Business Management

5-point Rating Scale for Selection Options

Use a Word/Number 1-to-5 Rating Scale

Combining words and numbers in a 1-to-5 rating scale provides an effective method for measuring the pluses and minuses of everything from employee performance to the relative importance of personal and business options. The 5-point scale forces a sharper focus than is possible with the popular 1-to-10 scale. Depending on what is being rated, take the time to assign appropriate words to each number. Here are four examples.

To evaluate any overall performance (a speaker, a worker, a seminar, a laptop):

1 = Poor
2 = Fair
3 = Good
4 = Very Good
5 = Excellent

When deciding which of several factors should be included in a major decision, rate each factor as:

1 = Unimportant
2 = Slightly important
3 = Important
4 = Very important
5 = Critical

If whether certain events happen or not will impact your decision, rate the possibilities as:

1 = Won't happen
2 = Might happen
3 = Likely to happen
4 = Very likely to happen
5 = Sure to happen

Even an employee's or colleague's attitude can be rated with a word/number scale:

1 = Disruptive
2 = Uncooperative
3 = Neutral
4 = Cooperative
5 = Enthusiastic

In each of the above scenarios, "5" equals an easy to identify extreme: excellent, critical, sure to happen, enthusiastic. Similarly, "1" easily identifies the opposite extreme: poor, unimportant, won't happen, disruptive. If the item doesn't rate a 1 or a 5, it becomes easier to choose from the three remaining word-ratings.

Generate descriptive words that you are comfortable with, but stay with a 1-to-5 scale.


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