15Five Releases- November 17, 2020

It is with great pleasure that we introduce two, brand-spankin'-new 15Five releases. These two releases are packed with valuable science, flexible options, and intuitive design. You won't want to skip over this one!

Ad Hoc Peer Reviews

You asked for review cycles with Peer Reviews only and we are here to deliver. Today's Ad Hoc Peer Reviews release allows review administrators to create a one-off, peer only review cycles, outside of the existing hierarchy that will enable relevant project-based feedback in a more timely and lightweight fashion. Ad Hoc Peer Reviews can even be run as a precursor to Best-Self Review® (self & manager) to make both cycles more lightweight. Ad Hoc Peer Reviews are designed to help managers understand how their direct reports are doing on cross departmental or team projects to facilitate growth conversations. You may also hear Ad Hoc Peer Reviews called Peer Only Reviews.




Holding a review cycle with only Peer Reviews has the potential for harm by both reducing both fairness and psychological safety (e.g., when peer feedback is privately gathered about an employee by a manager or HR and then used as a single data point to make compensation or promotion decisions).

15Five’s recommendations for positive use of Peer Only Reviews:

  • Employee participation in the nomination process. Research shows employee participation in the nomination process increases perceived fairness, which increases the likelihood for a successful peer review. Unsolicited feedback triggers a threat response. 15Five recommends participants choose peers to review them, which encourages solicited feedback.
  • Set clear expectations: 15Five recommends all people involved in a review cycle have visibility into who can see their feedback and what it will be used for. Clear expectations help to foster psychological safety.
  • Focus on development: Research shows 360° peer feedback is effective for development purposes. Combine 360° peer feedback with the Best-Self Review as part of a larger performance management process for more robust development feedback. If running a Peer Only Review cycle, follow that up with the self & manager component to create a 360° Best-Self Review.
  • Timely feedback: Research shows feedback immediately after a project or performance event has the most impact on performance. Launch a Peer Only Review review cycle directly after a completed project.
  • Make feedback about the work: Research shows that feedback about work is more effective than feedback that centers on the person’s identity, especially when it comes to constructive feedback. For feedback to be effective, it’s important to tie it to specific goals and tasks that people perform every day. For sample questions, see 15Five’s recommended Ad Hoc Peer Review Question Template.
  • Anonymous feedback: Research shows anonymous feedback is more honest and promotes psychological safety. Review administrators can choose the visibility setting during cycle setup.

New cycle collaborator role

In addition to the above, we have released a new role for Best-Self Review, specifically cycles with Peer Reviews onlyCycle collaborators can be added to a Peer Only Review cycle by a review administrator to help manage a cycle and its results. Cycle collaborators have visibility and cycle editing rights to only the cycle(s) that they are added as a collaborator for. Cycle collaborators are added during the creation of a review cycle and can help finish setting up a cycle, manage peers for participants, download reports, edit settings for an active cycle, share and finalize results on behalf of managers, and lock a cycle.

Cycle collaborators can help managers with by assisting in the peer nomination and approval process, and by sharing & finalizing reviews. Cycle collaborators can help review administrators by running reports, ensuring cycle deadlines are met, monitoring progress, and locking the cycle. In the future, we plan to release this role to all review types.




Cycle collaborators cannot be added after the initial cycle setup is complete, cannot create review cycles from scratch, and cannot create or edit question templates.


Updates to the 'Create a new review cycle' flow

Last but not least, and related to the above changes, we have made some changes in the 'Create a new review cycle' flow.

  • The flow looks a little different, the sections are in a different order, and the option to edit all cycle settings while creating a cycle is new.
  • Additionally, review administrators can navigate away from the cycle creation flow at any point and their draft cycle will be saved. No more lost progress when creating a review cycle.
  • While creating a review cycle, you must select a question template(s). Now you can view the template and its questions while creating the cycle, ensuring that you selected the right template.
  • Last, but not least, there is a new Summary section at the end of the cycle creation flow. That section can be used to double check all dates, participants, settings, and visibility. If any part of the Summary needs to be edited, edits can be made without leaving the flow. 



Attribute visibility and editing permissions

15Five contains default attributes for all people such as email, location, timezone, etc; these can be found on each individual's 'Settings' page. In addition to these default attributes, account administrators can create custom attributes to optimize and customize their 15Five experience.

Before today, custom attributes were visible to anyone who could view the individual's 'Settings' page. This was not always ideal, especially when attributes contained sensitive information. So, what's new? Account administrators can now set viewing and editing permissions for each custom attribute, ensuring that personal or sensitive information stays confidential to only the people who need to see it. 

Options for visibility and editing include account administrators, the individual's hierarchy, or the everyone. By default, only account administrators will be able to see custom attributes. 


For more information on today's releases, check out these articles:

STEP 3: Create a Best-Self Review™ cycle

Roles in Best-Self Review®

Create a custom attribute

Manage people attributes



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