Review admins have several behind-the-scenes customization options when setting up peer reviews for a Best-Self Review® review cycle. Continue reading for information about what each of these customization options means for you, a review cycle participant.

Peer-initiated / Participant-initiated

Participant-initiated peer reviews are reviews in which participants nominate peers to complete peer reviews about them. These is the most common type of peer review.

Peer-initiated peer reviews, on the other hand, are reviews in which participants opt into reviewing their teammates— there is no nomination process. Check out our "Peer reviews: participant initiated vs peer initiated" Help Center article for more information about these two types of peer reviews, including what the process looks like and what the science says about each.

Peer review transparency

Your review admins dictate in your company's Best-Self Review® feature settings whether...

  1. Peer reviews written about a participant will be shared with the participant verbatim, or
  2. If the participant's manager will be required to write a summary of all submitted peer reviews and share them with the participant.

They also determine whether a peer reviewer's identity will be...

  1. Fully transparent: The identity of the peer is visible to review admins, cycle collaborators (if applicable), the participant, the participant’s manager, and the manager’s hierarchy (depending on review visibility settings)
  2. Transparent to everyone but the participant: The identity of the peer is visible to review admins, cycle collaborators (if applicable), the participant’s manager, and the manager’s hierarchy depending on review visibility settings
  3. Fully anonymous: The identity of the peer is not visible to anyone.

Minimum and maximum peers

In your company's Best-Self Review® feature settings, your admins can set a minimum and maximum number of peers (we typically suggest 3-5). These limits control the number of peers a participant can nominate, but do not impact the number of peer nominations a person can accept. In other words, this setting only controls nomination limits, not acceptance limits. Peers have the option to accept as few or as many peer nominations as they have capacity for.

"Select by", "Approve by", and "Peer review" deadlines

When setting up a review cycle, your review admin will select deadlines (we call them "milestones") for specific actions. The three milestones that are relevant to peer review are "Select peers", "Approve peers", and "Peer reviews". The milestones are soft, meaning that one can submit a review after the deadline and until the cycle is locked or the specific review finalized for the participant. That said, we suggest following the deadlines set forth by your review admins to ensure a productive and successful review cycle.


  • Select peers: This milestone dictates when you should finish nominating peers by. You can still nominate peers after this deadline passes. 
  • Approve peers: This milestones dictates when managers and/or cycle collaborators should approve peers for their direct reports. After this deadline passes, you may or may not require approval for future peer nominations. Review admins get to decide whether they want peer nominations that are made after the "Nominate by" deadline to be auto-approved (rather than need manager approval) to prevent roadblocks in the process.
  • Peer reviews: This milestone dictates when peer reviews should be completed and submitted by.
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