A behaviorally anchored rating scale (BARS) is a scale that estimates the behavior of employees in various situations from the most desirable to unacceptable. In cases where it is necessary to assess the compliance of employees’ behavior with the established norms and standards adopted in the company, the BARS method can help.


Typically, this method is used to evaluate those categories of employees whose behavior determines the success of an organization’s work. Each scale of evaluation is associated with a specific behavioral setting that is described in the context of the performance level. By correlating the employee’s results with a range for each aspect, the evaluator can more accurately estimate the worker’s effects. There are several behaviorally anchored rating scale steps:

  1. Formation of critical cases. A group of people who know the job is asked to describe specific situations of effective or ineffective performance.
  2. Determination of the scope of performance of duties. Cases are combined into a small set of performance measurements.
  3. Redistribution of cases. The second group of people who also know the job redistributes the first critical cases. Usually, a critical situation is retained if some percentage of the second group of people assign it to the same cluster as the first group.
  4. The scale of cases. The second group is asked to rank the behavior described in the case, that is, to determine how effectively it reflects the performance of responsibilities.
  5. Development of the final tool. A subset of cases is used as “behavioral anchors” for each cluster.

The critical disadvantage of behaviorally anchored rating scales is time as BARS may take longer to develop than other evaluation methods. However, this scale has essential advantages, such as accuracy, clearer standards, and better feedback. People who know the job and its requirements are better at developing BARS than others. The resulting behaviorally anchored rating scale evaluation is an excellent way to get explicit performance appraisal at work.