Business students majoring in organizational psychology or human resources will likely come across the term graphic rating form. A graphic rating form is based on the Likert rating scale and is used for employee performance evaluations. Although there are several other performance appraisal rating methods, the graphic rating method is preferred by many employers because of its simplicity.

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What Does it Measure?

A graphic rating form can be used to measure a broad range of employee behaviors. Forms can be standardized, or they may be created to suit a specific job or a group of similar jobs. Behaviors that are typically measured are those that are necessary for employees to perform their jobs efficiently. Examples of behaviors that are commonly measured on a graphic rating form are as follows:

  • Gets along with coworkers
  • Takes initiative
  • Displays motivation
  • Meets deadlines
  • Works well in teams
  • Turns in quality work

How is it Formatted?

A graphic rating form can be formatted in several ways depending on the employer’s needs. But no matter what format the employer may choose to use, the form will list several questions alongside a rating scale with two extremes on either end and several possible choices between the two extremes. Some of the more common formats along with examples include the following:

  • Number Scales (1-10 with 1 being needs improvement and 10 being excellent)
  • One-Word Scales (excellent, good, okay, fair, poor)
  • Short Comment Scales (performs above expectations, meets expectations, could improve in some areas, performs below expectations)

What are the Benefits of Graphic Rating?

Although graphic rating can be a bit subjective, there are many great reasons employers choose to use this performance evaluation method. Using a graphic rating scale is often the preferred choice when objective data is either not available or not relevant to the situation. A journal published by the American Psychological Association explains the relevance of graphic rating scales and their many benefits. Just a sample of the benefits discussed in the article are listed below.

  • It is easy to use and understand
  • It does not take a lot of time to fill out forms
  • It is easily standardized for multiple positions
  • It can be personalized to one specific position
  • It makes the employee appraisal system less complicated

What Characteristics Should be Included?

To ensure that the graphic rating form is consistent and effective, behaviors measured should be relevant to the specific job roles of the employees being assessed. Behaviors also need to be specific. Vague behaviors such as dependable or trustworthy should be avoided. Better choices would be shows up for work on time and trustworthy when dealing with large amounts of cash.

An important aspect of any business is regular employee performance evaluations. Evaluations can ensure that employees are performing as they should, locate any weak areas, and correct them if necessary. While there are several methods used to assess employees’ performance, a popular choice today is the graphic rating form as described above.