In the workplace, team building is forming a cohesive team that works toward a single purpose. The essence and major objective is to generate strong links and connections to form a strong team (Deiratini, 2021). Businesses and organizations benefit greatly from developing these ties through team building. Increased communication, planning skills, staff engagement, and employee participation are all advantages of team building (Deiratini, 2021). Team building provides your employees with the skills, training, and tools they require to work together effectively. However, to be truly effective, it must be a continuous process ingrained in your team and business culture.
What Is Team Building?
Team building strengthens the relationships between members of a group (Heathfield, 2021). Individual members appreciate each other's diversity while working toward common aims and objectives. Team building refers to the daily interactions that employees have while working together to do the tasks their professions need (Heathfield, 2021). This is a natural kind of team development that can be achieved if the group takes the time to develop a set of team rules. These norms guide group members' interactions within the team and with the rest of the organization.
Structured activities and exercises guided by team members can also be used to establish a team. Managers can also contract for facilitation using an external professional if they have the right budget and goals (Heathfield, 2021). External facilitation by a seasoned professional can help you increase your team-building efforts.
Whether you go the internal or external route, a team-building questionnaire is one of the tools you can use.
Purpose of Team Building Questionnaire
Teamwork is more vital than ever in business, yet getting individuals to work together toward a common goal is difficult (Simon, 2017). Strong leadership, a solid organizational framework, and the correct technology for connecting remote teams are necessary components of successful teamwork.
Of course, there are additional aspects to consider. One of the most common causes of team failure is the failure of interpersonal relationships (Simon, 2017). Politics, infighting, mistrust, and even sabotage may derail even the best-laid plans of a team leader.
To combat these challenges, use team-building questions to create and improve relationships. In addition, team-building questions boost team cohesiveness and help teams break through relationship and technology barriers (Simon, 2017). This they do by creating positive interactions that span 360 degrees, rather than merely horizontally between peers, helping teams reach their full potential. Vertically, key relationships include one's boss and direct reports. That isn't to say that everyone should be friends with their boss and subordinates (they shouldn't). However, there is considerable evidence that developing a trusting and respectful connection with your supervisor and seeing yourself as a member of their inner circle leads to higher performance (Simon, 2017).
Icebreakers (those embarrassing questions you recall answering during conference breakout sessions, orientations, and onboardings) can help you and your team establish the sense of belonging that underpins all effective teams, believe it or not (Boykin,2021). These questions are particularly effective because they allow team members to share small portions of themselves. (This is where we start building trust).
With time, these responses begin to form a fuller picture of the persons who surround us. And we can only hope to function as healthy, high-performing teams if we better understand the people we work with (Boykin, 2021). What appears to be simple inquiries can turn into effective team-building exercises.
Examples of questions asked in team-building exercises
Icebreaker Team Building Questions
Following are a list of icebreakers to get your team going:
- If you could spend a week as any animal, which would you select and why?
- Which superhero is your favorite and why?
- What is your favorite summertime activity?
- Do you own any animals?
- What was the name of your favorite pet when you were a kid?
- Which cartoon character is your favorite and why?
- In three words, describe yourself.
- What part of the country did you grow up in?
Problem-Solving Questions for Team Builders
Problem-solving questions are a subset of team-building questions that are more functional. Although they inspire people to learn about each other (as do different types of questions), team members receive practical insights through working together to solve challenges. Problem-solving questions, for example, might indicate individual thinking processes, functional strengths and limitations, and pressure tolerance.
The finest problem-solving questions include activities that add a twist to skills that participants frequently utilize in group work. These questions are best used with groups of people who are already acquainted but have never worked together before.
For team builders, here are some problem-solving questions:
Have you ever been assigned a task at work that you knew you'd struggle with? What did you do to prepare for it?
- Which emerging technology do you believe will have the greatest impact on the future?
- What three items would you bring with you if you were stuck on a desert island?
- What word would you add to the dictionary if you could?
- What technology advancement do you believe will have the greatest impact on you in the next five years?
- What would you do if you had a million dollars and just 24 hours to spend it?
- What is one ability that every person on the planet should have?
- What would you do with an extra hour each day if you had it?
- Would you rather have the ability to turn invisible or the ability to read people's minds? Why?
- Describe a time when you took a risk.
Values and Sense-of-Purpose Questions for Team Building
For colleagues who already know one another and how they're expected to work together, questions regarding values and a sense of purpose are suitable (Simon, 2017). This is because these inquiries necessitate a high level of openness and familiarity with the task at hand. As a result, they're not suited for teams getting together for the first time (Simon, 2017).
Questions about values provide beneficial insight into colleague behavior. This works well for teammates who do know one other. As a result, colleagues can appreciate one other's accomplishments to the team. Sense-of-purpose questions are a great way to instill and renew team spirit and drive (Simon, 2017). Both of these types of questions can help people feel more connected to the team and its mission.
The following are sense-of-purpose questions:
- Who do you admire the most among living people?
- What is your ideal occupation?
- Who would you choose to switch jobs with for a day if you could?
- What would you do if you had fifteen minutes of fame at your disposal?
- What is one item in your possession that you wish you didn't have?
- What is your most serious vice?
- What would you be famous for if you were famous?
- What do you consider to be the most significant characteristic of a friend?
- What's the worst job you've ever had?
- What's the cruelest thing you've ever spoken to a human being?
Sample of a good questionnaire
Click on the following link to access a sample team building questionnaire that examines team effectiveness from the perspective of eight  dimensions. The dimensions are:
- Purpose and goals
- Team processes
- Team relationships
- Intergroup relations
- Passion and commitment
- Skills and learning
Milton Jack is a Business Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a business management and human resources consulting firm.
Phone: +263 242 481946-48/481950
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