Setting up Employee data to form a valid Hierarchy

NOTE: We are activating this feature for customers using Performance. Please contact if you have any questions in the meantime.

Once your account has been set up to activate the Hierarchies feature, you'll need to ensure that your organisation's data forms a valid hierarchy.


If for example you’ve chosen Manager as your hierarchy, you’ll need to make sure that:

  1. Your data has a ‘Manager Email’ or ‘Manager ID’ column, and that the column you’ve included matches the one ticked as ‘Employee Hierarchy’ on the Account Demographics > Hierarchy Type tab in Culture Amp.
  2. Each person in your organisation has a value in this column, except for the CEO (or for ’n’ people as defined in the Account Demographics > Hierarchy Type tab).  

TIP: to check what changes you need to make to your employee data to make a well-formed hierarchy, activate Hierarchies for the account, then export your employee data to a CSV and immediately re-import it.

When Hierarchies are activated, the Hierarchy validations are turned on for your account.  This means that next time you import data it'll be checked to see if it forms a valid hierarchy, in addition to the general checks we make for imports to accounts without the Hierarchies feature activated.

You can review your import in the Review Wizard to see the changes you might need to make.

When you have Hierarchies activated and you run a full upload of your organisation’s employee data, it will be checked for the following:

Hierarchy validations

These additional validations are run only when the Hierarchies feature is activated for a demographic.

If these conditions are not met, the data import cannot proceed. You’ll need to fix your data so that it meets these conditions to form a hierarchy, and then re-attempt the import.

  • By default an account can’t have more than one person without a Manager. In the Edit Account Demographics > Hierarchy Type tab you can define if more than one person in your organisation doesn't have a manager.
  • Every value in the Manager demographic has to match a user within the account
    there are no loops in the manager hierarchy (a person can’t be managed by someone who is below them in the hierarchy)
  • No one can be their own manager
  • Users with invalid managers (eg if the Manager’s info is invalid for one of the above or below reasons) get invalidated

NOTE: An inactive Manager is still considered as valid in relation to Hierarchies. What this means is that an employee can have a Manager who's inactive, as long as that Manager's data contains their email address/ID.

Other validations

These are the base validations for all employee data imports to Culture Amp.

Each employee in an account must:

  • Have a Name, and/or an email address and ID
  • Not have a Start Date that’s before their Date of Birth
  • Not have an End Date that’s before their Start Date
  • Not have a Date of Birth that’s less than one year before today
  • Not have an invalid email address: (Must follow the format [name]@[domain].[domain]/No special characters eg ()/!*)
  • Not have an invalid language code
  • A User can’t be added to Culture Amp if their email address is the same as that of another User (either in the account, or globally).
  • If a User is a Primary Account Administrator, they cannot deactivate themselves (eg an End Date cannot be set for them until another Administrator is designated).
  • If a User’s ID is the same as that of another User in the account, the new User data will be flagged & ignored.
  • Dates in the Date of Birth, Start Date and End Date fields must be in an accepted format.  We request dates in the format Mmm dd, yyyy (eg Feb 20, 1947), and can accept dates in these additional formats: MMM DD YYYY (eg Feb 20 1947); YYYY-MM-DD (ISO 8601 standard, 1947-02-20).
  • There’s a warning if an import will deactivate more than 5% of the total users in an account

There’s more information about the general data import process here.



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