice in this regard, especially when predetermined standards are not available. Regardless, the analysis of tasks or individual competencies should underlie the design of all types of performance rating scales. Performance rating scales have many different uses. For instance, managers use performance rating scales when they review a subordinate at the end of a review period. As will be discussed in the following chapters, individuals also use a performance rating scale when they assess their own abilities relative to various individual competencies. Though often simple in their layouts, performance rating scales can be used in some powerful ways, such as ensuring that learning has occurred, documenting when a person has completed certain actions that need to be done, and ensuring that all parts are included in the delivery of a set of communications. Performance rating scales are almost always used to measure some level of skill or ability. This chapter introduces four types of performance rating scales: checklist, product scale, numerical scale, and graphical scale.


  1. Campbell, J. P., Dunnette, M. D., Arvey, R. D., & Hellervik, L. V. (1973). The development of behaviorally based rating scales. Journal of Applied Psychology, 57, 15–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Rummler, G., & Brache, A. (2013). Improving performance: How to manage the white space on the organization chart. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Illinois at Urbana ChampaignChampaignUSA

Personalised recommendations