Behaviourally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS)

What is a Behaviourally Anchored Rating Scale?

The BARS (behaviourally anchored rating scale) is a scale that assesses the performance of new employees or trainees based on well-defined behavioural patterns. These patterns are used to rate each individual employee. A behaviourally anchored rating scale is an essential component of any structured interview. It provides the advantages of narratives, quantified ratings, and critical incidents, as well as both qualitative and quantitative data. It was created with the goal of reducing rating errors that are common when using traditional rating scales.

How to measure Behaviourally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS)?

BARS is intended to bring the benefits of both qualitative and quantitative data to the employee appraisal process by comparing an individual's performance to specific examples of behaviour, which are then categorised and assigned a numerical value used as the basis for rating performance.

The first step is to create CIT (Critical Incident Techniques), which compares an individual's performance to specific examples of behaviour tied to numerical ratings ranging from 5 to 9.

The employer must then create performance dimensions with the help BARS method of performance appraisal that must be double-checked. The critical incidents are then scaled, which leads to the development of the final instrument.

Pros and Cons of using BARS


1. It is straightforward to use if planned properly:

Employees are evaluated using standards that are simple to understand and apply for both the employees and the managers. Every grade has a very detailed, narrative example, which helps to clarify things even more.

2. It is non biased: 

This employee evaluation process is entirely focused on behaviour; it is also objective, which is why it is regarded as fair and equitable.

3. It is based on human behaviour:

BARS is solely concerned with employee behaviour, and it helps both employers and employees understand what the job entails, what must be done, and how it must be done. BARS establishes clear performance expectations and BARS method of performance appraisal which motivates employees to strive for excellence and improve their performance.

4. It is personalised:

BARS is specifically designed and applied to each individual and job position within a company.


Consider whether HR and management have the time to support the plan before implementing a BARS system. Consider whether your company has the necessary skills to define critical responsibilities, performance dimensions, and rating scales correctly.

1. It is expensive and time-consuming:

Individualization is a disadvantage in this case. Consider a large, successful company with hundreds of employees; BARS must be completed for each individual and position in the company, which can consume a significant amount of time and valuable resources.

2. It requires the presence of a dedicated manager:

Managers must be motivated and involved in these appraisals because they require detailed information about employees.

3. It's possible to lose sight of the big picture:

Because not all job expectations can be included in the appraisal, the employer faces some challenges.

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