Think about your current team. Chances are you’re working on a remote team, or you’re working on a team that’s had at least one new member join the team within the last year. So let’s go ahead and address the elephant in the room: working with a disconnected team that doesn’t really know each other sucks. We know how bad it is to sit through a 60 minute zoom meeting that’s full of silence and forced attempts for conversation and dialogue. The only thing that might be worse is enduring a meeting that could have been an email. 

We’re here to help you try to avoid that pain all together by providing you with solutions to increase your team connectivity. Afterall, with the increase in remote work and employee turnover, team building is now more important than ever. So what is the purpose of team building anyway? 

Team building is a process that involves individuals coming together to find common ground, establish trust, and strengthen relationships. One way to build trust, respect, and a sense of community is to proactively ask questions. Team-building questions can help you:

  1. Connect with people easily.
  2. Determine whether your team members have similar interests or goals.
  3. Learn about essential moments in their lives that caused them to take the career path they did.

In this article, we’ll explain what team-building questions are and why they’re important. We’ll also share some great examples you can use at work to get to know your team members better.

 

What Are Team-Building Questions?

Team-building questions are designed to help people learn more about each other  and their team as a whole. They’re typically asked in a group setting because they encourage interaction and get people thinking about their answers. They can be used as team icebreakers before meetings or when meeting someone for the first time.

Questions that you might ask in a team-building setting can range from simple to complex. The goal, however, is always the same: to connect with the people you’re working with. When asking a variety of questions and listening to what others have to say, people feel more comfortable around each other and start building relationships.

 

Importance of Team-Building Questions

Taking the time to get your team involved with icebreaker questions at the start of meetings can be a great way to start building the foundation of trust. We know, sometimes those icebreakers can be awkward, but trust us when we say they have a purpose. Asking questions is important because they’re a great tool for creating connections. They also serve as a great way to get to know people better.

If you have a remote or hybrid team, asking questions may be one of the most effective ways to get to know each other. Asking thoughtful questions will help you learn more about your team members and help them feel more comfortable around you. You  might even be relieved to hear that after starting a few meetings with those icebreaker questions, things will start to get less awkward.

Examples of Team-Building Questions

There are a variety of different kinds of questions you can ask that will aid in creating strong and cohesive teams.

1. Background Questions

Background questions ask about a person’s history, such as where they are from, what their upbringing was like, or what the most significant milestones in their life were. You might find out that a coworker went to high school in Italy, or was born in Japan. These kinds of questions can help you better understand your teammates and build stronger relationships with them.

An example of a useful background question would be, “What was your favorite childhood game?” This can give clues into the type of problem-solving they enjoy and what their upbringing was like. Who knows —maybe several members of your team can bond over being into Monopoly as children. Other types of background questions could include:

  • What did you want your profession to be growing up?
  • What is something most people wouldn’t know about you?
  • Do you speak more than one language? Is there a reason you learned it?
  • What are some things you’re passionate about outside of work?
  • If you’re not from the city that you’re currently living in, how did you end up here?

2. Funny or Random Questions

Funny or random questions are not directly related to any particular situation. Funny questions can be an effective way to break the ice, while random questions can rally the team and bring them closer together. Funny or random questions are great because they’ll make your teammates laugh and keep them engaged. They’re more fun to answer, and they can help lighten the mood if things start to get tense or serious. Team-building questions for work are one of the best ways to build relationships and have fun while doing it. This type of question could be something like:

  • What is the best prank you’ve ever pulled?
  • What is your worst habit?
  • What is the silliest thing you believed as a child?
  • What do you think is overrated?
  • What is your phone wallpaper?

3. Would You Rather Questions

“Would you rather” questions force you to determine which choice is better. This is a good tool for team building because it encourages critical thinking and gets people talking. For example, if someone asks, “Would you rather have the ability to understand any language or be able to fly?” Those who answer will then have to explain their reasoning.

Similarly, what-if questions will allow your teammates to think about hypothetical situations, which is a great way for them to show off their creativity or problem-solving skills. You can ask them about things like what they would do in a zombie apocalypse (or other exciting scenarios). Both of these types of questions lend themselves easily to fun, low-pressure discussions. Some lighthearted “would you rather” questions include: 

  • Would you rather travel to space or travel to the past?
  • Would you rather be on a game show or a reality show?
  • Would you rather choose to always have a full phone battery or a full tank of gas?
  • Would you rather travel by plane or by car?

4. Hobby Questions

Hobby questions help people relate to each other more by learning how team members spend their time outside of work. For example, if someone asks, “What do you like to do in your spare time?” you can use it as an opportunity to share something specific about yourself. You can also ask people whether they have hobbies that are similar to yours, which will help bond you with the person asking the question and create a deeper connection. Other examples include:

  • What talent do you wish you had?
  • What would you do if money and time were not an issue?
  • What is your favorite video game?

5. Food-Related Questions

If there’s one universal language, it’s food. There are few topics that will get your team more animated than talking about the amazing new restaurant they tried last night or the dish only their grandma can make to perfection. Some great food-related questions to get the conversation going include:

  • What is your favorite meal to make?
  • If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  • What is the best meal you’ve ever had and why?
  • What is your least favorite kind of food?

6.“If You Could” Questions

Questions that begin with “if you could” challenge your team members to imagine a particular scenario. For example, “if you could travel anywhere, where would you go?”. These kinds of questions uncover the values your team members have and help you learn what’s most important to them.

  • If you could solve one social issue, which would it be?
  • If you could live anywhere, where would you live?
  • If you could turn one day into an additional weekend day, which day would you choose?
  • If you could get free items from any one store, which store would you choose?
  • If you could live in any decade, which would it be?

Above all, the most important takeaway is that the questions you ask must be open-ended. If the answers are “yes” or “no”, you walk away with next to no new knowledge about your team members. Before your next meeting or team-building event, have a few of these questions on hand so you can start having engaging and informative conversations with your coworkers.

 

You spend a lot of time at work — make things more enjoyable by building stronger relationships with your team. A team that feels comfortable with one another will be happier, healthier, and productive in the long run. When your teams enjoy working together, you’re on the right track to a thriving organizational culture that attracts and retains the best talent available.

Team-building questions are only the beginning of creating strong teams. Are you ready to take your company culture further? Talk to a Gympass wellbeing specialist today and give your most valuable assets the support they need to remain healthy, happy, and engaged in improving themselves as they improve your business.

 

References:

  • Herrity, Jannifer. (October 28, 2022). 75 Creative Team-Building Questions To Build Trust at Work. Indeed. Retrieved November 8, 2022 from https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/team-building-questions.
  • Robinson, Angela. (September 21, 2022). Team Building Questions for Work: #1 List in 2022. Teambuilding.com. Retrieved November 8, 2022 from https://teambuilding.com/blog/team-building-questions.
  • The 400 Best Team Building Icebreaker Questions for Work. (September 7, 2022). Outback Team Building & Training. Retrieved November 8, 2022 from https://www.outbackteambuilding.com/blog/team-building-questions-icebreakers/.