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Performance Review Cycle Guide for Managers
Performance Review Cycle Guide for Managers

An overview of the Performance Review Cycle process for Managers

Katie Hawley avatar
Written by Katie Hawley
Updated over a week ago

What can I learn from this page?

An overview of the Performance Review Cycle process for Managers

Who is this guide for?


The Performance Review Process (Managers)

Hey there, managers! When it comes to managing your team's performance reviews, there are a few things you might be asked to do, depending on how your People team have set the review cycle up:

  • Request feedback: You might need to ask others for feedback about your direct reports.

  • Review feedback: You'll look at feedback requests about your direct reports.

  • Write reviews: You'll write a review for each of your direct reports based on their performance during the review period.

  • Share feedback: You might be asked to share any feedback given about your direct reports from their own team and peers.

  • Share your review: You'll share the review you wrote with your direct reports.

Once the performance review cycle launches, you can handle tasks by clicking on them from your Performance > Tasks section or by going to the Performance > Reviews tab. From there, just click into the current cycle to action any tasks.

Feedback Request Types

There are two types of feedback: Peer and Upward. Which one you are prompted to request will depend on how the review process was set up by your People Team.

  • Upward feedback goes to those below the manager being reviewed (like direct and indirect reports).

  • Peer feedback goes to people who aren't direct or indirect reports.

The platform decides whether to send a peer or upward feedback request based on where each user sits in your hierarchy. This is determined by who they are assigned to under the manager email demographic.


Requesting Feedback About Your Direct Reports

When it's time to collect feedback about your direct reports, here's what you'll do:

  1. You'll receive an email and see a task in your Performance Task list.

  2. If your People Team has allowed nominations for this cycle, you can review those requests by clicking into the task.

  3. If your direct reports have already nominated reviewers, you can send feedback requests to those nominated.

  4. You can also change the reviewers by clicking the X to remove them and add new reviewers by searching their name.

  5. You'll see how many nominations your team members made in the Nomination column of the cycle.

  6. If there are no nominations, you can add your own reviewers by searching their name in the text field.

  7. Click Send Requests to finish. Your requests might go out right away or be scheduled for later dependant on your cycle settings.

You can send more requests until the feedback stage of the cycle ends.


  • If nominations are enabled, your People Team may limit how many people employees can nominate for feedback.

  • If a nominations limit is set, as a Manager, you can still send out as many feedback requests as necessary, but consider not overwhelming employees with too many requests. Ask those who know your team well or worked closely with them for feedback.

  • If your direct report is a manager, consider asking for feedback from their own direct reports' as well. Just remember, you can only request feedback from their direct reports' if your Performance Admin has enabled both peer and upward feedback during the review cycle setup. If you can't ask for feedback from your direct report's team, it may be because upward feedback wasn't enabled during setup or automated upward feedback requests are enabled. Learn more.

  • Consider diverse perspectives from individuals your direct reports have collaborated with on projects.

  • Even if your direct report doesn't nominate anyone, both you and your People Team can still request feedback.

Reviewing Upward Feedback Requests in a Cycle With Automation

If the review cycle involves upward feedback and automated requests, you'll be able to view, edit and track these requests within the cycle.

Triggering Automated Requests:

  • Automated requests are Scheduled when a cycle is launched and are sent automatically during the Provide Feedback stage of the cycle (if not withdrawn prior).

Withdrawal Process:

  • You can withdraw feedback requests by clicking into the cycle from your Performance > Reviews tab. Click the X beside the reviewer to remove them.

  • If you change your mind, you can manually re-select a reviewer to provide feedback after they've been withdrawn.

Tracking Feedback Requests:

  • During the Provide Feedback phase of the cycle, when reviewers will be prompted to fill out feedback for your direct reports, the requests will be marked as either Complete or Incomplete, depending on the progress of the feedback provider.

  • You can view these updates under the Status column in the cycle.

Write Reviews About Your Direct Reports

Depending on your cycle set up, once you've gathered feedback about your team from peers, their direct reports (if applicable), and their own self-reflection, typically it's time to write your Manager Review.

  1. Go to your Performance Tasks list and click View and Complete.

  2. Your direct reports will be listed on the right side of your screen, where you can view their profiles and previous feedback, self-reflections, goals, reviews and your private notes about them.

  3. Your responses are automatically saved as you write. You can jump between reviews and respond in any order.

  4. You can edit your Manager Review responses, even if you've already submitted the form, right up until your People Team close the overall review cycle.

  5. Questions marked May Be Shared will be seen by your direct report when you or your administrator decide to share reviews.

  6. After reviewing your team, you can see everyone reporting to you, both direct and indirect reports. Just go to the Manager Review section of the cycle and use the Groups filter. Check the box for Indirect Reports to view their reviews along with your direct reports.

Note: If the cycle only includes indirect reports (no direct reports), you will be able to view the Manager Reviews from the Employee Directory instead, but only after the cycle has closed.

💡 Tip: Watch these video lessons to learn how to prepare for your review, how to avoid the biases that can affect them and tips for delivering your review live.

Adding Collaborators

If you need a hand with a review, you can team up with someone else in Culture Amp. This helps ensure feedback is helpful and timely. Both Admins and Managers can add collaborators to a review once the Manager Review component launches.

Here's how to add a collaborator:

  1. Go to Performance > Reviews and pick the current cycle.

  2. Under Your Direct Reports, choose View and Complete Manager Reviews.

  3. Find the review you want to add a collaborator to, click the ellipsis (...) icon, and choose Manage Collaborators. Alternatively, you can access the Manage Collaborators option from inside your direct report's review form.

  4. Here, you can see current collaborators and add new users.

  5. Finally, click Update Collaborators to save.

Collaborator Notifications and Tasks

  • Notifications are received by email and will appear on their Culture Amp Tasks list.

  • They can access the manager's review by clicking into the open task and from there, they can comment on each question. Once they click Share Comments, their comments become visible.

Permissions and Visibility

  • Any comments shared are only visible to the manager, skip-level managers and your Performance Admin. Direct reports won't see these comments if the review is shared with them.

  • In the Employee Profile view, collaborators can see sections based on their permissions only, like goals the owner has allowed them visibility to and feedback they've left for that employee.

  • They can't see or comment on the employee's self-reflections.

  • They don't get extra access to view the full employee profile unless they're the employee's manager.


  • As a Manager, you can add or remove collaborators until the cycle has closed. When removed, collaborator comments stay, but their review access stops.

  • To make sure collaborator notes are seen by the manager and admin, the collaborator needs to click Share Comments at the bottom of the review form.

Exporting Manager Reviews to PDF

As a manager, you can easily export your direct or indirect report's review to PDF. Here's how:

  1. Navigate to the current cycle from your Performance > Reviews tab > Manager Review section.

  2. From the list of direct reports click on the ellipsis (...) icon and choose the Export PDF option for the corresponding entry.

  3. Alternatively, when viewing the details of a direct report’s Manager Review, simply select the Export PDF option available on the review form itself.

Employee Preview

Managers can use the Employee Preview mode within Manager Reviews to facilitate discussions with their direct reports by sharing their screen.

When you click on Employee Preview, a new page will open (usually in a new tab) just for previewing important responses with your direct report.

Here's what you can expect:

  • Only the responses meant to be shared will be visible, excluding anything else.

  • This view remains accessible regardless of whether your review is complete or not.

  • Your direct reports won't have access to this page.

  • Both Managers and Admins can access it.

If the Performance Rating question is set to be shared, you won't find it in the Employee Preview. This is intentional, as ratings may change during calibrations. But don't worry, once the review is shared, the employee will see it.

Share Manager Reviews and Feedback With Your Direct Reports

You can share your Manager Reviews and feedback with your team after they've been submitted and when your Account Admin, usually someone from your People Team, turns on the sharing feature. If you don't see the option to share, it's likely that sharing has not been activated yet. If you need more information, just contact your People Team internally or wait for their instructions. Usually, you can start sharing after a calibration session when final ratings are decided. You can share by clicking on the sharing task on your Performance Tasks page or by clicking into the cycle from your Performance > Reviews tab. Here's how:

To Share Peer and/or Upward Feedback:

  1. Go to Performance > Reviews.

  2. Click into the relevant performance review cycle.

  3. If sharing is activated, you'll see a Share Feedback tile. Click to open.

  4. Share feedback per direct report by selecting Share Feedback.

  5. Or share all feedback in bulk by choosing Share All Feedback.

  6. After sharing, your direct report will receive an email with shared questions.

To Share Manager Reviews:

  1. Go to Performance > Reviews.

  2. Click into the relevant performance review cycle.

  3. If sharing is activated, you'll see a Share Manager Review tile. Click to open.

  4. Share reviews per direct report by selecting Share Review.

  5. Or share all reviews in bulk by choosing Share All Reviews.

  6. After sharing, your direct report will receive an email with shared questions.

Note: You may notice a yellow icon under the shared column of your cycle. This indicates that feedback has already been shared with the individual but there are still pending feedback requests. All of the users with the yellow icons are able to see the shared feedback and may receive more feedback if the pending feedback requests are answered by reviewers.

Review Acknowledgements

If Review Acknowledgements were included in the cycle:

  • Your direct report can mark their review as acknowledged after discussing it with you.

  • This option is available only if the review has been shared.

  • There are no notifications for when your direct report marks the review as acknowledged; it shows as Complete in the Review Acknowledged column on the Manager Review section of the cycle.


Why aren't my direct reports' team members available to select for feedback requests?

During performance review setup, your Performance Admin can choose to enable peer feedback, upward feedback, or both. If only peer feedback is enabled, you won't see your direct reports' team members as options for feedback.

Additionally, admins can enable automated requests for upward feedback. This means feedback requests to your direct reports' team members are automatically scheduled and sent during the review cycle, saving you from manually selecting them.

To check if automated requests are enabled, click on the task to request feedback about your direct reports'. You should see upward feedback requests for their own direct reports' already scheduled.

Why is the submit button greyed out for my feedback and/or reviews?

If you can't click the Submit button, it means you left a question blank. Review your page, fill in any unanswered questions, or use 'N/A' or 'No Comment' if you don't have a specific answer.

Why can’t I see my direct reports’ reviews?

If you can't see your direct reports' reviews, you might not be assigned as their manager in Culture Amp or they may not be included in the review cycle. If you're missing someone, contact your internal People Team/Performance Admin to update their demographic information or confirm their participation.

Why can't I see my direct reports' Development plan's in the employee profile view?

Unfortunately development plans are not yet available in this view.

How can I view my indirect reports' Performance Reviews?

To view your indirect reports' Performance Reviews, go to the Performance > Reviews tab and click into the relevant cycle's Manager Review section. Use the Groups filter and check the box for Indirect Reports to see their reviews along with your direct reports. You'll find completed Manager Reviews for your reporting line, but you won't be able to edit them.

If the cycle only includes indirect reports (no direct reports), you can view their Manager Reviews from the Employee Directory view instead, but only after the cycle has closed.

How can I edit a Manager Review if it is already submitted?

You can edit a Manager Review even after it's submitted, as long as the overall review cycle is still live. Here's how:

  1. Go to the Performance > Reviews tab.

  2. Click into the Manager Review section.

  3. Find the review of your direct report that you want to edit.

  4. Make your changes.

  5. Click Save to update.

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