It is possible to set-up hierarchies between different attributes to help the system understand the hierarchy of your organisation. For example, if you have the attributes Country and Department and Team, you’d be able to relate all three attributes together, with country being at the top of the hierarchy.

This is particularly useful when viewing the heat map, as it makes analysing survey results by hierarchy more streamlined, since an increased level of granularity can be achieved by simply clicking on the segment to reveal the related segments. 

In the example below, I can have a quick overview of the 'North, Central and South America' region and identify any offices with lower engagement scores. Clicking on the drop-down arrow will reveal related segments and their scores directly on the heat map.

Another advantage is that adding managers to segments is made easier since managers that are added to the parent attribute’s segment, will also have access to all related child attribute’s segments. For example, by making someone the manager of a region, they will automatically inherit full segment managing access of any child attributes, such as local office, manager etc., if the appropriate hierarchies have been set up.

What segments will managers see?

Managers will only be able to see segments that they have access to, either through being assigned to that segment or the segment being part of their downward hierarchy. Only segments that meet the minimum segment size will be displayed in the heat map and on dashboards.

When viewing the heat map, there will also be an option to allow all child segments to be added to the heat map, where applicable. Child segments will always be within the selected dashboard context and allow managers to easily add the segments beneath the current segment's context.

In the example below, a senior manager Carolyn is viewing her team dashboard. Three of Carolyn's direct reports have their own team's and therefore break out into manager segments. As these are child segments of the overall context she is using, she is able to quickly split her data down to these segments. One of her direct reports Jacob has a sub-team, so she is able to split down his team even further.

Adding senior managers to segments

Adding a manager to a segment means they will also be able to view any child segments, where a hierarchical relationship has been setup. It's therefore possible to add managers to only the parent attribute's segments and, in doing so, they will gain automatic access to any related child attribute segments. 

Creating a hierarchy

Hierarchical segments are set-up by account administrators who are able to create, edit, and delete hierarchies. Peakon will automatically detect any relationships between attributes making the setup quick and simple.

Only option type attributes can be added to hierarchies and each attribute can be added to multiple hierarchies.

Creating a new hierarchy:

  1. Go to Administration and then Attributes
  2. Select the child attribute (for example, to link the "Country" attribute and the "City" attribute, "City" is the child attribute)
  3. Select the Hierarchies tab and click on the green Add new hierarchy option
  4. Select the parent attribute to which the current attribute will be related ("Country" in this case)
  5. Click the green Next step option for Peakon to automatically detect relationships between the two attributes
  6. Leave the green Update hierarchies automatically box ticked if you want Peakon to update the hierarchy as employee data changes over time
  7. Click Use identified relationships to proceed with Peakon’s selection (these can always be edited), or click on the Discard and select manually to manually set the relationships (cannot be used in conjunction with 'Update hierarchies automatically)
  8. If using the identified relationships, you will be able to make any edits to the relationships by either deleting relationships or adding more relationships. If manually selecting the relationships, you will need to select the parent segment and child segment and then click on Add more to add more relationships before clicking on the green Create relationships option.

In the example above, Business Unit is the parent attribute and Department is the child attribute. To create a hierarchy between the two, I will go into Department attribute and select Business Unit as the parent attribute.

Editing an existing hierarchy:

It’s possible to edit a hierarchy if the 'Update hierarchies automatically' option has not been turned on during creation.

For example, Peakon will attempt to suggest new identified relationships which can be used in the hierarchy, if new segments have been added or if employees have been moved around. To use the identified relationships, simply click on the green Use identified relationships option.

  1. Click on Administration and go to Attributes, then the Hierarchies tab
  2. Choose the hierarchy you would like to edit

There are several other things you can edit within hierarchies:

  • Click on the Add more option to add more relationships to an existing parent child group
  • Click on the Add new relationship option to create a new parent child group
  • To delete a group, select the group and then click on the Delete option
  • To delete the entire hierarchy click on the Delete option without having selected any segments (also possible for automatically maintained hierarchies)


  • When suggesting relationships, Peakon will only suggest segments containing 2 or more employees
  • In order for a segment to be automatically suggested in a hierarchical relationship, every single employee must follow the hierarchy
  • It is possible to manually add segments to hierarchies, however it would be advisable to double check employee records first due to the second point
  • When deleting and re-adding a hierarchy, no data is lost other than any manual edits. This is important when considering that it’s not possible to make edits to identified relationships when the “Update hierarchies automatically” is toggled on

Is this feature available on my plan?

Hierarchical segments are available for customers on Peakon's Premier tier. If you would like to have this feature enabled, please reach out to your customer success manager, or to our support team at, who will be happy to assist further.

Article: Granting segment access to managers

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