How to Calculate Employee Evaluation Scores

by Marcia Moore, MSSW ; Updated September 26, 2017
Evaluation: key to future development

Some companies may establish performance standards (quality of work, quantity of work, timeliness of results, manner of performance) before the work is performed, so both employer and employee are clear on work expectations. Employees may receive a performance evaluation at certain times to determine how well they do their jobs compared with the set of standards required for each job. Companies may choose various terms (number scales from lowest to highest) to define standards for performance. Whatever terms are used will drive the required type of calculation.

Review the job title, description, and required job standards. Each job standard should have a correlating rating. For example, if the job title is cashier, a standard might be to balance the cash drawer at the end of each day. The evaluation ratings may be outstanding = 1, very good = 2, satisfactory = 3, marginal = 4, and unsatisfactory = 5. Other numerical possibilities are 1-3 = poor, 4-6 = satisfactory, 7-9 = good, and 10 = excellent.

Prepare the evaluation according to company policy on how to rate employees. Some companies may use a Management by Objectives calculation, referred to as MBO. This type of evaluation specifies the performance goals that the employee hopes to achieve within the evaluation time frame. For example, a sales representative may have an objective to submit a required sales report by the first day of every month. The evaluation score for MBO's may be rated as achieved or not achieved for each objective. With this type of evaluation, only a certain number (set by manager and employee) of unachieved objectives is acceptable.

Beware of any evaluation rating scale problems before delivering the evaluation to the employee. For example, if traits (may describe a person's character) are used, there may be some unfair evaluation scores. For example, if one of the traits happens to be quality, various supervisors may define good, fair, and unsatisfactory differently. One way to ensure a fair calculation of scores for all employees is to include descriptive phrases that define each trait. Quality could be defined specifically as accuracy and acceptability of the work performed, therefore leaving little to unfair interpretation.


  • Do prepare for the evaluation in advance.

    Explain the ratings and how they were determined.

    Focus on future performance and growth.

About the Author

Based in Dallas, Texas, Marcia Moore has been writing business-related materials since 1974. She has enjoyed a 30-year career in the field of human resources and works as a HR consultant to small and medium businesses. Moore holds a Master of Science in social work from the University of Texas in Arlington.

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