Manage company review settings

This article walks through how to manage and customize your organization's global review settings. These settings will be applied to all future Best-Self Review® cycles and can only be managed by review admins or account admins.

Changes can be made to these settings up until the start date of your Best-Self Review cycle. However, changes made to these settings after a cycle has started will not retroactively apply. If you'd like to edit review settings for an active review cycle, refer to our "Edit review settings for an active cycle" Help Center article.

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Tip

If you're a review admin who is setting up a review cycle, check out our "What to expect: I'm a review admin" Help Center article for additional support and guidance!


Access your company's global review settings

1. Click on the Settings menu at the upper right corner of your 15Five account.

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2. Select 'Features' from the drop-down menu.

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3. Click on 'Best-Self Review®'.

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Settings for your review cycle

Review administrator(s)

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This is the section of your settings in which you appoint review admins. 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, report on review results, 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.

Relevant Help Center article 💡: Manage review administrators

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Note

Only account admins can be appointed as review admins. Add a new account administrator by following these steps.

Exclude groups or individuals from your reviews

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We understand there might be people you want to exclude from participating in reviews- for example, contractors or interns. Add those folks to this section to globally exclude them from participating in any future review cycles or being asked to write any reviews about others.

Globally excluded groups or individuals cannot be review cycle participants, will not be asked to complete a self review, will not be asked to complete manager reviews, will not be asked to complete an upward review, and cannot be nominated as a peer reviewer.

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Note

This setting is not the same as excluding a group or individual during the process of creating a review cycle. Excluding a person from a specific review cycle simply means they will not reviewed in that review cycle. They can still be nominated as a peer, will still be asked to write an upward review if their manager is a participant in the cycle, and will still be asked to write manager reviews if their direct reports are participants in the cycle.

Visibility setting

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Privacy is a big deal, which is why we want you to choose the ideal visibility setting for your organization's review cycles.

Our options for review visibility are:
  • Hierarchy visibility: Review answers can be viewed by the individual, their manager, anyone above their manager (i.e. their manager's manager, their manager's manager, and so on), and review admins.
  • Basic visibility: Review answers can be viewed by the individual, their manager, and review admins.

In this section you can also determine whether or not you want new managers to have visibility into their direct reports' previous review cycles in which they did not serve as the manager. Simply check the box next to "Visibility into all past reviews" to grant that visibility to managers.

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No matter which visibility option you choose, it is worth noting that reviews only become visible once they're submitted: no one can see unsubmitted, in-progress reviews with the exception of the review author themselves. For a more granular breakdown of each review type's visibility, check out our "When do reviews become visible to others?" Help Center article.

Company values

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The 'Company values' section of your review settings is where you can add your organization's core values. But what, you may be asking, does this have to do with a review cycle? When you're creating question templates to use in your Best-Self Review® cycle, you will see a 'Company values' section. In this section, you can add questions that allow review authors to reflect on how the person they're reviewing reflects your company's values. Pretty cool, huh?

Company values that are added after a review cycle has begun will not be retroactively included in that review cycle. You can decide whether a company value question is group-specific or for all participants when you are creating a question template. 

Relevant Help Center article 💡: Manage company values
Featured Help Center article (linked above)💡: Create or clone a question template
Blog post 📝: How To Renew Your Core Values To Keep In Pace With Business Growth (7 min read)

Competencies

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In this section, add job competencies that you'd like for your company to be rated on in future review cycles. Job 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 specific job competencies. You will be asked to create competency-specific questions during the process of creating a question template.

There is no limit to how many competencies you can add to this section. Any competencies listed in your review settings will be universally available as options to select from on future question templates. Any competencies that are added after a review cycle has begun will not be retroactively included in that review cycle's questions. You will be able to decide whether a competency question is group-specific or for all participants when you are creating a question template. There is an entire page dedicated to reporting on competency results, under Team's and Company's results, when the review cycle comes to an end. 

Featured Help Center article (linked above)💡: Create or clone a question template

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Tip

Want to add competencies for only select roles or groups that aren't relevant to the entire company? When creating a new question template, you have the ability to add new competencies that will only appear inside that question template. You can assign these competencies to either 1) all review participants, or 2) only select groups. This opens the space for you to program group-specific competencies. If you want to add competencies for a specific role, simply create a group that contains all people in that role and assign your custom competencies to that group.

Objectives

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The 'Objectives' section of your global review settings is where you select whether or not you want objective-related questions to be included in reviews. If this option is enabled, you will see an 'Objectives' question section when creating self/manager question templates. Here you can add questions regarding performance/completion of objectives and key results owned by the person being reviewed.

Select which types of objectives you want review cycle participants to be rated on: company-wide, group, and/or individual. Self-development objectives are always excluded. When setting up your review cycle, you will be able to choose the timeframe of objectives that will be included in that review cycle.

Featured Help Center article (linked above)💡: Create or clone a question template

Peer review type

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This section impacts how peers are selected for review cycles. Our options for peer selection are:

  • Participant-initiated: Review cycle participants nominate peers to complete a peer review about them. This is the default setting for peer selection.
  • Peer-initiated: Peers get to select who they wish to write a peer review for. We only recommend using this option if your people know what makes peer feedback effective and actionable. If used incorrectly, peer-initiated reviews can lead to diminished psychological safety and fairness. Learn more about the best practices of giving feedback here.

Selecting peers for peer reviews

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Select how many peers you want review cycle participants to have the option to nominate. We recommend that each employee nominate three to five peers.

This maximum number only prohibits a participant from nominating more than "x" number of peers and does not stop a participant from accepting x, 15, 20, etc nominations.

This setting does not apply when peer initiated peer reviews are selected for a cycle.

Approving peer nominations

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Once participants nominate their peers, approval is required. Choose whether you want the nominations to be auto-approved to prevent roadblocks in the process.

Peer review transparency

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Select how participants see their peer review answers and peer identities.

Pro tip: We recommend making peer reviews visible to participants. Consider training employees to give better feedback. See this piece for tips.

  • Shared: Participants will see all peer answers verbatim.
  • Hidden: Participants can see a summary of their peer reviews written by their manager.
Who can see peer identity:
  • Everyone, reviews are fully transparent to participants: Identities of peers will be shown regarding peer reviews—meaning participants can see who wrote what about them.
  • Everyone except for the participant: Peers' identities will be transparent to review administrators, the participant's manager, and the participant's hierarchy (if applicable).
  • No one, reviews are fully anonymous to everyone who can see the review: Peers' identities will be hidden from everyone. No exceptions, even review administrators and managers

Upward review transparency

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Select how managers see their upward review answers and direct report’s identity.
 
  • Shared: Managers will see all their upward review answers verbatim. Though all peer answers will be shown verbatim, you can manage the peer identity setting below. 
  • Hidden: Managers can see a summary of their upward reviews from their manager, but will not see upward answers verbatim. This is a bulk setting and will apply to all upward reviews in the cycle.
Who can see the direct report’s identity:
  • Everyone, reviews are fully transparent to managers: Identities of direct reports will be shown regarding upward reviews—meaning managers can see who wrote what about them.
  • Everyone except for manager: Direct reports' identities will be transparent to review administrators and the manager's hierarchy (if applicable).
  • No one, reviews are fully anonymous to everyone who can see the review: Direct reports' identities will be hidden from everyone. No exceptions, even review administrators.

Release peer and upward feedback

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We encourage managers to share all peer and upward feedback to employees but this might not always be appropriate. Control what feedback is released.

Options for releasing feedback:

  • All answers will be shared and no answers can be removed.
  • Allow review admins to remove answers from a review before results are shared.
  • Allow review admins and managers to remove answers from a review before the results are shared.

If an answer is removed, it will only be removed from visibility for the participant. Review administrators, managers, and hierarchies will still be able to see the answer.

Review Acknowledgement

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Select if you’d like employees to acknowledge and sign off their Best-Self Review® results were shared with them and discussed with a manager.

Review kick-off email

Kick off your review cycle with an announcement to your participants; give them insight into the review process, timeline and point people to get in touch with if they have questions.

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Tip

We recommend you introduce the review cycle to your team members. We’ll automatically include relevant information about the schedule and deadlines.

Best-Self Review company notification settings

Options for emailing participants:

  • when a new review cycle launches
  • 7 days before their review is due
  • 3 days before their review is due
  • the day that their review is due
  • if their review is overdue
  • when self-reviews are submitted (managers only)
  • when review results are shared

Success Center article 🗒: Email notifications for a review cycle

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 create question templates for your review cycle!

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