Run a manager effectiveness review cycle

Manager effectiveness review cycles are review cycles in which managers are assessed on 15Five's Manager Effectiveness Competencies by themselves or people they work closely with (i.e. their direct reports and/or their managers). Holding manager effectiveness review cycles allows leaders to gauge the performance of their managers so they can pinpoint areas of celebration and opportunity. Data from these assessments, which can be held as stand-alone review cycles or included as part of larger review cycles, can be included in your organization's Manager Effectiveness Indicator (MEI) configuration. In this article, we'll walk through how to create a manager effectiveness review cycle.

In this article, you will learn...

Access and availability

⛔️ Required access to Best-Self Review®.
👥 This article is relevant to Review admins.
📦 This feature is available in the Total Platform pricing package.



You also have the option to create manager effectiveness engagement surveys, which can be included in your Manager Effectiveness Indicator (MEI) configuration.

Create a manager effectiveness review cycle

There are four steps to creating a manager effectiveness review cycle: creating a manager-specific group, configuring Best-Self Review® feature settings, creating a manager effectiveness question template (or using one of 15Five's default question templates, which already include the Manager Effectiveness questions), and then creating the review cycle itself. Each of those processes is covered in the following sections.

Create a manager-specific group

We recommend having a group with all managers in your company, then applying that group to the review cycle. Doing this ensures that reviews will only be written about managers. Learn how to create a new group.

Configure Best-Self Review® feature settings

We recommend selecting the following settings in Best-Self Review® feature settings:

  • Review participants: We recommend selecting the option to include “Only specific people or groups” and selecting the manager-specific group you created.
  • Direct report transparency: Review and edit how you want direct report responses to display to their manager. Options include shared or hidden. The Shared setting will show all upward results verbatim and the identity associated with the response can be displayed or remain anonymous. The Hidden setting will allow the manager of the manager to summarize the responses from direct reports.
  • Kickoff email: You can choose to include a kickoff email with the review cycle. If you want to include the email, you can edit the text of the email. Here is an example of an email that can work well to promote the Manager Effectiveness review:
    • Subject: Kicking off our 15Five Manager Review
    • Message:
      Hi [Name]!
      We’re officially kicking off our Manager Review through 15Five! The purpose of this review is to provide managers with insight into their strengths and areas for growth to become effective managers.
      We genuinely believe this review cycle will be constructive and motivating. Your honest feedback will help us understand our strengths and where we can provide additional training. If you have any questions throughout the process, reach out to us directly!
      Your review admins
      [Review Admin Names]
Create a Manager Effectiveness question template


If you're using one of 15Five's default question templates, this step is not necessary. The Manager Effectiveness competency questions are already included in these question templates.

  1. Click on Best-Self Review® in 15Five's main, left-hand navigation.
  2. You will land on the 'Review cycles' page. From here, click into the 'Template configuration' tab in the top navigation.
  3. Click Create a new template
  4. Name the question template. Be specific when choosing a name so that you can easily find it later (e.g. "Manager Effectiveness Template").
  5. Choose which type of review you would like to create a manager effectiveness question template for— either 1) Self and Manager review, or 2) Upward review.
  6. You're now in the "Questions" section, where you can add questions to your template. You'll notice that this section is split into sub-sections of questions. The Manager Effectiveness questions are available in the Manager Effectiveness section.


    If you want to include the Manager Effectiveness questions in a full review cycle, check out our "Create a custom question template" Help Center article for an in-depth walkthrough around adding questions to other question template sections. NOTE: If the manager effectiveness questions are added to a self and manager review question template, only those who are managers will see the manager effectiveness questions within the self review. Non-managers will not see these questions in their self review.

  7. From here, you have the option to edit the section title or description. Choose whether you'd like to use the default name and description for each section, or edit them by clicking '...' to the right of the section name and selecting 'Edit title and description' from the dropdown.
  8. Click on the purple text “Include these eight questions…” to add the manager effectiveness questions to the template.
    Once you click this text, the manager effectiveness questions will appear in the template. These questions cannot be altered.
  9. Click Create Template at the bottom of the page..
  10. Review the questions that you added, then click Looks good to save your question template.
  11. Repeat this process if you want to create a question template for an additional review type (self, manager, or upward).
Create a Manager Effectiveness review cycle

This section walks through the specific steps you need to take to create a Manager Effectiveness review cycle. For an in-depth overview of how to create a review cycle, check out our "Create a Best-Self Review® cycle" Help Center article.

  1. Click on Best-Self Review® in 15Five's main, left-hand navigation.
  2. You will land on the 'Review cycles' page. From here, click Create a new review cycle in the top, right-hand corner of the page.
  3. On the "Review name" page, enter the name you'd like to use for the new cycle. Be specific when choosing a name so that you can easily find it later (e.g. "Q2 23 Manager Effectiveness Review"). Then, click Continue.
  4. On the "Review participants" page, select the "Only specific people or groups" option and then select the manager-specific group you created from the dropdown menu. This ensures that only managers will be reviewed in the cycle.
  5. On the "Review type" page, select the types of reviews you'd like to include in your review cycle. The manager effectiveness questions are available for self, manager, and upward review types.

    Use the chart below to determine which review types you want to include in your review cycle ⬇️

    ME Review Flowchart.png
  6. When selecting which question templates you would like to be used for each type of review, select either the appropriate 15Five default question template or the Manager Effectiveness template(s) you created in the last section. To preview the template, click View.
  7. Once you're satisfied with your review settings, go to the "Summary & complete" page and click Save changes.

Manager effectiveness review questions

Eight manager effectiveness questions make up manager effectiveness reviews. Each question asks participants to reflect on how often a manager demonstrates 15Five's Manager Effectiveness Competencies on a five-point Likert scale from always demonstrates to never demonstrates. Review writers also have the option to include written feedback for each question.



These questions cannot be edited, as they're used for benchmarking.

Here's an example of what manager effectiveness questions look like in a review cycle:


The following Manager Effectiveness Competencies are measured in manager effectiveness review cycles:

  1. Managing Oneself: Stay organized, focused, and productive while also managing their teams effectively.
  2. Influencing Others: Affects people's beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. Have an awareness of people, their values, and needs, and use this knowledge as a means to drive organizational impact.
  3. Demonstrating Business Acumen: Analyze complex situations, anticipate future trends and possibilities, and develop plans that take into account various factors and contingencies across a business environment.
  4. Setting Goals: Prioritize work and define measurable objectives that an individual or organization wants to achieve. Identify the desired outcome or results and develop a plan to reach that goal.
  5. Enabling Productivity: Create an environment or provide resources and tools that allow individuals to work efficiently and effectively toward achieving their goals. Identify the factors that may hinder productivity and find ways to eliminate or mitigate them.
  6. Giving and Receiving Feedback: Provide or get information about performance, behavior, or actions with the intention of improvement or the continuation of doing something well.
  7. Supporting Career Growth: Help individuals to develop the knowledge, skills, and experience they need to achieve their career goals. Mentor, train, coach, and provide opportunities for learning and growth.
  8. Building Strong Teams: Foster their team to work well together, be committed to a common purpose, and achieve their goals efficiently and effectively together.

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