Employee Performance Measurement Scale

We have spent our entire lives graded in some facet. From school tests to business reviews, we grasp for rating scales as a society. How many top-10 articles pique your interest? How many times have you relied on the star ratings of Yelp to choose a restaurant? For some reason, it’s embedded in our DNA. So what about employee performance measurement? How do we rate the workers we employ?

Having an employee performance measurement scale in place helps businesses evaluate the proficiency of each employee. When businesses hire new employees, they make decisions based on the interview process. After the candidate is hired, the performance of the candidate can vary. Sure, that star pupil may have looked good in the vetting process, but how are they now?

With an employee performance measurement tool in place, businesses can see how well the employee performed over a certain period. This performance gauge allows companies to reevaluate their team, helping them make employment decisions going forward. It’s not only a useful tool but necessary to keep a keen eye on the future of your workforce.

How do you create an employee performance measurement scale? What should each grade consist of and represent? There is a multitude of different ways to go about it, with no universal tactic set in stone. As a staffing agency, we will explain how we measure and evaluate our employees and hires.

Grade School Performance Measurement Scale

Certainly, most of us are familiar with the grade school grading system from A to F. Getting an A is the goal. Anything below an A means room for improvement. On the other hand, F means failure and that the student misses the mark by a mile. Scoring a B, C, or D means failing to meet expectations.

Unfortunately, the education system owns and holds this concept. Sure, you can put it in place at your business, but it draws connotation to years of filling out Scantrons and pop quizzes. In a way, it appears as a juvenile way of grading human performance post grade school. There is not anything wrong with this method, but it can create an almost subconscious teacher-student relationship between the performance reviewer and the employee.

Ultimately, the middle ground is to create something that draws from the A-F grading scale but creates a more universal and professional feel.

So, what is the employee performance measurement scale in the workplace?

Workplace Performance Measurement Scale

Unlike grade school, the workplace often uses a scale of excellent, good, fair, and poor. Managers are asked to evaluate the performance of each direct report based on this scale. In addition, companies will evaluate employee competencies based on a few criteria they feel are important. 

Consequently, it’s impossible to dictate exactly what methodology goes behind each company’s individual rating scale. Some may place qualities over others. It’s only possible to create a rough guideline of what each number means. As a result, the employee performance measurement scale helps organizations identify Return on Investment (ROI) for their employees. ROI dictates whether the cost of a said employee is worth the product (or help) they create. Regardless of the qualities that determine this usefulness, the performance measurement should express the standings.

We must address the elephant barking in the center of the human resource management office. Overall, rating a human being with a number can seem disingenuous and disconnected from the reality of empathy. We get it. Grading people on a number scale seems strangely inhumane. This thought process calls for the inclusion of human attributes when evaluating an employee. The concept is not to crystallize an employee with a number, but to give a universal way of showing the need for improvement. It’s not permanent, but a quantification to go off of for future teaching and effort availability.

Performance Measurement During the Interview

But how do you go about effectively evaluating someone’s performance during the interview process?

As hiring managers, we must discuss performance evaluations with candidates that we are serious about. During the interview process, hiring managers must evaluate the candidate’s entire career. Most importantly, hiring managers should expect A-level, excellent performance measurements from a candidate when hiring them.

To do this, hiring managers should contact previous managers and request feedback regarding their performance. This is where the concept of a universal measurement scale sets in. Yes, it’s impossible to fully rate a candidate before they step foot on the job site, but there are tea leaves to find when learning about the potential employee. Any information is good information, after all. A 1-5 rating on a potential employee from their former occupation would be ideal but is a strange, and legally inept, ask.

Therefore, the hiring manager must gauge employee performance during the vetting process and then reevaluate after a certain amount of working time. Comparing the two numbers allows the hiring manager to evaluate themselves as hirers.

All in all, the measurement scales should maintain the same grades (1-5, for example) but have different criteria for the stage in the process. While an interviewee may receive a 5 on their interview, these are not the same qualifications needed to score a 5 in the employee review.

Example of Performance Measurement Scale

A five-point scale for scoring performance and aptitude is a good recommendation for a performance measurement scale. Not only is it simple and easy to follow, but it coincides with the concept of A-F grade school metrics. Both measurement scales contain 5 grades and coincide with each other. We all know and understand A-F, for it has been ingrained into us since kindergarten.

Essentially, using a 1-5 grading scale based on the grade school grading scale allows us to create a universal gauging system that appears more professional than the one used in high school. It is just changing numbers to letters. But, it works. Everyone understands it.

Furthermore, here is our basis for each number in our employee performance measurement scale. As noted, these are overarching criteria. You may have more specific attributes in each number depending on the specificities of the role and industry.

5.  Exceptional – Far Exceeds Expectations

An exceptional rating of 5 indicates that the employee is two levels above what is expected from them. To clarify, roughly 5% of employees will be in this range. If you have a plethora of employees scoring 5s, you may be too lenient in your performance appraisal.

We are not here to say that you should be harsher, no. We are stating that 5 should be kept for the albeit perfect workers. They must have anything to improve and continue to go above expectations every day.

  • Exceeds expectations consistently and in an exceptional manner.
  • Regarding objectives, the employee significantly exceeds expectations.
  • Results are always exceptional and are beyond the expectation of the salary grade.

4.  Exceeds Expectations

When employees exceed expectations, they are one level above the expected performance level. This indicates that the employee is fantastic, but not perfect. While they always complete objectives with enthusiasm and expertise, they may lack efficiency elsewhere.

They are close to perfect. They are great workers.

  • Regarding competency, they consistently exceed normal expectations.
  • Objectives are always met, and expectations are above normal.
  • Results are above and beyond those expected of someone at their salary grade.

3.  Meets All Expectations

At a rating of three, the employee performance is what is expected of someone at their salary grade. Ultimately, they are passing the class as an employee.

This worker is meeting all of their goals and doing everything asked of them. Furthermore, they have an ROI that dictates their business worth is equal to their salary grade.

  • Consistently meets all expectations of the competency scale.
  • Results are what is expected. They are fully capable of consistently meeting expectations.
  • Outcomes are that of someone at that salary grade.

2.  Marginal – Below Expectations

At this stage, the employee is not meeting the basic expectations of the company. This would parallel a D on the grade school rating scale. They are not reaching the value that they are supposed to bring, but they aren’t hopeless. They have room to improve, and necessary attention to do so might be necessary going forward.

  • Performs many aspects of the competency but lacks in some.
  • Meet some of the goals and objectives. However, the employee requires some improvement to perform at the level expected at their salary grade.
  • May require additional supervision to meet expectations.
  • Performance is at the level of those who are entering the position.

1. Unsatisfactory – Far Below Expectations

At the lowest level of the employee performance measurement scale, these employees require a great deal of improvement to meet expectations. The performance is unacceptable and can suggest a lack of willingness or ability to perform at the level of expectations. At the lowest level of the employee performance measurement scale, these employees require a great deal of improvement to meet expectations. At this stage, performance is unacceptable and can suggest a lack of willingness or ability to perform at the level of expectations. The employee’s ROI may be too low to continue employing them if improvement is not seen within the next performance analysis period.

Simply put, they have work to do and need help figuring out what is going wrong. If they have great intangible traits, there is still hope. They may just need more supervision or advisory.

  • Consistently performs below expectations and may have issues with dependability.
  • Requires excessive supervision.
  • Needs to be separated or reassignment unless performance improves significantly.

Are Your Employees Effective?

From the interview process to the retirement party, it’s necessary to keep a concept of insight into employee performance appraisals. Ultimately, this can create for a universal system that both hiring managers and higher-ups can report to. This report allows for the necessary action to take place, whether a furthering of advisory and training or promotion.

How can teamwork and productivity be measured? Is it as simple as keeping track of sale numbers and project timelines? Not really. Employees are people, after all. A level of respect, empathy, and elasticity are necessary to help improve workers. Henceforth, if a candidate scored highly in the interview process and seems to have intangibles that align with a perfect candidate, it may be useful to keep track of their performance going forward.

Overall, what goes into each individual grade depends highly on the job at hand. For example, if customer service is necessary, that hands-on experience may play into whether an employee is exceeding expectations. The employee should always meet expectations (scoring a 3) regardless of metrics. If they do not, necessary action should take place. This does not always mean reprimand or firing, but maybe a shift in roles or responsibilities.

As stated, it’s impossible to break an individual into a number system, but it is important to keep track of your overall employee ROI. An understandable and digestible system (like our 1-5 scale) can make communication lines easier between employees, managers, and hiring managers. Every employee review should facilitate a measuring scale of some sort.

If you need the best employees in recruitment, let us know. Our temp agency has some of the best, prescreened candidates available with short notice.