Learn how to build and customize new performance review cycles.


Admins can set up and configure the different cycles, and once launched, employees and managers can participate and take the lead in the performance review process.

How to create performance review cycles

  1. From the left menu, select Talent > Performance > Manage cycles.
  2. Click the + New Cycle button.
    You will be directed to the Manage cycle setup, which is made up of five sections: Details, Forms, Performance rating, Reminders, and Invitations.

Step 1: Details


  1. Enter a Cycle name, such as "End of year performance."
  2. Who to Review? Select the people who will be reviewed in this cycle.
    • If you select All employees, everyone will be included.
    • If you select by name, click Edit, select the employees you wish to include, then click Select to save.
    • If you choose select by condition, click Edit, set your conditions, and click Apply to save, e.g., to exclude the UK site, Select by condition "Site, does not equal, UK." You can add additional conditions by clicking + Add condition.
  3. Review Type: Add one or more review types by clicking + Add Review type:
    • Manager: The employee’s direct manager as configured in the employee profile (reports to) and presented in the organizational chart. You can change the reviewing manager for this specific cycle before or during the launch.
    • Peer: Teammates or colleagues. Peers can be invited to complete a review on the employee. You can choose who can invite peers, share settings, and whether peer reviews are anonymous later in the setup.
    • Self: An employee self-assessment.

      Tip: Allow managers to view the employee’s self-review once they complete their manager review. This is to ensure unbiased assessment. Managers will receive an email notification once their employee submits their form and will be able to access it.

    • Upward: A direct report which reviews their manager. Enable Keep reviewers anonymous to maintain anonymity or disable it for transparency. Once the cycle is launched, this cannot be changed. If you keep reviewers anonymous, enter the threshold for review requests to be sent.

      Note: When upward reviews are anonymous, it is required to set a minimum of at least three direct reports that will activate the reviews. E.g., if you select a minimum of 3, then the upward review will only be activated for managers who manage at least three employees.

    • Custom: A specific persona. Fill in the Name of the persona description, assign reviewers By Employee reference, or Manually. If you choose By employee reference, select a Reference field containing your custom persona, and set the desired reviewer, e.g., a Matrix manager, team leader, buddy, or any other custom field you have created. Click Add. Click + Add review type to include one or more review types in the cycle. You can select up to six review types from the dropdown.

      Tip: The more review types you add, the more holistic the results will be. Gain a 360° view of your people by collecting reviews from every angle.

  4. Duration: Type in or select the period, in days, in which the reviews should be completed.

    Note: The cycle will close at the end of the period, which means reviews will close for edits. Admins can extend and reopen closed cycles.

  5. Enable goals in review to choose which goals will be relevant to view in the performance cycle: Select a Start date and End date to include the goals that were or are relevant during the selected period.
    When enabled, those with permission to conduct performance reviews can access active goals data and edit and add new goals. When viewing performance reviews of cycles that have ended, the goals' information will reflect the goals' status during the review period.

    Tip: The Goals option lets you view and edit goals via a side panel within the performance review. This can be prepared in three ways: before the cycle starts upon initial setup, during the cycle when editing the settings, or after reopening a cycle that has ended and adjusting the settings.

Step 2: Forms


In this section, you"ll be presented with each review type that you've just chosen in the previous step. For each review type, fill in the following information:

  1. Form: Select the relevant question form from the dropdown. The form list includes default or custom forms you've previously added during setup. To learn more, see Performance Review forms to create your own forms.

    Tip: Click the eye icon to preview the questions in the form.

  2. Form intro text: The text is pulled from the original form settings. You can manually adjust the introduction text for each review by clicking the editor box.
  3. Notifications and permissions: Each review type will be accompanied by its specific set of permissions and notifications, such as share, block, allow, require, keep anonymous, etc. Mark the checkboxes under each review type to set your desired review permissions.
    • For a manager review, mark the checkbox Require employee acknowledgments to allow HR leaders to ensure that employees have received and read this performance review results.
      The people in your organization partaking in the performance cycle, whether direct reports or managers, will have access to this information once they can access their manager performance review result(s).
  4. When finished, click Next.


Step 3: Performance Rating

Use performance ratings to incorporate multiple perspectives from different stakeholders and gain a quick look into employee performance. Admins can set up and customize the metrics that define how performance ratings are calculated.

Before you begin, see Getting started with Overall Performance rating.


  1. The Performance Rating section will be empty and disabled by default. To enable, toggle on.
  2. Select whether you would like the rating based on Questions average or Single question.
    • If you choose Questions average, you will be prompted to select one or multiple scaled questions that will be calculated into an average. The result will encompass the overall performance rating of your selections, spanning the different review types. To choose your questions, mark the checkboxes of the desired rows containing the questions.

      Note: Only questions with rating scales will be included in the dropdown for Questions average.

    • If you choose Single question, mark the checkbox of only one question.
      The result will encompass the rating of this one question. The option for Single question applies to the manager review. After you choose your question, continue to step 4.
  3. Each review type you chose from the previous sections (Self, Peer, Manager, etc.) will be listed. By clicking the review type, a dropdown will appear containing questions from the corresponding form. Select the questions contributing to the calculated (averaged) overall performance rating. It is entirely up to you to decide the direction and focus of the questions you choose, e.g., questions related to goals versus questions related to efficiency.

  4. Overall Rating allows you to select exactly which stakeholder(s) you'd like to include in the overall rating. Mark the checkbox(es) next to the reviews you'd like to include in the results. Options include Self average, Manager average, Peer average, and Upward average.
  5. Share overall rating with Reviewee: Mark this checkbox if you would like to share the performance rating results with reviewees.

    Note: The action here will affect viewing access. The overall rating will be shared with the reviewee after all reviews (that are shared) have been completed; only then can the reviewee view ratings.

  6. Click Next.
Example of an admin viewing Overall Performance rating from an employee's point of view

If an admin/manager chooses to share Overall review rating with a reviewee, then the reviewee will be able to see review results.


In this case, the admin clicked on the specific performance review, "Annual review 2021." Since she is viewing as Tia, and Tia was granted share permissions, all data is now visible to her. You can see a circle graph on the left side panel containing the final overall rating. Tia Davidson scored "2.04" as her final overall performance rating. This rating is an average calculated from the ratings of the Reviewers. A list of Reviewers can be found under the rating. Anonymous viewers will not appear.

If you click the circle graph, a panel will appear on the right, displaying the breakdown of the ratings based on the questions chosen from the form. As you can see, Tia rated herself "1.75," her manager rated Tia "2.33," and Tia's Peers rated her "3.25." Tia's second-level manager rated her "4.67." (It's interesting to see how different stakeholders differ in their analysis of the same individual). Tia's overall performance rating is 2.04, reflecting the average of her Self review and Manager review, not all reviews. The reviews calculated into the final overall rating were chosen during the performance review setup.

Step 4: Reminders

To ensure that all the effort you put into creating Performance review cycles does not fall through the cracks, you can set up reminders to keep employees on track.


The Reminders section is divided by review type. You can set email reminders for each review type, e.g., Employee Self review or Peer review. For each review type, complete the following details:

  1. Number of Reminders: Type or select the number of reminders you would like sent.

    Note: The reminders will be sent only to the reviewers who have not yet submitted their reviews.

  2. Reminder Message: Select Default or Custom. If you select Default, an automated template containing a subject line and message will appear, containing the previously entered data. If you want to customize the reminders, select Custom and manually fill out the Subject and Message.
  3. Click Next when you have completed reminders for each review type.

    Note: Although you've set reminders now, once the review is launched, you can go back to the cycle settings and edit the exact dates the reminders are sent. You can also add or remove reminders.

Step 5: Invitations

The last step in the Performance rating cycle is to set the invitation message for each reviewer.


  1. Who from?: Choose from whom all the invitations will be sent:
  2. Email Message: Enter an email Subject and Message for each review type.

    Tip: Use the auto-filled subject and message, or create your own by clicking and editing the text boxes.

  3. In a cycle without a manager review, enable Inform managers when cycle begins, so they are aware of performance review data even if they are not reviewing direct reports.
  4. When you have completed all the invitations, click Finish setup.
    • Click Save as draft if you want to return to the Performance review cycle and make edits before you've finalized the setup.
    • Click Previous to make edits in any of the previous steps.

      Note: The review will not be launched yet. See Launch a performance review Cycle to launch your review process.