Configure Best-Self Review® feature settings

This article walks through steps and recommendations for configuring your organization's Best-Self Review® feature settings. The settings you select will be applied to all future Best-Self Review® cycles. Changes can be made to these settings up until the start date of a Best-Self Review cycle; however, changes made to these settings after a cycle has started will not retroactively apply (with a few exceptions, which are denoted in this article with an asterisk*).

In this article, you will learn how to...

Access and availability

⛔️ Required access to Best-Self Review® and feature settings.
👥 This article is relevant to Review admins.
📦 This feature is available in the Perform and Total Platform pricing packages.
⏳ Estimated time to configure: 30 minutes



If you're a review admin planning to create and launch a review cycle, check out our "Best-Self Review® for review admins" Help Center article for additional support and guidance!

Access your company's global review settings

  1. Click on the Settings gear in the upper, right-hand corner of your 15Five account.
  2. Select 'Features' from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click to open Best-Self Review® settings.

Configure basic feature settings

Consider the following as you begin configuring Best-Self Review® feature settings:

Display name

At 15Five, we refer to the performance review feature as “Best-Self Review®”. If your organization has a preferred terminology for performance reviews, you can customize the feature display name in the platform to match your company culture. 



If you customize the feature name, it will still be called “Best-Self Review®” in 15Five materials (e.g. articles, videos, webinars).

Review administrator(s)*

Determine which of your account admins should have review admin permissions, as these individuals will have access to review results company-wide. Read more about all of the roles within the Best-Self Review® feature.

Exclude groups or individuals from your reviews

Decide if there are any employees that should not participate in the review process by default. Perhaps your organization has interns, seasonal employees, contractors, etc. that will not be participating in the review process entirely— that is, they will not be a review participant nor a review writer. You can add those employees here.



If there are employees that should not be reviewed themselves, but who are still expected to write reviews about other employees, do not add them to the “Exclude groups or individuals from your reviews” setting. You can choose to exclude them as a participant in a specific cycle during review cycle creation.

Visibility setting
In this section, you can set default visibility options. These visibility options can be changed on a cycle-by-cycle basis, but the options you select in feature settings will appear as the default during review cycle creation.
  • Hierarchy vs. Basic visibility: Review results can be viewed by the participants, their direct manager, cycle collaborators, review viewers, and review admins (Basic) OR review results can be viewed by all roles listed for basic visibility and anyone above them in the hierarchy (Hierarchy).
  • Private Manager Assessment results: Determine if participants can see how their manager answered Private Manager Assessment questions about them. 
  • Past reviews visibility: By default, direct managers and additional managers only have access to direct reports’ current and future review results. Here, you can enable direct and/or additional managers to have automatic access to direct reports’ historical review results.


    The options selected here apply to all direct managers and/or additional managers. If you don't want all direct managers and/or additional managers to have visibility into past review results, consider adding the managers that you do want to have visibility into their direct reports' past review results as review viewers. This can be done one-off in a person's account settings or in bulk via CSV import. 

Configure advanced feature settings

Consider the following as you configure your advanced Best-Self Review® feature settings:

Company values

Determine if you will include company values in your performance review process. Company values are the guiding principles and beliefs that shape the culture, decision-making, and behavior of an organization. They are the foundation on which a company's mission and vision are built, and they represent what the organization stands for and what it aspires to be.

There is an optional 'Company values' questions section that you can include in review cycles that allows review authors to rate how the person they're reviewing lives out company values.



If you want to include company value questions in review cycles, you first need to add them to 15Five.


Follow the link here to add competencies for your review cycle. Competencies are demonstrable and measurable clusters of knowledge, skills, behaviors, and attitudes that an employee needs to perform their work functions successfully.

There is an optional 'Competencies' questions section that you can include in review cycles that allows review authors to rate on how the person they're reviewing demonstrates company-wide, group, or role-specific competencies.



If you want to include competency questions in review cycles, you first need to add them to 15Five.


Determine whether or not you will include objectives in your performance review process. 

If you choose to enable objectives in reviews, determine the default objective types to include (company-wide, group, individual). The objective types can also be customized on a cycle-by-cycle basis. 

Upon creating your review cycle question templates, you will have the opportunity to customize how objectives performance is measured. You can ask a question(s) about all objectives an employee owns collectively, or you can ask questions about each individual objective an employee owns.

Help Center article 💡: Include Objectives in a review cycle

Performance Ratings+

Determine if you will include Performance Ratings+ in your performance review process. Performance Ratings+ allows you to automate numerical scores for participants in the review cycle. This is done using a custom formula that combines aggregate scores from self and/or manager review answers. Participant ratings can also be pulled into the HR Outcomes Dashboard to measure employee performance.

If you choose to enable Performance Ratings+, determine the default visibility settings for Performance Ratings+ results and whether additional manager review results should be included by default. Both settings can be adjusted on a cycle-by-cycle basis.

  • Who can see performance ratings?: Determine if the participant should have visibility into their Performance Ratings+ score. Visibility for everyone else follows cycle visibility settings.
  • Additional managers: Determine if additional managers’ manager reviews should be included in the calculation of participants' Performance Ratings+ score.


The above settings determine whether or not the option to utilize company values, competencies, objectives, and/or Performance Ratings+ will be included in your performance review cycle creation and setup processes. Enabling the settings will not make them a requirement, but rather will allow you to determine the inclusion of the components on a review cycle-by-cycle basis.

Configure peer and upward review settings

Consider the following as you configure your peer and upward Best-Self Review® feature settings:

Peer review settings

Determine default peer review settings. These settings can be adjusted on a cycle-by-cycle basis. Read more about options for peer reviews.

  • Peer review type: Select whether you want peer reviews to be initiated by participants or peers. Read more about these options.
  • Selecting peers for peer reviews: Determine the minimum and maximum number of peers that can be nominated.


    For minimum peers, consider the minimum number of peer reviews you expect to be written about a participant and increase the number by 1 to allow for declined nominations, incomplete reviews, etc. 



    We suggest 3-5 peer reviews per participant. 

  • Approving peer nominations: Determine if peer nominations should be automatically approved once the “Peers are approved by” milestone date passes or if nominations need to be manually approved regardless of date.


    Managers, review admins and cycle collaborators can approve and manage peer nominations for review cycle participants.

  • Peer review transparency: Determine whether peer review answers and peer identities should be visible to review cycle participants.
Upward review settings
Determine whether, by default, upward review answers and direct report identities will be visible to managers. This can be adjusted on a cycle-by-cycle basis.
Release peer and upward feedback

Decide who should have access to remove feedback from peer and upward reviews. This gives admins and/or managers the ability to control what peer and upward review answers are released to the participant. Removing answers does not delete them, but, rather, hides the feedback from being shared with the participant. 



At a minimum, we suggest enabling review admin permissions to remove answers just in case sensitive information or unhelpful feedback is shared in reviews.

Configure additional feature settings

Consider the following as you configure your additional Best-Self Review® feature settings:

Automatic manager updates in an active cycle*

Determine whether a participant’s manager should automatically reflect manager changes that occur in 15Five during active review cycles. In the event that an employee’s manager changes during an active review cycle, this option determines whether the previous or new manager will be responsible for writing the employee’s manager review. 



We suggest disabling automatic manager updates to allow review admins to determine manager review authors on a case-by-case basis. Disabling automatic manager updates is particularly helpful for organizations using an integration to manage employee data in 15Five. If necessary, you can change an individual's manager review author in an active review cycle.

Review acknowledgment*

Decide if review participants will be prompted to acknowledge that a performance review discussion took place with their manager. If enabled, the "Acknowledgement" section of participants’ reviews will be applied to all historical, active, and future review cycles. 



We suggest enabling the Review Acknowledgement setting to support performance review reporting. Whether or not reviews have been acknowledged will not impact the review cycle’s overall completion progress, but the full progress report will include whether or not participants have acknowledged their reviews.

Review kick-off email

Customize your default kick-off email. Kick-off emails for Best-Self Review® can be customized on a cycle-by-cycle basis. However, if not customized for an individual review cycle, the default messaging here will be sent to review participants.

Disable Best-Self Review®

Disabling the Best-Self Review feature will remove the tab from the main 15Five header for all users. All your review data will be saved in case you choose to re-enable this feature at a later date.

Next step

Now that you've set your default company review settings, it's time to decide how you want to add questions to your upcoming review cycle!

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