SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

2087525 - Proper Use of NO MANAGER Value in the User Import File - SuccessFactors Cloud


This KB article clarifies the purpose of the Manager value NO_MANAGER, used for making changes via import of the User Import File.


SAP SuccessFactors HCM Suite


  • Column I: Manager hierarchy.

  • NO_MANAGER: Enter this phrase for the highest level employee or for employees without managers, such as a CEO.

  • Improper Use: If a person temporarily has no manager assigned DO NOT use the NO_MANAGER value, as this is NOT appropriate. 

             Matrix Manager: Do NOT enter NO_MANAGER as a Matrix Manager value. If a person has no matrix manager, leave this value blank. Entering NO_MANAGER in the matrix manager column is known to cause issues.

  • The value NO_MANAGER is a reserved value for a top of reporting chain condition. It essentially tells the application that this person legitimately has no manager and will never have a manager in the system. The application then skips all routing steps that require a manager to be involved. Thus in a workflow which requires a manager and 2nd level manager; if a user is listed as having NO_MANAGER  the application will skip the manager approval steps. 
  • Two ways that we can suggest workarounds from a data perspective are as follows:
    1) Define a fictitious user such as a test user to be a placeholde manager.
    • Individuals will be allowed to create goals and interact with the system up until the point where a manager step is encountered. When the form is sent to the manager step, the form will route to this user
    • Once the HRIS feeds include a real manager, the forms will route to the new appropriate individual as part of the regular load process 
    2) Define an interim manager from HR or management to be the manager until one is defined in HRIS
    • This person will be able to see and act in the role of manager for the individuals in question
    • The hierarchy and dashboard will consider the interim manager to be the reporting manager of the individuals who are mapped. 
  • Consider your business process and ask yourself during this period of time while no manager is assigned if something came up who would this person turn to in their day to day job to request a day off or call in sick or ask about priorities? The point is that in the real world someone is responsible for the care and feeding? of that employee from a practical standpoint.
  • Another question you could ask is If it comes to Jan 1 and there is still no one there who will complete the performance evaluation and the comp adjustment? 
  • It is critical for the system to function correctly, that ALL employees have a valid value in the manager field for workflow. If they dont currently have a physical manager, then the system requires you enter a placeholder value. Also Note If you terminate a manager, you should reassign all subordinates in the same data load.  

Use in Compensation Cycles as Head of Hierarchy:

  • If you use second manager hierarchy in a comp cycle for second manager populate the userid of the planner who will be doing planning for each employee in the SECOND_MANAGER field on the import file. The person at the top of the second_manager hierarchy needs to have a blank in their second_manager field. It cannot be NO_MANAGER. Forms will fail to launch if you do.

Note: The Performance Manager Enterprise Edition requires a manager-employee relationship in order to add the employee into the system. Make sure every employee has either a valid manager listed or NO_MANAGER else the Employee Import file will fail to load.


SF success factors BizX Biz X PLT platform USR , KBA , sf bizx performance management , sf bizx system/platform , LOD-SF-PM , Performance Management , How To


SAP SuccessFactors HCM suite all versions ; SAP SuccessFactors Platform all versions