1:1 Structure and Topics

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Alex Farmer
Alex Farmer Member Posts: 62 Expert
First Anniversary Photogenic First Comment GGR Blogger 2021
edited August 2023 in CS Org Conversations

Do you have weekly 1:1's with everyone on your team?  What's definitely on your 1:1 agenda?  And what definitely isn't?  

With the huge breadth of KPIs that a customer success function is responsible for (NRR, advocacy, usage, QBRs, CSQLs, CRM updates, etc), I find that structuring an efficient 1:1 can sometimes be a challenge.  Coaching on how to respond to burning customer escalations, using relevant data to plan the next quarter's activities, and carving out time to talk about long-term development is a lot to balance - how do you do it?

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  • Kris Morrison
    Kris Morrison Member Posts: 1 Navigator
    edited April 2020
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    I think it depends on the roles Alex - some folks I meet with weekly and others bi-weekly or monthly. Have to run for a meeting but I encourage you to look into "Level 10" Meetings. I created an abbreviated version of those for 1-1s (so they'd fit into an hour) and have found them to be so much more efficient than what I was doing previously:

    https://www.o4g.com/level-10-meeting/

  • Melissa Logothetis
    Melissa Logothetis Member Posts: 22 Thought Leader
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    edited April 2020
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    I'm not familiar with CSQL.  Can you explain?

    Thanks

     

  • Jennifer Dole
    Jennifer Dole Member Posts: 8 Contributor
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    edited April 2020
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    Before I jump into share my thoughts, curious about other communication channels that you have with your team members (team meetings, department meetings, etc?)  

  • Brian Hartley
    Brian Hartley Member Posts: 184 Expert
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    edited April 2020
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    I meet with each member weekly.  For the onboarding team we talk about new customers and what milestones they have left before they transition to engagement.  Engagement is all about renewals, at-risk customer, upgrades/expansions, L&D, etc.  For my support team it is fairly tactical.  In general I try to ask my team what I can do to help them be successful. It is really isn't super formal as I try to make it about them and what they have on their mind.  For career development, etc. that may be a separate meeting.

  • Alex Farmer
    Alex Farmer Member Posts: 62 Expert
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    edited April 2020
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    Customer success qualified lead.  Tracks commercial impact of CS, even if CS doesn't own upsell/cross-sell.  Great way to short circuit the whole "should CS own expansion" debate.

  • Andy Barton
    Andy Barton Member Posts: 18 Thought Leader
    edited April 2020
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    I feel that regardless of the role, there will be people who require more direct manager interaction and either guidance or soundboarding that others, so I like to let the individual suggest, and then I encourage a change in cadence if I feel its wrong. I do not like meetings for the sake of meetings, but some cadence!

  • Gretchen Hustad
    Gretchen Hustad Member Posts: 6 Contributor
    edited April 2020
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    My personal experience (both as an employee and as a manager) is that too much time is spent in 1-on-1s focused on the KPIs, and not enough time is spent on the employee.  How are they feeling about their role?  What are their goals?  What's in their way, and how can I  help?  And where/when appropriate, how are they doing in their life?  To me, the KPIs should be pretty clear to everyone if they've been structured correctly and you have some mechanism for tracking them.  Of course if there is a major issue or a major win, that does need to be addressed, however whenever possible I try to allow the employee to own the 1-on-1.  I've found that to be the most effective way to keep my finger on what's going on with them in an authentic and productive way.  I then use the team meeting time to try to address the more macro topics of KPIs, challenges/opportunities, best practices, etc.  That way everyone can participate in the conversation that is of benefit to the team at large and I don't have to repeat myself in every 1-on-1.

  • Melissa Logothetis
    Melissa Logothetis Member Posts: 22 Thought Leader
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    edited April 2020
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    Thanks. I've never seen it listed that way. I just learned something new. 

  • Scott Hopper
    Scott Hopper Member Posts: 70 Expert
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    edited April 2020
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    @Kris Morrisonnice framework  I was thinking it was an hr band not a way to do the meeting itself.  

  • Phil Weiss
    Phil Weiss Member Posts: 3 Seeker
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    edited April 2020
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    ^ Agree with Gretchen in terms of focusing as much on the person as the work. I aim to meet with each of my six team members weekly for 45 minutes.

    I find the 1:1 to be a crucial tool to understand: 

    • What each person's priorities are 
    • What work is firing them up
    • What work they're struggling with 
    • What decisions they're hung up on 

    Ultimately, to me, it's about trying to understand where your team's at, mentally and emotionally, and where they want to go. Certainly all "the work" fits within that sphere, but it's not the whole sphere. 

  • David Ellin
    David Ellin Member Posts: 170 Expert
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    edited May 2020
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    My experience is that 1:1s should be more about the team member as a person and not related specifically to current projects or initiatives. @Phil Weiss and @Gretchen Hustad are right on. Too many managers use 1:1s to further their agenda instead of helping the team member with their own agenda.

    My cadence with my team ran like this:

    • Weekly 1:1 with direct reports (Directors/Sr. Directors) focused solely on their agenda (plenty of other time to catch up on projects)
    • Monthly: Once a month I'd join my Director's meeting with their team of CSMs
    • Quarterly: Customer Success town hall with entire CS team (share corporate initiatives, overall trends, best practices, etc.)
  • Alex Farmer
    Alex Farmer Member Posts: 62 Expert
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    edited May 2020
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    Should have mentioned that I also do a monthly development discussion with each team member - agree that if you dont reserve time for it, it doesn't happen over the course of a normal 1:1!

  • Alex Farmer
    Alex Farmer Member Posts: 62 Expert
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    edited May 2020
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    CS function meeting (CS, support, training, onboarding, and partnerships) once every two weeks for an hour and all post-sale org meeting once a month.  And constant Teams chats :)

  • Alex Farmer
    Alex Farmer Member Posts: 62 Expert
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    edited May 2020
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    Like this a lot - find myself getting wrapped up in KPIs too often - hard to take a step back when you're in it all the time.  Great reminder

  • Gabriel Fallas
    Gabriel Fallas Member Posts: 53 Expert
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    edited June 2020
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    Absolutely agree with @Gretchen Hustad.

    We should truly have a similar mentality towards our team as we do towards our clients; i.e, build long term relationships and become a trusted advisor. 

    I have a colleague that says all the time, "This is work and I'm not here to make friends, it's okay with me if I do. I'm here to work." I get where she's coming from, but I disagree. 

    I think that building relationships at work with the different teams strengthens communication, allows for honest transactions and a more collaborative spirit. 

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Navigator
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    edited June 2020
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    Spot on @Gabriel Fallas. 1v1's are really for the employee, not the manager. To create alignment, built trust, etc just like with a client (to your point). 

    Great time to build that trust relationship.

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Navigator
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    edited June 2020
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    I believe that the one on one is one of the most important interactions team leaders and members have with one another. Love this, @Phil Weiss 

  • Chris Hicken
    Chris Hicken Member Posts: 4 Seeker
    edited June 2020
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    We wrote about 1:1s recently:

    https://blog.nuffsaid.com/running-one-on-ones

    Here's our agenda for our meetings:

    image
  • shamsao
    shamsao Member Posts: 9 Contributor
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    edited June 2020
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    I do weekly 1-1's with everyone that directly reports to me.  I find it to work best when I ask the person reporting me to own the agenda and send me a quick note the day before the meeting on the topics they would like to cover.

    The reason for that is mainly to ensure that the person spends some time thinking about what's important to discuss rather than just showing up and making it up on the fly.

    If I find that key items like progress against goals, issues, etc. are not being included, I'll ask the person to reflect on that and including it.

    I find this process works great and gets people to take responsibility.

    In the past, I was guilty of driving the agenda more myself, but I've found this approach to work much better.