What is BARS Management(Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale)

A behaviorally anchored rating scale, also known as the BARS, the method is a type of performance management. This is designed to add benefits to the appraisal to measure employee performance and rate the purpose of collecting data.


A BARS management tool is used to evaluate employees within a set of dimensions by comparing their behaviour with other specific behaviours. This is a measuring system that helps to rate the employees according to their behavioural patterns and performances.

The BARS method involves the use of a vertical scale with numbers consisting of one to five, or five to nine to rate performance levels as poor, moderate, and good.

The BARS performance appraisal technique is developed by converting the data into performance metrics. This involves the use of specific incidents for each rating point to indicate how the employee has performed.

Uses of the BARS Method

The main objective of reducing rating errors is common when using traditional rating scales. The BARS method helps to find deviations from the performance standards set by the organisation. This estimates whether the employee’s performance matches the organisation’s job expectations. An objective way of assessing an employee.

BARS can compare the individual’s performance dimensions to specific examples of behaviours that are expressed in numerical ratings. This approach usually breaks down any type of task into a behaviour.

While sourcing candidates, the recruiters can understand what type of behaviour is required for the nature of the job. So, the hiring managers use BARS to evaluate them during a structured interview. Finally, the managers must ensure that the scale is free of grammar and syntax errors and that the terms of the language are easy to understand. The insights must not be lost in translation.

The Benefits of the BARS Approach

bars approach

1. Ease of Use

The standard of employees being appraised can significantly make the process simpler. This compares the employee performance against the predetermined examples of behaviours instead of rating based on the manager’s subjective evaluation.

2. Based on Behavior

The ultimate goal of the employee must be completed for each individual, and position in the company. This focuses on the behaviour of employees they aim to evaluate, to make it more straightforward for both the employers and employees to determine the criteria for success and areas of lag in each position.

3. Completely Customised

The BARS are specifically designed for, and applied to various job positions within the company. This provides the advantage of narratives, quantified ratings, and critical incidents as well as both qualitative and quantitative data. This is also an effective way of staying up to date with the latest industry trends.

Limitations of Bars Approach

1. Time-Consuming

An organisation with different roles would invest time and various resources to get it done. It requires detailed information about the company, and the managers must be motivated and involved in employee appraisals. While BARS can bring excellent results, this needs to be planned in a manner that needs cooperation from the employees and managers. The company takes a lot of time to calculate the budget ideas for the transition to happen.

2. Expensive

Organisations with smaller sets up with multiple roles, might not be feasible in the long run. A behaviorally anchored rating scale is an essential component of any structured interview. This method is individualised for each and every person, which takes up a lot of time and resources, turning out to be an expensive project for the organisation.

3. Bias

BARS mostly removes the opportunity for an evaluation to be biased. But, can have a leniency bias based on the evaluation. The managers must be motivated and involved in employee appraisals. It is usually or mostly impossible to include all the job expectations in the BARS rating scale.

Most BARS rating initiatives fail due to the lack of commitment from the top-level management in the organisation. Thus, it requires upskilling the managers to have conversations when the time comes.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How to measure BARS?

BARS are designed to bring the benefits of quantitative and qualitative data to employee appraisal by comparing the individual’s performance and appointing a numerical value that is used as the basis of performance.

2. What are some examples of implementing BARS management for customer service employees?

The examples for implementing BARS management are easily aggravated by customer feedback, inquiries, and insults. 

3. How does BARS measurement provide targeted training?

The BARS method can eliminate many applicants by removing those who do not score well. Target training helps to manage the development of the entire group, rather than investing in skills training for each employee.

4. Who is the BARS approach ideally for?

The BARS management is responsible for performance management, and thus requires a lot of time, resources, and time management that is ideal for organisations with necessary financial and administrative requirements. Those companies that have biases in their current performance in their evaluation method can find the BARS measurement to be beneficial.

Closing Thoughts

Organisations use the BARS method because they need to structure a behaviour culture in the organisation to improve performance, engagement, and employee retention, as well as get an ideal candidate to drive success in that position.

A successful BARS manager must ensure that optimising a team’s performance needs a deeper understanding of employee dynamics, performance indicators, and the individual needs of the employees to do better. This is where BARS management plays a big role. It can be tricky to design BARS for each and every employee, and the managers in the organisations have to put in the effort to enjoy the benefits of the rating scale that is bias free and personalised to every employee.

BARS are designed for both quantitative and qualitative data in the employee appraisal process. It helps the organisation to demonstrate, and strive for ideal behaviours that the company leaders, and the organisation as a whole, would follow those ideal practices. 



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