Here is an essay on ‘Merit Rating’ for class 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short essays on ‘Merit Rating’ especially written for school and college students.

Essay on Merit Raking

Essay Contents:

  1. Essay on the Meaning of Merit Rating
  2. Essay on the Purpose of Merit Rating
  3. Essay on the Methods of Merit Rating
  4. Essay on the Forced Choice Description in Merit Rating
  5. Essay on the Principles Relating to Merit Rating

Essay # 1. Meaning of Merit Rating:


It is the name used to the system of evaluating and recording the abilities and personal characteristics of an employee.

It is the evaluation or appraisal of the relative work to the company of a man’s services on his job.

As put by Edwin B. Flippo, “Merit rating is a systematic, periodic and so far as humanly possible, an impartial rating of an employee’s excellence in matters pertaining to his present job and to his potentialities for a better job”. In fact, it is the formal process of evaluating some or all of the individuals who make up the work team. This system was originated by Robert Owen of Scotland in the early 15th century.

He kept character books for his workers and displayed a colour block indicative of merit on each worker’s bench. It has been named different forms. In USA, it is called efficiency rating, service rating, performance rating or experience rating.


Essay # 2. Purpose of Merit Rating:

Merit rating is an important tool of business administration. It has a wide range of uses. Some of these uses are served by merit rating.

They are:

i. It unifies the rating procedure:


The method of performance appraisal unites the rating procedure so that all employees are rated on the same qualities by the same method of measurement.

ii. It is more equitable and just:

Though workers and their unions are, often opposed to personal ratings and they advocate the payment of the same wage rate to Ml the workers on the same job still in order to reward those who produce more and better work, merit rating is essential. It serves as a basis for granting promotions that are based on merit rewards.

iii. It serves to stimulate a worker’s development:


Merit rating can be used for measuring a worker’s improvement in concrete common terms. It, also measures an employee’s deterioatation in respect to application and efficiency. In this way employee ratings may be used to help workers guage their own value and accomplishments.

The attention of the ratters can be drawn to personal deficiencies described by ratters and suggestions can be given to them as to how they may improve and reduce such shortcomings. If used properly such periodic appraisal will establish an atmosphere in which criticism can be taken without resentment and can be used reconstructive in self-improvement.

iv. Balance to workers qualification. It determines if a worker’s qualification are in balance and have remained in balanced with the job’s requirements.

v. Appraisal of training needs. Ratings may be used to clarify the need for training programmes, where certain types of educational deficiencies are found to characterize large number of workers.


vi. Weeds out the inefficient workers. Inefficient workers are sorted out and those whose views are not in harmony with the company’s objective or its philosophy of management. Through the objective analysis of merit ratings, it is possible to observe the chronically dissatisfied employees who are out of line with the objectives of a company. For such cases severance may be the kindest and best solution.

vii. An aid to management:

Some find a rating plan helpful in adjusting grievances, when ability is considered a part of seniority. The personnel rating is definite aid to management in promoting fairness and a better understanding as regards many of the decisions affecting employees. Ratings may give a check at the end of probationary period for new workers.

viii. Other uses. Merit ratings may be used to give leaders with a more effective tool for rating their personnel. One which needs careful analysis on their part and gives them a better knowledge and understandings of their men. It may provide better employee- employer relations through mutual confidence that comes as a result of frank discussions between leader and follower for ratings.


As Roland Benjamin has said, the main uses of personnel ratings are to determine who shall receive merit increases, to counsel employees, to determine training needs. To determine promotability and to identify those who should be transferred. Many concerns use ratings in layoff and recall, demotion, disciplinary actions, and to evaluate probationary employees, validate tests and improve placement.

In some business concerns, these personnel ratings are avoided as a matter of policy. Employers, employees or both may object to such ratings, on the ground that they are unreliable or that an informal appraisal can provide all the information that is needful.

Formal ratings may be regarded as superfluous in small organisation where employees are well known to their own and other supervisors. In larger organizations, however, policy may favour systematic personnel ratings to provide evaluations of some or all employees.

Essay # 3. Methods of Merit Rating:


There are several methods of merit rating but the more popular among them are given here:

i. Ranking:

This is the oldest and most simple method for performance appraisal. Here, the appraiser thinks the man and his performance as an entity. No attempt is made to fractionize the rater or his performance, the rater simply compares the whole man with the whole men.

It is most simple method of separating the most efficient men with the least efficient. But the greatest objection of the system is that it is very difficult in practice to compare a single person with the whole mass of human beings having different traits. To solve this problem, the paired comparison technique can be utilized.

This technique compares each man one at a time. If there are five workers. As performance is compared to B and a decision is reached as to best among them. Then A is compared to C, D and E in order. B is also compared to them and a decision is reached as to best among them, also.

Similar process of comparisons can be used in respect of other personnel. Thus, the use of the paired-comparison technique with these five workers would mean a total of decisions only two persons being involved in each decision.


The number of decisions can be determined by the following:

Number of comparisons = N (N-l)

Here, N shows the number of personnel to be compared. The results of these comparisons can be tabulated and a rank can be created from the number of times each person is considered to be superior.

ii. Man-to-Man Comparison:

This was used during First World War. Certain factors are selected for the purpose of analysis like initiative, leadership, dependability and a scale is designed for each factor by the rater. Again, a scale of men is also created for each selected factor. Then, each man to be rated is compared with the man in the scale and certain sources for each factor are given to him.

In this way, under this system, instead of comparing whole man to whole men, personnel are compared to key men, one factor at a time. This system of appraisal is used today in job evaluation and is known as, Factor comparison method.


Although, this system is useful for job evaluation, it is of limited use for personnel appraisal, as the dividing of scales is a complicated task.

iii. Grading:

As far as, this system is concerned, certain categories of worth like, excellent, very good, good, poor, very poor or outstanding, satisfactory, unsatisfactory are established and they are, carefully defined. The actual performance of the employee is then compared with these grade definitions and the person is allocated to the grade which best describes his performance.

iv. Graphic Scales:

It is like the man to man system but for the difference that here the degrees on the factor scales are shown by definitions rather than by key men. The selection of the factors to be measured is a crucial part of the graphic scales method.

These factors can be divided into two parts:


1. Employee characteristics

2. Employee contributions.

Characteristics denote the quality of the person like initiative, enthusiasm, dependability, loyalty.

Contribution is something the employee produces as quantity of work, responsibilities assumed and a specific goals accomplished.

In appraising employee characteristics, the theory is that if the employee possesses certain characteristics, he will produce the desired contribution.

Some of the more commonly used factors are as given below:


a. Quantity of work,

b. Quality of work,

c. Dependability of an employee,

d. Regularity of attendance,

e. Safety of work,

f. Attitudes towards associates and superiors,


g. Ability to learn,

h. Initiative,

i Ability to instruct others,

j. Superior talent.

Like school report card, these and similar characteristics of a work may be scored in the form of grades such as excellent, good, poor, unsatisfactory. Rating of performance for purpose of selecting those who are to be promoted, trained for promotion, warned or dismissed should be based on objective measurement whereby not only the past and present performance of the same employee is compared but also the record of several employee.

Personnel should be informed about its rating and it should understand the rating system that is used as a basis for wage increment and promotion. Those who perform below standards should be notified, and suggestions should be made for improvement of their work.

If they are unable to improve their performance, they may be assigned to less exerting duties that fit better to their capabilities, or they may be dismissed.

The objection to factor scale lies in the arbitrariness that comes in their design. What factors are to be used? How many? Are they to be equally weighted? How many degrees per factor? What kind of factor and degree definitions? But on the whole it may be said that it is possible to design a fairly reliable system that will produce consistent results.

v. Check List:

In this system, rater does not evaluate the performance of the employee but simply, reports about it and the final rating is done by the personnel department. Under this system, a series of questions are presented carrying the subject ’employee and his behaviour’.

The rater, then checks to indicate if the answer to a question about the worker is positive or negative. The value of each question may be weighted.


The system is subject to bias or prejudice of rater. Again it is difficult to assemble, analyse and weigh a number of statements about employee characteristics and contributions. It is very simple as in the checklist approach, the rater has simply to report the factors and not compare the various points.  

Essay # 4. Forced Choice Description in Merit Rating:

It reduces or eliminates the possibilities of rater bias by forcing him to choose between descriptive statements of seemingly equal work. The rater might be asked to state which of the following statements is more descriptive of the employee in question.

A. Gives good clear instructions to his subordinates.

B. Can be depended upon to complete any job assigned.

Both these statements are descriptions of desirable traits. The rater here cannot place his bias into operation as he is forced to choose one statement even though he feels that both apply in the case of a particular employees.

Thus this method eliminates bias.

There are some disadvantages also:

1. It is difficult to keep the key secret.

2. The system is not very satisfactory if it is to be utilized for employee development.

3. The rater objects to being found to make decisions that he feels cannot or should not be made.

Hence, the system is not very popular.

Selection of Critical Incidents:

Certain key sets of behavior exists which make the difference between success and failure of job. The raters select certain kinds of events that occur in the performance of the rater’s job.

Such events can be given- (a) became upset or angry over work, (b) refused to cooperate with the fellow worker (c) suggested an improvement in the work method, (d) refused a chance to take further training, (e) tried to get a fellow worker to accept a management decision.

These things are known while the worker is on the work. The collected incidents are ranked through importance. They may be weighted and thus rating score is known.

Essay # 5. Principles Relating to Merit Rating:

Rating should be done by immediate supervisor who knows the workers well. Again, the skill and enthusiasm of the rater is the key to a good performance appraisal system. The initial training of the raters must incorporate complete explanations of the nature of the rating- system.

Factors and factor scale must be properly defined, analysed and discussed. The rater must understand well the tool he is to use. Employees should be rated semi- annually. While all personnel should be rated at the same time in a given department or plant the time intervals between ratings should not be short so that they may not suffer from hasty appraisal of the task.

Supervisors should check these ratings at times so that the defects of the ratings should be made clear and they may be corrected in the list in time.

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