A 360 process is simple enough for the end users: Nominate reviewers, provide feedback, done. But it can be a bit of a challenge for admins to manage, since there are so many ways to fine tune the process to your needs.
A common question we keep getting from customers is "when does SI send mails to our users". Instead of sprinkling this information into the regular documentation, here's the definitive overview all in one place.
The overall approach is this: Kicking off parts of the process needs to happen manually, since we wouldn't know when exactly you want to inform staff. But certain email notifications in the middle of the process happen automatically, especially when a notification depends on a staff member moving their part of the process forward. You wouldn't want to trigger mails to individual people all the time for each of their workflow steps.
Initial invitation to nominate reviewers
Let's assume you have set up a cycle and added users to it. Now you'd like people to start nominating reviewers. Well, they can if they log in. It's all prepared. But: No email is sent automatically from the system. You have to trigger it yourself. Reason: Small Improvements wouldn't know when you want to tell staff exactly. You might have set up the process on Thursday, but want the mail to go out on Monday morning. Rather than making you fill in a field, you can inform people by clicking the button "inform reviewees to pick their staff". This makes everything very flexible: You could even tell 5 people by personal email to log in to SI and get started - the process is open already after all - without letting everyone else know already. Just so you can get their initial feedback, if everything is clear and so on.
Note: Every user only gets the initial invitation once. This is reflected in the dropdown. Once you have informed everyone, it will say "inform zero reviewers" because everyone already got their invitation. This is important, because if you add 5 additional reviewees after the initial mass mailing, then you can use the same button to trigger mails to only those 5 new people, while everyone else isn't bombarded with yet another mail to get started.
Reminder to nominate reviewers
There is a separate email template in SI that reminds people to nominate reviewers. So while it's also about nominating reviewers, the ability to use different wording can be used to create a sense of urgency, and you can even increase the urgency by changing this template over time, while the regular invitation remains unchanged (for the case of late entries mentioned above).
These reminders can currently only be sent one by one, using the nudge button to single our specific people. Once a person has been reminded, they cannot be reminded again on the same day, thus preventing accidental email overload.
Inform managers to approve reviewers
You can trigger a bulk email to every manager to approve reviewers. This only goes out to managers who have team members who actually have nominated anyone, and each manager only receives one email, even if they need to approve 10 reviews.
In case you wondered, we don't trigger this mail automatically because quite often, our customers want to be able to double and triple check reviewer nominations even beforemanagers approve them. And although in theory we could wait until the milestone for managers to start approving has been reached, we still feel it's better if managers get notified manually. After all, once such a mass email has been sent, it's too late to have second thoughts.
Note: You can only inform managers to approve reviewers once the time to approve reviewers has come. Until then, the menu will be greyed out.
Nudge managers to approve reviewers
For technical reasons, there is currently no "once-per-day" limit, so you will actually trigger the nudge to every manager who still has outstanding approvable reviews
Inform reviewers to provide feedback
Once a manager has approved the reviewers for a person on their team, these reviewers are notified automatically. So unlike most other notifications, you (the admin) do not have to take any action. To avoid email overload, we only send notifications once every 6 hours by default, so we can bundle all those notifications for a reviewer into at most 4 mails per day. If 6 hours is too long, you may change this to be every 4 or 2 hours in the advanced company settings.
Nudge reviewers to provide feedback
If the initial information email was not sufficient, you can nudge reviewers as well. You can nudge reviewers individually by opening up the reviewer section per review, or you can perform a bulk operation from the overview screen. SI will send a mail to every reviewer in this cycle who has not yet provided all feedback she was invited to provide, but of course each person only receives one email.
Inform manager when a reviewer for their team member declines to provide feedback
We automatically notify the manager of a reviewee when their reviewer declines to provide feedback. This is automatic because the manager may need to take action. If the reviewee only had 3 reviewers, and one declines, that might require selecting another reviewer. Or talking to this reviewer if they really really don't want to provide feedback
Inform reviewee when a reviewer they nominated declines to provide feedback
The system can automatically notify the reviewee about a reviewer's declination, provided the reviewer was nominated by the reviewee herself. However, this mail needs to be enabled on a per-cycle basis: it's an option in the 360 cycle settings. So unlike the automatic mail sent to the reviewee's manager, using this notification is a conscious decision by the cycle admin. After all, it can break anonymity if someone nominated 4 reviewers, and then learned that 2 declined. It's probably best to only enable this mail for non-anonymous cycles.
Inform reviewees about feedback that became available
Once the milestone to share the feedback with reviewees is reached, all reviewees receive an automatic email reminder, provided that they are allowed to see the feedback in the first place. If the cycle was configured so that reviewees don't get to see their feedback, no mail is sent.