SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

2085287 - Manager Hierarchy's - Compensation & Variable Pay


  • This article explains Compensation: Manager Hierarchy comp-manager-hierarchy.
  • What is comp-manager-hierarchy?
  • What is the difference between regular hierarchy and SECOND MANAGER? 
  • How doe we use Second Manager (EA) in a Compensation Process?
  • How do we include or exclude inactive users?

"Image/data in this KBA is from SAP internal systems, sample data, or demo systems. Any resemblance to real data is purely coincidental"


  • SAP SuccessFactors Compensation
  • SAP SuccessFactors Variable Pay


  • This article describes the use of comp-manager-hierarchy within a Compensation Plan.
  • This is NOT to be confused with matrix manager (EX) or second level manager (EMM).

Regular Manager Hierarchy

  • Compensation plans can use either standard manager hierarchy for planning (EM), or a second manager hierarchy (EA) specific to the Compensation planning cycle.
  • Standard hierarchy is defined within your regular user import under the MANAGER column and is defined within the template as <comp-manager-hierarchy type="1"/>.
  • The business challenge when using this option is you often want to lock down people, so Compensation plans are unaffected by the day-to-day manager changes and employee terminations that occur.
  • Such changes can cause Compensation planning issues such as incorrect budgets, employees disappearing from worksheets or employees being assigned to an inactive manager's plan.
  • This can be prevented by locking down employee changes for a period while Compensation cycle is being completed.
  • To resolve this common issue the SuccessFactors Application offers SECOND_MANAGER hierarchy which can be defined exclusively for Compensation planning and remains unaffected by regular changes.
  • This therefore allows you to make changes which are necessary as normal. 

Note - You cannot freeze the hierarchy for any specific time duration. Hierachy will always look & work according to UDF.

Second Manager

  • Second Manager is a role designed specifically for use in a Compensation cycle.
  • This enables you to set a hierarchy in the system which prevents your worksheets being impacted by any regular employee imports/updates that happen.
  • This is the recommended hierarchy mode for Compensation plans.
  • In many business situations, the Compensation hierarchy and standard hierarchy are separate from the employee's manager hierarchy.
  • While the employee's manager is responsible for managing work issues for his/her direct reports, a "Second Manager" would be responsible for administrative/Compensation planning.
  • In the UDF (User Directory File) the Second Manager is defined within the SECOND_MANAGER column.
  • If you cannot find the SECOND_MANAGER column in the UDF, Kindly reach out to your implementation partner or raise a ticket to add this field to data model ( refer KBA:  2509740 - Second Manager missing in the Employee export or UDF )
  • In this column you can define who employee's manager(s) will be for the Compensation process.
  • This can be their actual direct manager if required, or any other person defined managing that person(s) Compensation.
  • Each employee can only have one Second Manager which can be inserted into the import file.
  • The ID which needs to be within the SECOND_MANAGER column should be the User ID
  • This can also be done via Change User Information by entering the USERNAME of the Second Manager.
  • Please note, making custom column with Name SECOND_MANAGER in design worksheet and no secondManager in data model will not take any values imported in SECOND_MANAGER Column (if its hybrid or non-ec) for compensation hierarchy. You need to have secondManager in data model for compensation hierarchy to work.
  • Should you want to have the Second Manager included within the Route Map, please ensure you have a "Custom" step setup with a role code of "EA".

    Second Manager role: EA
    Second Manager's direct report: EB

Note - Head of Hierarchy 

For Second Manager populate the userid of the planner who will be doing planning for each employee in the SECOND_MANAGER field.

The person at the top of this hierarchy needs to have a BLANK in their SECOND_MANAGER column.

It cannot be NO_MANAGER as that will prevent worksheets from launching.

Additionally, when using compensation planner hierarchy please ensure the planner has the correct target population within RBP which contains employee's from the worksheet.

This is so they're visible within execitive review.


  • Using Second Manager is beneficial as the hierarchy will remain unaffected by the daily changes (unless the client updates it by a new user import for that specific data) that can take place in user imports for the normal company hierarchy, so this method has its benefits and should be considered as an option when a company is defining their process.
  • In a Compensation template hierarchy's are defined as follows:

<comp-manager-hierarchy type="1"/> = default
<comp-manager-hierarchy type="2"/> = custom 

1 = Standard hierarchy as defined in the MANAGER column of the user import file.
2 = second hierarchy as defined in the SECOND_MANAGER column of the user import file


Rollup reports are supported using either modes.

Setting the Manager Hierarchy from Admin tools:

  1. Navigate to admin tools->Compensation Home
  2. Select the Compensation Plan
  3. Go to Plan Setup->Manage Users->Define Planners
  4. Select the Method of Planner


Note: Method of Planner will be grayed out or uneditable if there are already forms launched in the template. Deleting all your launched forms will allow you to change the method of planner.

  • Standard Suite Hierarchy = 1 (Manager Hierarchy)
  • Compensation Manager Hierarchy = 2 (Second Manager Hierarchy)
  • Rollup Hierarchy = Planner Mode with Manager Hierarchy
  • The Checkbox "Including Inactive Users" would be the same as hierarchys 3 & 4.

Planner Mode

  • Compensation also has Planner Mode, which allows you to define custom PLANNERS in an ad-hoc fashion.
  • You define your planners in a column labelled COMPENSATION_PLANNER_<template ID> within your user import file.
  • The <template ID> section is the ID of the Compensation template. Please contact Customer Success or your Partner to get this ID, as this ID will change each year for each new template created.
  • Planner mode can be used with either regular or second manager hierarchy's.
  • Only those defined in the COMPENSATION_PLANNER_<template ID> column will have worksheets created for them.

Note: Launching a form with the option " Create for Head of Planning only" enabled or checked can create a form for a manager or a second manager even if he/she is not defined as a planner. (CMP-6401)

  • The system will intelligently determine all people who should be on the planner's worksheet by using the information you have defined in your MANAGER or SECOND_MANAGER columns.

          Please read full details on planner mode and the limitations it has here

Inactive Employee's using first/second manager 

To include or exclude inactive employees in both executive review and worksheets, configure the Compensation template to use one of the four supported options.

  1. Config comp template to use generic manager hierarchy (comp-manager-hierarchy=1)
  2. Config comp template to use second manager hierarchy (comp-manager-hierarchy=2) 
  3. Config comp template to use generic manager hierarchy include inactive user(comp-manager-hierarchy=3) 
  4. Config comp template to use second manager hierarchy include inactive user (comp-manager-hierarchy=4)

Please note that if you are using comp-manager-hierarchy=2, you will need to ensure that there are no inactive second managers in your hierarchy in the UDF. This will cause issues with team view and show hierarchy level in the executive review.

See Also

  2509740 - Second Manager missing in the Employee export or UDF


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