Reference and Education

What Is The Graphic Rating Scale? Is It Important In Research?

A graphic rating scale is similar to the Likert scale. It is a popular tool in employee appraisal and assessment conducted by the Human Resource Department in every organisation. A graphic rating scale or visual rating scale has crucial importance in human resource-related research for MBA students. The human resource department in every organisation is responsible for conducting employee appraisals to evaluate their performance. It helps the human resource department understand the strengths and weaknesses of their employees. This article will tell you about the graphic rating scale and its importance in management research.

What Is A Graphic Rating Scale?

A graphic rating scale is a performance appraisal tool used by the human resource department in every organisation to evaluate employee performance. It includes a list of desired attributes and behaviours for each position followed by a numerical scale for rating employees on each of them. To understand it better, we talked with experts of PhD dissertation writing services. They provided a list of attributes. This list of desired attributes and behaviours is described as following:

  • Punctuality
  • Quality of work
  • Job knowledge
  • Teamwork
  • Accountability
  • Excellence
  • Ethics
  • Behaviour with coworkers
  • Decision-making abilities
  • Innovative capabilities
  • Responsibility
  • Self-motivation

The Human resource department seeks to measure the qualities mentioned above among the employees based on a numerical scaling. The numerical scaling, like the Likert scale, ranges from 1 to 5. 1 signifies a negative rating, whereas 5 demonstrates a higher rating. The graphic rating scale has two forms. One is the discrete scale that measures responses on a scale of negative, positive and neutral. On the other hand, a continuous scale encompasses a range of numbers at different points of the scale and determines the position of the employee on that spectrum.

What Is The Importance Of The Graphic Rating Scale?

A graphic rating scale has crucial importance in human resource management. The human resource department conducts appraisals at the end of the fiscal year. These appraisals help the management identify the strengths and weaknesses of their employees. It is an effective tool for identifying the employees who deserve recognition, raise in salary and promotion. Furthermore, it helps organisations identify the weaknesses of their employees and conduct training sessions to fill the gaps.

A visual rating scale is an effective method for quantifying the characteristics and behaviours of employees in a workplace. The responses received from the rating scales can help management establish benchmarks for evaluating employee performance in future. It also helps the management understand the strength of its human resource and determine the overall competitive advantage they have over the rest of the competitors.

What Is The Importance Of A Graphic Rating Scale In Research?

A graphic rating scale is useful for MBA students specialising in human resources. They can select case studies and specific organisations for understanding their employee appraisal methods. Researchers can also do a comparative study by comparing two organisations. For example, a researcher can select an organisation that uses a visual rating scale for evaluating employees. A researcher can then compare the two organisations: one that uses a graphic rating scale and another that is not. A comparative perspective will help researchers understand the perspective of employees. It can provide deep insights into the effectiveness of employee performance appraisals. Researchers can identify and determine whether current employee performance tools are sufficient for measuring employees’ accurate behaviours or attributes.

What Are The Characteristics Of A Good Graphic Rating Scale?

  • Clear and well-defined performance evaluation measures based on which the scale measures the employee performance
  • The scales should consist of behavioural attributes
  • Omission of vague and ambiguous behavioural traits which are too generic
  • Rating options should be relevant to the concept being measured. For example, if the scale wants to measure MS Office skills, the options should be basic, intermediate and advanced.
  • Number scales should be consistent throughout the rating scale. For example, if the rating scale ranges from 1-to 5, it should remain constant throughout the rating scale.
  • The wording of scales seeking to measure employee performance should be clear and easy to understand
  • Inclusion of comments scales for employees to provide their feedback. The comments scale should be identical throughout the rating scale. For example, “meets expectations, below expectations, above average”

What Are The Advantages Of A Graphic Rating Scale?


Graphic rating scales are easy to understand. Managers and employees do not need elaborate instructions to fill out the rating scales. It does not require any formal training to understand the contents of the rating scale. It is simple and pretty straightforward. A graphic rating scale helps the researchers and human resource department quantify the behaviour and attributes of employees. It standardises the evaluation criterion. It is also helpful for establishing performance benchmarks which can serve as a reference point for future evaluations.

Identify The Strengths And Weaknesses Of Employees.

A graphic rating scale is a great tool for identifying the strengths and weaknesses of employees. The human resource department evaluates the employees against the most desired behaviours and attributes. It helps the management identify the area where employee performance exceeds expectations. However, at the same time, it also helps spot those areas where employee performance is below expectations. A visual rating scale helps management identify trends and patterns in employee performance and behaviours. It streamlines the evaluation methods in organisations.

Management can take actions and initiatives to mitigate the lack and help the employee perform better. It is also a useful tool for identifying those employees who are free riders. Free riders are those employees or managers who do nothing but take all the credit. Based on rating scale evaluations, management can take strict action against incompetent supervisors and managers.


A graphic rating scale is an expensive method for evaluating employee performance. It is very simple to make and easy to implement. Corporations with many employees can easily implement the method in their company and evaluate employee performance.


The graphic rating scale has crucial importance for Human Resource Management department. It helps organisations evaluate the performance of their employees. MBA students specialising in human resource management can use graphic rating scales and understand their effectiveness. Researchers can assess whether the rating scales are enough for measuring employee performance.

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