In this post, we outline 2 different methods for rating employee performance against competencies or behaviours. In particular, where the expected performance level depends on seniority within a role. 

Spoiler – we recommend method 2!

Method 1 – Simple Met/Not Met measures

Let’s say you define a competency such as “Communication Skills”. You might describe that competency in full, then have a simple rating scheme. Something like Exceeded, Met and Not Met. Here’s what it might look like in PerformanceHub. 


Communication Competencies, with met and not met measures

This is fine in many cases, but what if the description needs to be different depending on the level of the person in the organisation? For instance, the description might be a lot more involved for a senior manager vs a new graduate.

If you do, you will now have to define that same competency multiple times and then apply the right ‘level’ of competency to the individual.

Again, this might be OK, if there are not too many levels or competencies needed, but it soon gets out of hand. Plus, you’ll be missing out on some great analytical data – see the next method.

Method 2 – Descriptive Measures

A better way would be to define the competency once for all levels, and weave the expected behaviours for each level of seniority into the ratings themselves.

For example, you would give the competency a title “Communication Skills” and then a brief, general description (rather than the more detailed one above) followed by the detailed ratings, like this:


Communication Competencies - Descriptive


As you can see, the expected performance levels build. Now, you set the expected performance level for each level of seniority. For example, a Graduate might be “Foundation” an Exec “Advanced” and a Senior Exec “Influencer”.

Doing things this way has a number of advantages:

  • You define the competency once, and use the same one everywhere
  • Employees can see what they would need to do in order to ‘move up the scale’ as the description is right there in front of them
  • Managers choose better ratings because it’s a lot more descriptive as to which one should be chosen
  • In reports, you know exactly how far off people are from targets, unlike Method 1 where you don’t know if “Exceeding” on a competency at one level is the same as Meeting it at the next level up.

So there you go, our take on the best way to rate an employee’s competencies or behaviours. Get in touch to let us know what you think.

If you want to learn more about PerformanceHub and how it can help you with your employee performance, then check out PerformanceHub’s features.