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The Five-Point Rating System

On the Competencies screen, you will select an overall rating for each competency from the dropdown list.

We recommend making objective statements when assessing your employee’s performance and considering the totality of their efforts. Keep track of milestones throughout the year so you can cite specific examples in the annual review. Avoid comments that are connected to age, race, sex, religion, veteran or disability status, gender, gender identity, natural origin or any other protected class.

It is important to maintain clear and open communication channels between you and your employee so that expectations are defined.

Our Five-Point Scale:


The contributions of the employee have consistent positive impact and add value to the department and to the organization. Performance is exceptional due to high quality of work performed in essential areas of responsibility.  Job performance exceeds expectations.

Highly Effective

Performance is solid and strong and consistently meets and often exceeds the expectations. Contributions are often above and beyond the expected job responsibilities. Employee is recognized as being an asset in accomplishing the goals and objectives of the department.


Performance consistently meets expectations for this competency. Employee demonstrates a level of expertise and made meaningful contributions. This is the expected level of performance for employees.

Needs Improvement

Employee’s performance did not consistently meet expectations in one or more essential areas of responsibility. Employee requires improvement in certain areas.


Employee has not met objectives or job requirements for the position. Immediate development and improvement is required in order to be successful.

Rating Pitfalls

Bias and Lack of Objectivity

Commonly referred to as “unconscious bias” or “implicit bias,” a bias is an error in judgment that happens when a person allows their conscious or unconscious prejudices to affect their evaluation of another person. It usually implies an unfair judgment against or in favor of someone.

Halo/Horn Effect

A type of unconscious bias wherein a supervisor’s judgement of an employee is based on a first impression and influences the performance review in a negative or positive way.

Recency Effect

This common pitfall occurs when the supervisor allows more recent incidents, either effective or ineffective of the employee’s behavior to have too much bearing on the performance review wherein the behavior becomes the focus

Central Tendency

This occurs when a supervisor rates all of their employees as average; for example, rating every competency category as a two or three on a five-point scale.


A type of rating error where a supervisor consistently rates their employee in an overly positive way providing inflated ratings that do not accurately reflect performance. Supervisors use leniency when attempting to avoid conflict.