Add, Edit, or Delete Options in a Drop-Down List

How do I add, edit, and delete an option in a drop-down list?

Purpose: To teach you how to manage your drop-down list values for your employee list fields.

List value fields allow you to set the values available for selection in specific fields. For example, you want your employees to fill in their t-shirt size. You can set the values as Small, Medium, Large, etc., which will keep the list values clean and consistent. (Custom fields (i.e., T-shirt Size, etc.) are only available in the Advantage package.) 

Additionally, this is useful in setting the list values for fields on the Job tab as these are important filtering fields in the system. Therefore, keeping these list values clean and consistent helps you avoid errors when filtering reports, company announcements, etc.

Employee fields

You can manage list values for dropdown list fields by navigating to Employee Fields in Settings. The first section includes all standard dropdown list fields, and the second section includes all custom dropdown list fields.

Add a new list value

Select to which field you would like to add list values. Type your new list value and click Add. Next time you update this field on an employee profile, you will see your new list value as an option in the dropdown list.

There are a few things to note about some of the options available on the Employee Fields page:

  1. Employment Status: If you have ACA tracking enabled in your account, you will be required to select the ACA status when creating a new employment status. Additionally, you can edit the Employment Status to add the FTE (Full Time Equivalent) for the associated employment status. 1.0 is equal to one full-time worker.
  2. Job Title: If you are located in the United States, you will have the option to setup EEO categories for each of your job titles. These categories will show up on the EEO-1 report and the EEO Details report.
  3. Location: When adding new locations, you will be required to enter the address details for each location. If a location is remote, you can check the box, This location is for remote employees, and you will no longer be required to enter address information. Instead, the address will show as "Remote Location."

You can also add new list values when updating the field on an employee profile. Select Add New Option in the dropdown list and add the new list value immediately.

Edit a list value

Select for which field you would like to edit list values. Hover over the list value you would like to edit and click on the edit icon that pops up. When editing a list value, you will have two options.

Change for future but leave history alone

Once you have edited the list value, pick how the change should occur. If you pick Change for future but leave history alone, the edit will only apply to future changes to the field. Historical data for this list value in this field will remain as the previous list value. In the example above, for any future changes to this field, I can select Customer Experience and will not see an option for Customer Success. However, if I have chosen Customer Success in the history, it will remain that way.

Change anywhere it is used, including history

Once you have edited the list value, pick how the change should occur. If you pick Change anywhere it is used, including history, the edit will apply to future changes and past historical data. Historical data for this list value in this field will change to the new list value. In the example above, historical data listed as Customer Success will now change to Customer Experience. All future changes to this field will have a list option for Customer Experience, and Customer Success will not be an option in the list.

Delete a list value

Select from which field you would like to delete list values. Hover over the list value you would like to delete and click on the delete icon.

If you currently have an employee assigned to this list value, you cannot delete it. Instead, you will see a pop-up box, and you can click I'll Fix It to update the employee profile before deleting the field.

If there are no employees assigned to the list value, a pop-up box will appear to confirm the deletion. Type Delete and click Yes, Delete Department. Once deleted, the list value will be archived, which means historical data with that list value will remain and the list value will not be available in the future.

If you need to add back the list value, enter the original name of the value when adding the new option to the list. This action will unarchive the list value.

What happens in reporting if I delete a list value from a drop-down list?

A deleted list value will be archived and remain in the history on the employee profile. The field will still be visible in reporting if it remains in an employee's history.

When you delete a list value from the list, it is no longer an active value. You can filter the report by the archived list value when creating or editing the report, but once you run the report, you will not see the list value as an option since it is no longer active in the account.


For example, if I delete the UX department, it will be archived. However, the history will remain for current and previous employees of the UX department.

When I run a historical report with the Department field in it, the report will include any historical information for employees who were part of the UX department at any point in time.

Once I run the report, I cannot filter the report by the UX department, which is an archived department list option. To filter by the list option, edit the report and add the filter before running the report again. (See below.)

When I edit the report to have the UX department included, I can filter by its archived department list option. Finally, I can run the report again and see the filtered results. (See below.)

What's next?

Do you want to see a list of available custom fields and tables in BambooHR?

Do you need help making updates to table data for an employee?

Are you using BambooHR in a different language? If yes, see how to translate your custom fields here.