According to performance appraisal.com, the rating scale method offers a high degree of structure for appraisals. Each employee trait or characteristic is rated on a bipolar scale that usually has several points ranging from 'poor' to 'excellent' (or some similar arrangement).
The traits you assess on these scales include attributes such as cooperation, the ability to communicate, initiative, punctuality and technical (work skills) competence.
According to the site, the greatest advantage of rating scales is that they're structured and standardised. This allows you to easily compare ratings.
Each employee is subjected to the same basic appraisal process and rating criteria, with the same range of responses. This encourages equality in treatment for all appraisees and imposes standard measures of performance across all parts of the organisation, says performance appraisal.com.
The site adds that, 'rating scale methods are easy to use and understand. Both appraisers and appraisees have an intuitive appreciation for the simple and efficient logic of the bipolar scale. The result is widespread acceptance and popularity for this approach.'
The biggest drawback is some managers fail to ensure that the selected rating-scale traits are relevant to an employee's job.
So you must ensure they're relevant so this method works for your company.
There you have it. Strengthen your performance management processes now that you know about another effective appraisal method: The rating scale.
PS: If you need more information on performance appraisals, be sure to check out the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management.