5 questions to ask yourself to help build connection with your team

Now more than ever, the ability to connect with your team is absolutely essential.

Getting to know your team well, what they like/don’t like, what they value/don’t value and what motivates/does not motivate them are just some of the key things that are critical for you to learn about your team members. It takes time and ongoing effort, but maintaining those relationships is well worth it and will help you build a stronger relationship with them.

1. What are your team member’s story?

Do you know your team’s background? What is their story? Where did they go to school or what did they study? What career did they always want/did they know? What were there previous challenges and what are things they are super proud of achieving?

Have they travelled? What are their cultural beliefs and so on….are just some examples of questions that are super useful to ask and if you can answer them, will indicate how well you know your team.

Suggested Tip – Let’s get to know each other better! This is a great one to do over coffee and a 1 on 1 with your team if you don’t know the answer. Ask them about them and tell them about yourself.

2. What are your team member’s values?

Values driven businesses will certainly be important for the future and truly understanding both your company values AND non-values will be critical. If you don’t know what your company’s are……STOP – let’s get onto that straight away and please feel free to reach out if you need some help with this.

Once you have this clear, you can set really clear behavioural expectations and these should be infiltrated through all of your HR platforms such as recruitment, reference checking, onboarding, performance development and management, promotions and so on.

However, on an individual basis, it is also super important to know what your team members value. For example, if a team members top 5 values are Fun, Creativity, Innovation, Influence and Customer Centric and you have them isolated in a routine role in a cubicle, it is probably not going to rock their world.

The values, in order that a team member gives you will provide invaluable insight of the type of organisation and leader they want to work for and how they want to be treated.

Suggested Tip – rather than just asking your team member what they value, have an existing list of values written down or on a board and ask them to select their top values in order and share why they have picked them in that order and why they are so important.

3. What motivates your team members?

Team member motivators are certainly changing. For example, ‘Staff drinks’ used to be a good, traditional motivator however in today’s world, sometimes this can do the opposite. A team member could be doing keto, a health kick, dry July or be dealing with an alcohol abuse problem and avoiding it all together, so…it is important to actually understand the motivators within your team that they actually value.

Is it money, well being, purpose, flexibility, career progression, training/education, security, supportive environment etc etc.

Suggested Tip – This can be asked one on one or via specific targeted survey. Not all surveys need to be full engagement surveys, some may be shorter and more targeted. To note – if you send a quick touchpoint survey/question – you need to explain the why you are asking the question and what you intend on doing with the information.

4. What would be helpful to each of your team member’s personal circumstances right now? (ie time off for study/care, responsibilities, financial planner, time away etc)

Each of your team could be experiencing entirely different personal situations at the moment subject to their personal goals and how COVID is impacting them and their partners or families.

For example, partners could be made redundant, family members may be moving in together to reduce costs, team members could be looking after aging parents or may just have a newborn in their world; some could be looking to try and buy a house; some could be looking to lose weight or give up smoking.

Understanding your team members personal goals will help you establish if there is anything you can do to assist and understand and/or empathise with that they may be going through.

Suggested Tip – This is definitely best asked 1 on 1 as part of general check in on team members and how they are doing? If you don’t have routine check in periods where you simply ask team member if they are ok and how they are going you should definitely add this into your annual routines and then this question, would nicely just roll on to this.

5. How do you connect with and involve your team on an ongoing basis?

Involving your team in key decisions, strategies and decisions and regular communication are just some ways that will help you onboard your team to what you are trying to achieve. One off communication is rarely effective on its own. More regular feedback and communication rhythms with purpose will help build trust around transparency of communication and provide regular opportunities for involvement.

Suggested Tip – build a communication rhythm but start with asking yourself, what do people what to know in your organisation and how/when can you communication them.


We cover some of these processes in our next 6 week Management Acceleration Program. Want to know more, click here https://90dca.com.au/manage