Create, edit, and manage question templates

Once you've set up your company's review settings, the next step towards launching a review cycle is to create question template(s) for your cycle. Question templates contain the questions that will be asked in your review 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.

15Five provides the following default question templates: self & manager questions, Manager effectiveness, upward questions, peer questions, and Ad Hoc peer review. These templates can be viewed on the "Template configuration" page in 15Five. For your review cycle, you can either choose to use these default 15Five question templates, clone default templates and make desired edits, create custom templates from scratch, or any combination of these options.

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

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Note

Once you've created the question templates you want to use in your review cycle, the next steps are to 1) create a Performance Ratings+ template, formula, and rubric (optional), and then 2) create your review cycle. One step in the review cycle creation process will ask you to select the question templates you want to apply to the review cycle. Check out our "What to expect: I'm a review admin" Help Center article to help as you navigate creating and holding a Best-Self Review® from start to finish.


Create a question template

This section walks through the steps of creating a custom question template.

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Note

If you choose to use 15Five's default question templates, you don't need to create a question template— you will simply select the default templates when creating your cycle.

  1. Click on Best-Self Review® from the left navigation.
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  2. Click to open the 'Template configuration' tab at the top of the page.
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  3. In the 'Question templates' section, click Create a new template.
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  4. Name your template.
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  5. Choose which type of review you would like to create a question template for.
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  6. The default section names included in a question template are: 1) Growth & development, 2) Company values, 3) Competencies (included in self &manager and peer question templates only), 4) Objectives (included in self & manager question templates only), 5) Private manager assessment (included in self & manager question templates only), and 6) Manager expectations (included in upward question templates only). You can either use the default names or rename sections by clicking to the right of the section name and selecting Edit title from the dropdown.
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    If you're changing a section title, read the tooltip next to that section by hovering over the icon to make sure the new title aligns with the goal of the section.
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  7. Enter your questions under each section. Please refer to the next section of this article ("Add section-specific questions") for section-specific steps on adding and customizing questions.
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    Note

    When creating a self & manager question template, you'll be asked to provide both a self and manager question each time you click the Add a new question button. If you want to ask a question on the manager review only (i.e. you do not want the question to appear on the self review), you can leave the self review question field blank and only fill in the manager review question field (and vice versa).

  8. Once you've added all desired questions, click on Create template
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  9. Review your questions. You will not be able to make changes to your template once it's associated with a review cycle, so make sure to check it twice! When you're satisfied, click Looks good.
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  10. Once you've finished creating the question templates for your review cycle, the next step is to create a Performance Ratings+ template, formula, and rubric. Here are some Help Center articles to guide you through that process. If you don't plan to utilize performance ratings, you can skip this step and move on to creating your review cycle. Check out our "What to expect: I'm a review admin" Help Center article for a full list of the steps you should take as a review admin to create and hold a Best-Self Review® cycle from start to finish.

    Add and customize section-specific questions

    There are six question sections that may appear on a question template: 1) Growth & development, 2) Company values, 3) Competencies, 4) Objectives, 5) Private manager assessment, and 6) Manager expectations. Continue reading for specifics on how to add questions to each of these sections, possible customization, and notes/tips for success.

    Growth & development

    Included in self & manager, peer, and upward review question templates.

    This section should contain strengths-based development questions that serve to increase motivation and performance. Example questions include:

    • What are your top three strengths and how did you apply them to your work since your last review?
    • What are up to three wins you want to celebrate since your last review? What led to those wins?
    • Where would you like to improve? What are up to three opportunities for growth to focus on before your next review? What next steps do you want to take?
    • Do you have the tools you need to perform your job?
    • How can management support your role going forward?

    To add a question to this section, click Add a new question and type your question text. To customize your question, click Show advanced options.

    Under "Who is this question for?" select the audience for the question. Should it be asked to all participants, or only certain groups?

    Under "Select a question type" decide whether you want the question to be a Text, Yes/No, Opinion scale, or Multiple Choice question. If you select Opinion Scale, please note that, by default, questions are rated on a 1-5 scale (Strongly disagree > Strongly agree). You have the option to change these scale labels and add label descriptions in the following section. You can also add or remove scale points; the minimum number of points on scale is 3, and the maximum number of points on scale is 9. If you choose Multiple Choice, you can add up to 20 answer options.

    In this section you can also make the question optional by turning off the 'Required question' option, as well as allow participants the option to provide written context by turning on the 'Include field for optional content' option.

    Company values

    Included in self & manager, peer, and upward review question templates.

    This section should contain questions about your company's values, and serve to see how your people live out company values in their work. If you'd like to ask company value questions, you should first enter your company's values in 15Five. These questions typically contain a prefix like, “Rate [Name]'s contribution to the company value:”. After typing your prefix, you can select a company value from the dropdown menu.

    To add a question to this section, click Add a new question. Write a prefix like, “Rate [Name]'s contribution to the company value:” and select a value from the dropdown. The company values that appear in the dropdown list are the same ones that you set in your company's review settings.
    To change the answer format for your question or to set the question as group-specific, click Show advanced options.

    Competencies

    Included in self & manager and peer review question templates.

    This section should contain questions about job competencies. Job competencies are measurable patterns of knowledge, skills, abilities, behaviors, and other characteristics that an individual needs to perform work roles successfully. The intent of this section is to measure how your people are performing in their role.

    To add a question to this section, click Add a new competency. Select the competency you want to add a question for, or create a new competency. The competencies that appear by default in the dropdown list are those you uploaded into the 'Competencies and Paths' feature settings. Add a competency description, then select who the competency is for- a specific group(s) or all review participants.

    By default, competencies are rated on a 1-5 scale (Never demonstrates > Always demonstrates). To change your scale labels and to add label descriptions, click on Show scale labels. You have the option to change these scale labels and add label descriptions in this section. You can also add or remove scale points; the minimum number of points on scale is 3, and the maximum number of points on scale is 9.

    If you'd like to give participants the ability to add a text response in addition to their rating, turn on the 'Include field for optional content' option. You can also make the question optional by scrolling to the bottom of the box and turning off the 'Required question' option.

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    Tip

    We recommend creating clearly defined competencies, whether company-wide or role-specific. As you add competencies, focus on the “how” instead of the “what”, as recommended in Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scales (BARS).

    Objectives

    Included in self & manager review question templates only.

    The 'Objectives' section is where you can create questions focused around objective and key result performance, and will only appear in self & manager question templates if the 'Objectives' option is enabled in your company's review settings.

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    Note

    If you've renamed the 'Objectives' feature in your account, the custom name will appear here instead of 'Objectives'. As with other question template sections, you are able to rename the 'Objectives' section by clicking ... to the right of 'Objectives' and selecting 'Edit title' from the dropdown menu.

    To create a new objectives question, click Add a new question. Type out the self review question- for example, "How was your completion of all objectives and key results you owned?"- and your manager review question- for example, "How was [Name]'s completion of all objectives and key results they owned?" Click Show advanced options to customize your question.

    Under, "Who is this question for?", select the audience for the question. Should it be asked to all participants, or only certain groups?

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    Note

    When creating a review cycle, you will be asked to provide a timeframe for objectives that should be included in objective-specific questions. For example- if you select "Jan 1-Dec 31” as the timeframe, all applicable Objectives and Key Results that have start and end dates within January 1st-December 31st will be included. Even if a person is included in "Who is this question for?", they will not see objectives questions unless they own at least one objective or key result that falls within that set timeframe.

    Under "Ask a question for every objective?", decide whether you want this question to be asked only once in reference to all OKRs the participant owned, or once for each individual objective and key result they owned. For example- if a person owned two objectives and three key results and you check this box, the review participant will be asked five separate questions: one for each objective and key result they owned.

    Under "Select a question type" decide whether you want the question to be an Opinion scale or Text question. If you select Opinion Scale, please note that, by default, objective questions are rated on a 1-5 scale (Slightly below expectations > Significantly above expectations). You have the option to change these scale labels and add label descriptions in the following section. You can also add or remove scale points; the minimum number of points on scale is 3, and the maximum number of points on scale is 7.

    In this section you can also make the question optional by turning off the 'Required question' option, as well as give participants the ability to add a text response in addition to their rating (if the question is an opinion scale question) by turning on the 'Include field for optional content' option.

    Private manager assessment

    Included in self & manager review question templates only.

    The 'Private manager assessment' section is a section in which managers answer future-focused questions about their direct reports.

    Click Add a new assessment to create a custom question, or click 15Five's assessment to use 15Five's default, science-backed private manager assessment questions. If you choose the latter option, you can still add additional, custom questions to the assessment by clicking Add a new question at the bottom of the section.

    The default questions in the Private manager assessment are:

    • [Name] is ready for a promotion today (Yes/No)
    • [Name] is at risk for low performance (Yes/No)
    • Given what I know of [Name]’s current performance, and if it were my money, I would award them the highest possible increase and bonus (5-point opinion scale, Strongly disagree > Strongly agree)
    • Given how well I know [Name] works with others, I would always want them on my team (5-point opinion scale, Strongly disagree > Strongly agree)
    • Given what I know of [Name]’s performance, if [Name] got a job offer somewhere else, I would feel (5-point opinion scale, Distressed > Relieved)

    To add a question to this section, click Add a new question and type your question text. To customize your question, click Show advanced options.

    Under "Select a question type" decide whether you want the question to be a Text, Yes/No, Opinion scale, or Multiple Choice question. If you select Opinion Scale, please note that, by default, questions are rated on a 1-5 scale (Strongly disagree > Strongly agree). You have the option to change these scale labels and add label descriptions in the following section. You can also add or remove scale points; the minimum number of points on scale is 3, and the maximum number of points on scale is 9. If you choose Multiple Choice, you can add up to 20 answer options.

    In this section you can also make the question optional by turning off the 'Required question' option, as well as allow participants the option to provide written context by turning on the 'Include field for optional content' option.

    Manager expectations

    Included in upward review question templates only.

    The 'Manager expectations' section contains questions that measure the effectiveness of their manager, based on set expectations. To add a question to this section, click Add a new expectation.

    To use 15Five's default expectations, click 15Five's expectations. The expectations included in this section are:

    • [Name] is a positive energizer. They uplift and boost my mood and leave me feeling elevated, energized and motivated.
    • [Name] clarifies the expectations and responsibilities of my role and I know what is expected of me at work on a regular basis.
    • [Name] helps me understand my top strengths and align my work with those strengths.
    • [Name] cares about me both personally and professionally.
    • [Name] and I have regular and recurring one-on-one meetings.

    To customize your question, click Show advanced options.

    Under "Who is this question for?" select the audience for the question. Should it be asked to all participants, or only certain groups?

    Under "Select a question type" decide whether you want the question to be a Text, Yes/No, Opinion scale, or Multiple Choice question. If you select Opinion Scale, please note that, by default, questions are rated on a 1-5 scale (Strongly disagree > Strongly agree). You have the option to change these scale labels and add label descriptions in the following section. You can also add or remove scale points; the minimum number of points on scale is 3, and the maximum number of points on scale is 9. If you choose Multiple Choice, you can add up to 20 answer options.

    In this section you can also make the question optional by turning off the 'Required question' option, as well as allow participants the option to provide written context by turning on the 'Include field for optional content' option.


    Clone a question template

    1. Click on Best-Self Review® from the left navigation.
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    2. Click to open the 'Template configuration' tab at the top of the page.
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    3. In the 'Question templates' section, click on ... next to the template you would like to duplicate, then select 'Clone' from the dropdown menu.
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    4. You will immediately be taken into your new, cloned question template, which you can edit (if desired) by following the steps in the next section of this article.

    Edit a question template

    1. Click on Best-Self Review®  in the left navigation of 15Five.
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    2. Click to open the 'Template configuration' tab at the top of the page.
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    3. Click on ... next to the template, then select 'Edit' from the dropdown menu.
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      Note

      You will not see the option to edit default 15Five question templates or templates that are currently in use (i.e. being used in a current review cycle). If you'd like to make edits to one of these templates, you can clone the template by following the steps in the previous section of this article ("Clone a question template") and edit the cloned version.

    4. You are now on the edit page for the question template. On this page you can change...
      - Template name
      - Template type (either self & manager, peer, or upward)
      - Questions (edit section titles, add new questions, edit/clone existing questions, or reorder questions)
    5. Change the question template name in the 'Template name' field.
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    6. Change the question template type by selecting the desired template type, then clicking Yes, Switch template type.
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      When you clone a question template and then change the template type, questions from common sections will stay. For example, if you clone a self & manager template and change it to a peer template, the manager questions from Growth & development, Company values, and Competencies questions will remain on the new peer template.
    7. Edit section titles by following these steps.
    8. Add a new question by scrolling to the bottom of a question section and clicking Add new question.
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    9. Edit/clone an existing question by clicking the settings gear, then selecting either 'Edit' or 'Clone' from the dropdown menu.
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    10. Reorder questions by clicking on the six dots to the left of a question and dragging it to the desired spot.
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    11. Remember to save your changes by clicking Save at the bottom of the screen!
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    Delete a question template

    If you have a question template that you are no longer using for Best-Self Review®, you can declutter your templates page by deleting that unused one. However, you cannot delete a question template that is in use. Only review administrators candelete question templates.

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    15Five's default question templates cannot be deleted.

    1. Click on Best-Self Review® from the left navigation.
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    2. Click to open the 'Template configuration' tab at the top of the page.
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    3. In the 'Question templates' section, click on ... next to the template you would like to remove and select Delete from the dropdown menu.
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