What to expect: I'm a review admin

It's time for your team to participate in a Best-Self Review cycle! This article walks through what a review cycle looks like for you- a review admin- from start to finish. Check out the additional resources in each section for walk-throughs and context.

If you're a review cycle participant or manager, check out these additional resources ⬇️:


Before the cycle begins: set the stage

Before you create a review cycle there's some behind-the-scenes work you, a review admin, are responsible for.

Select review administrators

Review admins are the folks who control almost all aspects of a review cycle: they can manage company settings for review cycles, create/manage review cycles and question templates, and, importantly, view answers on all submitted reviews. Before you launch a review, make sure the right people are appointed as review admins. There isn't a limit as to how many review admins you can appoint- it all depends on your preferences and the size of your organization.

Manage review settings

Your company's global review settings dictate default settings for all review cycles you create. Follow the steps in this article for steps on how to manage review settings, as well as context regarding what each settings entails.

Manage review-specific email notifications

Doing reviews at a company can feel like directing an orchestra—there are a lot of moving parts and people to manage. To take the burden off of review admins, we automatically inform review participants of important milestones, remind them when something is due, and send emails that are action-based (meaning when someone takes an action, the email is triggered). While most of our emails are automated, we do allow review admins to manage some review emails from the company notifications page. Additionally, here's a full list of email notifications that may be sent out during a review cycle.

Create question templates

Once you've set up your company's review settings, the next step towards launching a review cycle is to create question templates for your cycle.

Each review type - self/manager, peer, and upward - needs it's own question template, meaning that there can be up to three different templates in any given review cycle. You can either use our default 15Five question templates or you can create custom templates with your own questions. If you are using the default 15Five question templates, you can proceed to the next step in this article as you don't need to create a question template- you will simply select the default templates when creating your cycle.

Check out this article for steps on how to create a question template, as well as some example questions to use in your Best-Self Review® cycle!

Create the review cycle

Your company review settings are in order and you've created the question templates you're going to use for your upcoming review cycle- great success! Now it's time to create your review cycle by following these steps.


During the review cycle- it's show time!

How do I add someone to an active review cycle?

We understand that you may make changes to personnel often; Adding this functionality allows administrators more management power, and keeps the review cycle aligned with your current staff. Review admins can now add and remove participants from an active review cycle. Use the 'Manage participants' link in your review 'Overview' page.

Assuming that you have not excluded users or groups from the review cycle, any person that is active in 15Five before the start date will automatically be added to the review participants.

Review cycle participants can also be managed through the 'Review cycle settings' page. This page can be found from the cycle overview page by clicking on the gear icon, and then clicking on Edit review cycle.

NOTE ✏️ : Participants can be added or removed up until the cycle is locked. 
  1. 1. Click on Best-Self Review® in the left navigation of 15Five.

  2. Click on the active review cycle. (You can also click on the three dots to the right of the cycle name, and then View review cycle.)
  3. From the ‘Overview’ tab, click on the gear icon and then Manage participants. (You can also click on the # Participants link to edit.)
  4. Manage participants by clicking the Add to cycle or Remove from cycle buttons.
  5. Once the participant has been removed or added, you should see a banner appear in the top right of your screen confirming the action.
NOTE ✏️ : When removing a participant from an active cycle, all activity and answers for this person’s review will be deleted. This action cannot be undone.

There are important changes that happen if you update a participant's reviewer during an active cycle. To see more about these changes:

Success Center article 🗒: Change a reviewer before, during, or after a review cycle

To send review reminders:

If you want to remind your team and gently nudge them to complete their Review 15Five will send them a nudge.

  1. Click on Best-Self Review® in the left navigation of 15Five.

  2. Click on View review cycle.
  3. Click on the ... next to the deadline for which notifications need to be sent out and then select Nudge.

Success Center article 🗒: Send nudges during an active cycle


Report on a cycle's progress

At any time during a review cycle, a review admin or 15Five admin can run a progress report. The report includes all participants, a participant’s peers, a participant’s direct reports, submission dates, a participant’s answers, and multiple other fields. 

TIP 💡: Due to the large amount of information that this report generates, we suggest filtering and sorting the data to meet your needs. Feel free to eliminate irrelevant information, as you can run another progress report at any time. 

To download a progress report:

  1. Click on Best-Self Review® in the left navigation of 15Five.

  2. Click on the active review cycle. (You can also click on the three dots to the right of the cycle name, and then View review cycle.)
  3. From the ‘Overview’ tab, click on the gear icon and then Download progress as CSV.
  4. Your report should automatically download and appear in your Downloads folder.

When do reviews become visible?

NOTE ✏️ : The level of visibility will depend on the review settings that were in place before the cycle began.

Self reviews become visible to managers and review admins once they have been submitted by the participant.

Peer reviews become visible to managers and review admins once they have been submitted by the peer. Peer reviews become visible to the participant once their manager decides to 'Share results'; usually right before or immediately after the final meeting. 

Upward reviews become visible to the manager's manager and review admins once they have been submitted by the review writer. Upward reviews become visible to the manager once their manager decides to 'Share results'. 

For example: I am one of Charlotte's direct reports. I submit my upward review of Charlotte. Charlotte's manager is notified that I submitted the upward review and can view my comments. Once Charlotte's manager clicks 'Share results', Charlotte will be able to see my upward review of her. 

Manager reviews become visible to the participant once the manager decides to 'Share results'.

The Summary becomes visible to the participant once the manager decides to 'Share results'.


After the cycle

Lock a review cycle

Locking a review cycle means that users will no longer be able to submit reviews or edit any details within the cycle. This should only be done when the review cycle is fully completed and all summary meetings have been held.

NOTE ✏️ : When locking a cycle, you will be asked if you would like to 'Release all unreleased reviews to teammates'. Checking this box will release all peer, manager, and upward reviews to each employee.

To lock a cycle:

  1. Click on Best-Self Review® in the left navigation of 15Five.

  2. Click on the ended review cycle that you wish to lock. (You can also click on the three dots to the right of the cycle name, and then View review cycle.)
  3. Click the orange Lock cycle button.
  4. Check or uncheck the ‘Release all unreleased reviews to teammates’. This box is checked by default.
  5. Click Lock review cycle
TIP 💡: To confirm the cycle has been locked, go back to your ‘Reviews’ tab and check for a lock icon next to the cycle.

If you need a locked cycle to be unlocked, contact 15Five Support. 


Download or print review details (for specific employees)

If you would like to view and analyze review data for specific employees, you can download or print the results from within their specific review page after the results have been shared and finalized.

To download or print an employee's final data:

  1. Click on Best-Self Review® in the left navigation of 15Five.

  2. Click on the cycle that applies.
  3. From the 'Overview' tab, you will see 3 filter options: My reviews, My team, and Reviewer drill-down.
  4. Click the My team, Reviewer drill-down, or Whole company option; whichever applies.
  5. Scroll down to 'Review progress' for your selected group, click the ... next to the person whose review info you want to download, and then click View.
  6. There will be a gear icon towards the top right of the page, across from their name. Click the gear icon and either Download summary as CSV or Print

Success Center article 🗒: F.A.Q. Best-Self Review™ and 360 reviews 

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