Implications & options for updating managers during an active review cycle

We understand that manager changes happen. But when they happen during an active Best-Self Review® cycle, there are potential implications. This article walks through how making manager changes during an active review cycle may impact the review cycle, as well as alternate options you can utilize to manage managers during an active review cycle.

In this article, you will learn...

Access and availability

⛔️ Required access to Best-Self Review®.
👥 This article is relevant to all roles.
📦 This feature is available in the Perform and Total Platform pricing packages.


Options for customizing managers and manager visibility in review cycles

Managers in 15Five: Explained

An employee's direct manager in 15Five is set in their account settings. The direct manager should be the person who is responsible for the employee's day-to-day work experience. In 15Five, the direct manager is responsible for tasks like reviewing Check-ins, holding 1-on-1 meetings, and viewing feedback. Managers can also manage some account settings for their direct reports.

An employee's manager review author oversees their review experience, including writing a manager review, managing peers, sharing and finalizing review results, and holding a final meeting to discuss results. They also have full visibility into the employee's review results.

By default, an employee's direct manager is assigned as their manager review author in review cycles. However, review admins and cycle collaborators can change a person's manager in a review cycle to someone other than their direct manager if needed.

Customization options

By default, if a change is made to a person's direct manager in 15Five during an active review cycle, their manager in the review cycle will be updated to the new manager. The impacts of this change are covered in the How direct manager changes impact review cycles section of this article.

However, we offer additional options for organizations that need more customization:

If you want to change a person's manager review author only...

Suppose you want to change a person's manager in a review cycle but want their direct manager to stay the same in 15Five (e.g. because the direct manager is on a temporary leave). In that case, a Review admin or Cycle collaborator can change that person's review cycle manager on their "Edit Individual Settings" page. Editing a person's manager in a review cycle has no impact on any other part of 15Five.

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If you want more than one person to write a manager review about a person...

You can add that person as an additional manager. Additional managers are people other than a review cycle participant's direct manager who can write a manager review about them. One default additional manager and up to five cycle-specific additional managers can be appointed for any given review cycle participant. Additional manager feedback is also included in calibration sessions and can be included in the calculation of performance ratings. Default additional managers can also be granted visibility into all past reviews of the person they're an additional manager for in Best-Self Review® feature settings.

If you want to give an additional person visibility into a person's review results...

Suppose you want to give someone aside from a person's manager review author visibility into their review results. In that case, an Account admin, Review admin, or Cycle collaborator can add them as a review viewer. Review viewers have read-only visibility into the participant's review results.

If you want to grant managers visibility into historical review results...

By default, direct managers only have visibility into an employee's review results for cycles they served as the review manager author in. But suppose you want managers to have visibility into results for review cycles their direct reports took part in before they were the manager. In that case, an Account admin can enable the "Visibility into all past reviews" option in the "Visibility setting" section of Best-Self Review® feature settings.

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If you want to allow non-managers to share and finalize review results...

By default, Review admins, Cycle collaborators, and a person's manager review author can share and finalize review results. Suppose you want to give additional people the ability to share and finalize a participant's review results in a specific review cycle. In that case, a review admin or cycle collaborator can add them to the "Who can share and finalize the reviews of [participant] section of the participant's "Edit Individual Settings" page in the review cycle.

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If you don't want direct manager changes to impact current review cycles...

Suppose you're making changes to employees' direct managers during an active review cycle, but want the previous managers to remain responsible for overseeing those employees' review cycle experiences. In that case, an Account admin can disable the "Automatic manager updates in active cycle" setting in Best-Self Review® feature settings. This prevents direct manager updates made in 15Five from impacting manager review authors in active review cycles.

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How direct manager changes impact review cycles

This section walks through how changing a person's direct manager during an active review cycle impacts the review cycle. These scenarios are only applicable if you didn't disable the 'Automatic manager updates in active cycle' setting in your company's Best-Self Review® feature settings.

In the scenarios below, Dwight is the direct report/review cycle participant whose manager was changed during an active review cycle. Michael is Dwight's old direct manager, and Andy is Dwight's new direct manager.

Michael is removed as Dwight's direct manager and Andy is assigned as Dwight's new manager before a review cycle launches.

Andy will serve as Dwight's manager in the review cycle since the direct report <> manager relationship between them was established before the review cycle began.

Michael is Dwight's direct manager when a review cycle is launched. During the review cycle, Andy is assigned as Dwight's direct manager.

Andy will "take over" Dwight's review process. Andy will immediately have visibility into any reviews that have been submitted about Dwight and will be responsible for sharing & finalizing results with Dwight. Michael will lose all visibility into Dwight's review results (unless he's added as a review viewer).

  • Suppose Dwight already submitted an upward review of Michael. In this case, the upward review will remain submitted in Michael's review results.
  • Suppose Dwight didn't submit an upward review of Michael. In this case, Dwight will not be asked to complete an upward review of Michael or Andy by default, but a Review admin or Cycle collaborator can assign Dwight as an upward reviewer for Michael or Andy if desired.
  • Suppose Michael already submitted a manager review of Dwight. In this case, the review will remain and Andy will not be asked to write a review of Dwight. Andy will be able to share and finalize the results for Dwight.
  • Suppose Michael drafted a manager review of Dwight. In this case, the draft will be deleted when Andy is appointed as Dwigt's manager, and Andy will be asked to write a manager review instead. If Michael wants to share his drafted answers with Andy, he should copy his draft and send it to Andy outside of 15Five before the manager change, as it will no longer be accessible in 15Five.
  • Suppose Michael never drafted or submitted a manager review of Dwight. In this case, Andy will be asked to write Dwight's manager review.
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Michael is removed as Dwight's direct manager after a review cycle ends and Andy is assigned as Dwight's new direct manager.

By default, Andy won't be able to see Dwight's review cycle results (since he wasn't Dwight's manager before the review cycle ended). If Michael has not completed his manager review of Dwight or shared and finalized review results, he will be able to complete these actions up until the cycle is locked. In other words, changing a person's direct manager after a review cycle ends won't allow the new manager to complete the review cycle for the review cycle participant.

  • Suppose you want Andy to have visibility into Dwight's review results. In this case, you can either 1) assign him as a review viewer for Dwight or 2) enable the "Visibility into all past reviews" option in your company's Best-Self Review® feature settings. The latter option allows all managers in your organization to have visibility into review cycles that occurred before they were a person's direct manager.
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