Best practices for Best-Self Review® timelines

When you are ready to set up a review cycle, you need to have deadlines in mind. This article walks you through what each review cycle date means, as well as best practices for setting deadlines.


Scheduling your Best-Self Review®

Start date

What it is: The day your review cycle will launch.
Best practice: 15Five suggests starting your cycle on a Tuesday or Wednesday — when things aren't as hectic as Monday, but participants still have most of the week to begin nominating peers or drafting their self reviews.
 

End date

What it is: The day your review cycle will end.
Best practice: 15Five typically sees cycles that last 3-6 weeks, depending on whether peer and/or upward reviews are included.
 

"Direct reports select peers by" date

What it is: The deadline by which employees or their managers should select peers.
Best practice: 15Five suggests review admins give employees 5-7 days to nominate peers. Nominating a peer after this deadline could slow down the review process and could result in the nomination not being accepted and the peer review not submitted before the results are released. Keep this soft deadline in mind when you are setting your deadlines; notice any holidays that may interfere, if multiple participants or managers are going to be OOO during that time, or any other factors that could lead to this deadline being missed. 
 

"Managers approve peers by" date

What it is: The deadline by which managers must approve or deny peer nominations for their direct reports.
Best practice: 15Five suggests review admins give managers 3-5 days to approve or deny peers. If managers do not have time to approve or deny the peer nominations by this deadline, they could automatically be approved. Auto approval settings are managed by review administrators via 'Manage features'.
 

"Self reviews due by" date

What it is: The date that review cycle participants should submit their self reviews by.
Best practice: 15Five suggests review admins give participants 5-7 days to complete their self review(s).
Once a participant has submitted their self review, it will become visible to their manager. Drafts will not be visible to the managers.
 

"Peer initiated feedback due by" date

What it is: If peer initiated feedback is included in the cycle, this is the date that all peers should have their peer initiated reviews completed.
Best practice: No best practice needed! Peer initiated reviews do not require a nomination and approval process. Peers can initiate writing a review of someone else, complete the review, and submit without needing anyone's assistance. 
 

"Manager reviews due by" date

What it is: The date that managers should submit their manager reviews by.
Best practice: 15Five suggests giving managers an additional 5-7 days AFTER the self review deadline to complete the manager reviews. The point here is to give managers time to focus on managing their team's self reviews before the manager reviews are due.
 

"Peer reviews due by" date

What it is: The date that peers should submit their peers reviews by.
Best practice: 15Five suggests giving peer reviewers approximately 5-7 days after the "Manager approve peers by" deadline to complete their peer review(s).
 

"Upward reviews due by" date

What it is: The date that direct reports should submit upward reviews of their managers by.
Best practice: Upward reviews can be due around the same time as self reviews.  
 

"Share and finalize by" date

What it is: The date that managers need to submit review summaries, hold final meetings, and share and finalize results by.
Best practice: 15Five suggests the 'Share and finalize' date be approximately a week before the end date. This gives review admins time to nudge managers who still need to share and finalize before the cycle ends.
The final meeting phase includes the Summary (written by the manager), the final meeting, the 'Share results' step, and, lastly, the 'Finalize results' step. The Summary should compile information from all reviews that were written about a specific employee; this compilation is written by each manager. The 'Share results' step is taken after the summary has been written, but results can be shared before the final meeting is held. If managers do not 'Share results,' the employee will not be able to see the reviews that were written of them. Once the meeting has been held and all feedback is final, the manager will 'Finalize results'.
 
Help Center article 🧠 : Complete, share, & finalize summaries
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