Create and manage performance ratings rubrics

15Five's Performance Ratings+ tool allows you to automate numerical scores for review cycle participants based on a custom formula that combines aggregate scores from self and/or manager review answers. After you create a performance ratings formula that will be used to calculate performance ratings, it's time to create a rubric, which is used to determine which performance rating the normalized scores for your Performance Ratings+ formula correspond to. This article walks through how to create and manage rubrics.

In this article you will learn:

Access and availability

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

Create a rubric



You should create a rubric after creating a performance ratings formula.

  1. Click Best-Self Review® in 15Five's main, left-hand navigation.
  2. Open the 'Template configuration' tab.
  3. You are now on the 'Template configuration' page, which houses question templates, performance ratings formulas, and rubrics. Scroll down to the 'Rubrics' section and click Add a rubric.
  4. 'Rubric name' section: Add a name to the rubric.
  5. 'Add performance categories and point ranges for the designations' section: In this section, select the name and point range for each grading category, as well as a description of the grading category.
    Logistics 📝
    • The score range can start and end at any number (i.e. the start value doesn't have to be 0, and the end value doesn't have to be 100).
    • You must include at least two grading categories.
    • You can add up to 8 categories by clicking the Add category button, or delete an added category by clicking the X next to it.
    • The next category’s min value must be larger than the previous category’s max value by exactly one, or you’ll see an error message (for example— if the score range for one of your categories is set from 0-50, the next score range must start at 51).
    Best practices ⭐️
    • Simplifying the Scale: Here at 15Five, we've learned that it works best to use a simple scale. We use three categories at 15five: 'Developing', 'Performing', and 'Surpassing' (which you can see in the screenshot above). Avoiding overly complex scales has made it easier to clearly differentiate performance levels.
    • Defining Each Level: It is important to clearly define — and then communicate! — what each level represents, from not meeting expectations to exceeding them. This clarity helps managers categorize performance accurately.
    • Distribution: We have learned that our managers tend to evaluate their direct reports very generously, which often leaves us with 50% or more of our company considered “surpassing”. We want to be sure that only our top performers are achieving this lofty designation, so we reserve that category for only those that score between 84-100 based on our Performance Ratings Formula. If you have managers who grade really tough, you may want to consider something more like 70-100 or more!
    • Considering Adjustments: Be cautious— yet open— to adjusting the number of categories based on feedback and performance trends. Consistency is key, but so is accurately representing different performance levels.
    Some things to keep in mind 🧠
    • Analyzing Distribution: Based on our approach, understand that the majority of employees typically fall into the 'Performing' category. Be prepared for some employees at the higher end of this category desiring recognition in a higher bracket.
    • Identifying Top Performers: The top category should represent the absolute best performers who visibly impact the organization.
    • Addressing New or Underperforming Employees: It’s important to recognize that the lower category (in our case, “Developing”) might include new employees who are still ramping or those not performing up to the mark. Use this as a developmental tool rather than just a rating.
  6. When you’re done, click Create rubric.

View, edit, and delete rubrics

  1. Click Best-Self Review® in 15Five's main, left-hand navigation.
  2. At the top of the page under "Best-Self Review®", click to open the 'Template configuration' tab.
  3. You are now on the 'Template configuration' page. Scroll down to the "Rubrics" section.
  4. To manage a rubric, click ... to its right and select the appropriate option from the dropdown menu.


You can edit the rubric up until the first review is submitted in an active cycle that's utilizing the rubric. Admins can delete the rubric at any time as long as it is not being used in an active cycle or in a previous cycle.

Edit which rubric is being used in an active review cycle

Suppose you made a mistake in a rubric and have already launched the review cycle. In this case, you can edit the rubric or create a new rubric and apply it to the cycle by using the steps below.



You can only edit which rubric is being used in a review cycle until the cycle's first review is submitted. Once that happens, it is not possible to change the rubric.

  1. Click Best-Self Review® in 15Five's main, left-hand navigation.
  2. You will land on the Best-Self Review® dashboard. From here, locate the review cycle you want to edit settings for under "Active review cycles". Click ... next to the review cycle, then select 'Edit review cycle' from the dropdown menu.
  3. Click Edit next to the "Performance Ratings+" section.
  4. Use the dropdown menu to select a different rubric. When you're done, click Save.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is there a limit to how many rubrics I can create?

No. However, only one rubric can be active at any given time.

How many rubrics can be active at a time?

There can only be 1 active rubric at a time, meaning that all review cycles happening at a given time must use the same rubric. The reasoning behind this is that it’s important to create a company-wide norm for the categories and standards that factor into performance expectations.

Is there a limit to how many categories I can include in a rubric?

Yes— you can include a minimum of 2 categories and a maximum of 8 categories.

What are the requirements for the rubric score ranges to be accepted?

You can only use whole integers (i.e. you cannot have a rating that is a negative value or contains a decimal). The score range for one category cannot overlap with the score range of another category. There must be continuity between two adjacent categories (i.e. if the score range for the first category is 0-25, the next range must start with 26).

Can I edit an in-use rubric?

Yes— you can edit the rubric up until the first review is submitted in an active cycle that's utilizing the rubric.

Can I edit which rubric is being applied to a performance ratings formula during an active review cycle?

Yes, but only up until the first review is submitted. After that, you can't edit the rubric being used.

Who can see and manage rubrics?

Review admins.

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