When it comes to running a successful business, teamwork is more important that ever. The problem is, getting your team to work together as a cohesive group can be hard. To become a successful team, you need strong communication, a good leader, clear roles and the right tools.
But one area of team building that is often overlooked, is the importance of building inter-personal relationships.
At this point, you may be thinking about all the sayings and advice you’ve heard about the importance of separating your professional and personal lives. While this is true to a degree, it’s important to remember that it’s easier to connect and work with other people when you get to know each other and are able to find similarities. Otherwise, politics, and mistrust amongst members can sabotage the group.
To break down barriers and help your team get to know one another on a professional level, try asking these 10 team building questions.
They will help:
- Break the ice
- Encourage communication
- Find similarities in the way people work
- Help members better understand each other
- Improve participation
- Uncover what drives each person
- Reveal goals and objective that members need help reaching
- Strengthen bonds
- Increase trust
10 Questions To Help Improve Employee Relationships
When building interpersonal relationships, it’s important to ask questions that open your team up professionally, without requiring them to share overly personal information about themselves.
To help you encourage positive employee relationships while respecting personal boundaries, try asking these 10 questions:
- Do you like working from home, in the office or a combination of both? Why?
This will not only provide you insight into the work options your company should provide. It will also give your staff a chance to share why they prefer a specific work setting. This will help teammates understand how each other works best, making it easier for everyone to work together.
- What’s your proudest professional achievement?
This type of question gives your team a chance to brag about themselves, while also uncovering what makes them feel most accomplished. This not only builds trust in abilities, it will also give everyone a good idea of what drives each team member.
- What is a skill that you are currently focused on improving at work?
This question will let team members know what each person is currently trying to achieve so that tasks and mentorship can be appropriately handed out. For example, if someone wants to improve their presentation skills, have them work with someone who has excellent presentation skills so that they have an opportunity to learn.
- If your job could be anything you wanted, what would it be and why?
Like the previous question, this one will provide insight into where your team members are looking and the type of work they like to do. This may help you better design team roles or give your team an opportunity to restructure positions so that everyone is doing their ideal job.
- What was your dream job growing up?
This question is a bit more playful. It is less about learning what makes your team tick and more about opening up and chatting casually with one another.
- What is the title of a book or article you recently read? (It could also be a show or movie for those who prefer screen over page.)
This question will also help your team members loosen up. One benefit of this question is that it may help find similarities between team members, which can help build connections. For example, one team member may say they are reading a book on French cuisine, which is also a pastime of someone else.
It could also have a professional context, by letting you know other areas your team is interested in. For example, maybe your copywriter is also into design. This could lead to a project where some of these personal interests can be applied to work.
- What’s the best advice you can give someone who just started their career?
This question has a great way of breaking down walls. Not only will team members get tons of great advice, but they will also learn what everyone else values. As an added bonus, this question may make team members who usually struggle to get along, find a common ground or better understand why they do things a certain way.
- How do you like to receive feedback?
This is a great way to set team members up for success when they are working on a project. That’s because it gives them a chance to share how they best receive feedback. Maybe they are totally open to negative feedback because it helps them improve or maybe they prefer the compliment sandwich. Maybe they find it easier to receive the feedback one-on-one away from the group or perhaps a quick email is ideal.
- What is one fact about yourself that you think is interesting either personally or professionally?
This is another question that lets staff share something that's important to them but also gives them an opening to share something that may not otherwise come up during a work conversation. While this question gives team members the opportunity to share personal facts about themselves, it is open ended enough that professional facts also work. That means staff can stay within their personal comfort zones.
- If you could have a personal robot assistant, what would you have it do?
This is another fun question that can also provide opportunities to redesign roles or better share responsibilities. After a team member shares their robot to do list, another member of the team may volunteer to take on the work because they find it more engaging. It may also uncover opportunities to reanalyze the importance of a task or streamline it so that it takes less time out of the employee’s day.
There’s an endless list of questions you can ask team members to help improve communication and interpersonal connections. Just remember to keep the questions professional and avoid making anybody feel stressed out or put on the spot when answering questions.
Another idea is to include the questions and answers as part of a special 'get to know your coworker day.' Teambonders has engaging team activities that will break the ice and get everyone focused on a collaborative activity such building a structure, solving an escape game or even building a bicycle for charity.
Our programs are fully customizable, and we can work with you to include company specific facts, trivia, Q&A's, in classic games and team contests. Check out our in-person and virtual team programs for corporate groups of all sizes.