The Argument For a 10 Point Performance Scale

In any rating or review system, the creator must choose a rating scale and the fact is that there is no true “best practice” as far as the right one is concerned. You could have a 3, 5, 7 or 10 point scale and at no point would it be truly wrong. Each company chooses whatever scale is right for their particular use.


It is worth arguing though that the less interested you are in using actual performance ratings to help drive business decisions, the smaller of a rating scale you’ll choose. In a 3 point scale and 1000 employees, the worst performing employee will receive the same rating as the 300th best employee. If you intend to use that rating to drive a decision like compensation merit increases, it’s difficult to make an argument that your compensation is accurately rewarding employees.


The more points used in a rating scale, the more precisely you can measure the performance. There’s a difference between the performance of the 300th and 400th best employees at a company and we should be able to document that difference.

Quix exists to help companies accurately and precisely measure the overall performance of employees. In order to do that Quix uses at 10 point scale and allows employees and managers to rate as frequently, up to twice per day. With more data and more precision, companies can finally begin using their performance management data to build useful analytics and as the basis of initiatives to stimulate improvement.


Obviously this is not a license to create a 10,000 point scale, as our scale still needs to exist somewhere in the time-space continuum, but if we want to be precise and we want to correctly measure the performance of our employees, then we need to use a scale that lets us show variation. Over the year a 5.11 and a 5.94 performance are indeed different and good companies should be able to identify that difference. A 10 point scale is the Goldilocks version of that scale. Not too big, not too small. Juuuust right.


So while it’s easy to find an opinion or research on any of the popular rating scales that provides a desired answer, there is no perfect rating scale as the right answer depends on your needs. For companies that want to derive value from their performance management process, Quix believes the 10 point rating scale creates the correct specificity.


Quix is a mobile-first application that allows employees and managers to quickly rate themselves and their direct reports up to twice per day. This allows companies to build a more nuanced, complete picture of employee performance over time, identifying high-performers, problem employees, potential management issues and even biases that would otherwise go unnoticed and unaddressed. Contact Quix to learn more.

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