Again, the issue of performance review ratings rears its head…
I always find this topic fascinating; in reality (my opinion), there are only three performance results:
(a) Doesn’t meet expectations,
(b) Meets expectations, or
(c) Exceeds expectations.
All else (in my opinion) are provided for comfort and conflict mitigation, not accuracy. More rating choices enables poor performance management, in my mind.
I know this next comment isn’t strictly about “ratings,”, but it’s still part of my response: Help managers learn how to manage performance first; reviews, then, merely memorialize performance conversations. They are the END of the process, not the beginning.
The bigger issue is that most managers are really poor at setting and managing to real, objective expectations. Hence the desire to always want “more” rating categories.
“Pretty good” versus “Real good.”
“Good,” but not “great.”
“Almost satisfactory” versus “Really bad.”
Most of my clients have 3-point scales (above). Two still have 5 points. I’ve worked with and for companies that had 10-point scales, and one — no kidding — had a 100 point scale.
The ratings aren’t the key, so don’t spend an inordinate amount of time here. Performance management, conversations, dialog, and setting expectations ARE keys, so there’s the real focus.
Performance MANAGEMENT is a relatively simple process. We (globally management) complicate it (perhaps somewhat necessarily) with performance REVIEWS, so minimize those complications as much as possible. Simple is always better.
But that’s just me…