From Team Member to Team Leader, Questions to Ask Employees

Preparing for your first meeting as a new team leader? Here's how to make a great first impression.

May 2, 2023
Press the button to generate random icebreaker questions.
There are 300 more icebreaker questions at the bottom of the article
How would you describe your job to a five year old?
What season would you be?
What is a weird food you have tried? Would you eat it again?
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Would you go in the mother-ship with aliens if they landed on Earth tomorrow?
What is your favorite season?
Do prefer working from home or the office?
What is your earliest memory of this job?
What is the best thing you have bought so far this year?
What is the earliest book you remember?
If you had to move to another country, which one would you choose?
You are the best criminal mastermind in the world. What crime would you commit if you knew you would get away with it?
What is your favorite movie genre to watch?
What was the last thing you ate?
What person from history would you add to Mount Rushmore?
What is a weird fact you know?
What is your favorite part of working from home?
Were the Spice Girls a good team?
Imagine you can instantly learn any language. Which would you choose?
If you could live in any state, which state would you pick?
Which fictional team is the best team of all time?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
What do you usually eat for a quick lunch?
What simple food will you never eat?
Show us the weirdest thing you have in the room with you right now.
Would you rather stay at a hotel or an AirBNB?
What is your favorite movie genre to watch?
Are you more productive in the morning or at night?
Who is someone in your community that makes a difference?
Who was your most unique pet?
Choose one famous person from history you want on your team during a zombie apocalypse.
What is a good way to give back to the community?
Which song could you listen to over and over again?
Is Hugh Grant funny?
What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
Would you want to have an imaginary friend today? Did you have one as a child?
What actor or actress would you want to play you in the movie about your life?
What is the best super power?
What is your New Years resolution?
You can only eat one food again for the rest of your life. What is it?
What is the best work holiday?
What is the first gift you remember receiving?
Would you rather join Metallica or Backstreet Boys?
What is the best example of a community you have seen?
What is an easy way to do something nice for someone?
Show us your phone background and tell the story behind why you picked this image.
What was your first job?
Pick any band to play at your funeral.
If you could have an unlimited supply of one thing for the rest of your life, what would you pick?
Which superpower would you give to your arch enemy?
What is the most obscure superpower you would want?
What emoji best describes how you are feeling right now?
If you could live in any country, which country would you pick?
Would you rather live in a city or a town?
What is your favorite holiday?
What is something you accomplished as part of a team?
What is your standard office lunch?
What is your most used phone app?
What is your favorite season?
Have you ever won something as a team?
Imagine you are a professional baseball player. What is your introduction song?
Beach holiday or ski trip?
Have you ever been to a funny comedy show?
Would you rather live at the North Pole or the South Pole?
What is your favorite song to sing?
If you could live in any state, which state would you pick?
Imagine you could teleport anywhere. Where would you go right now?
What is the most unusual job you have heard of?
What was the last thing you ate?
You can visit any fictional time or place. Which would you pick?
What do your family and friends think you do all day?
What movie do you wish you could watch again for the first time?
Show us your most-used emoji.
What was the most unique style or fashion trend you ever embraced?
What movie defined your generation?
You are stranded on a remote desert island. Are you alone or with your worst enemy?
What is your favorite knock-knock joke?
Have you ever told someone Santa is not real?
Do you know how to speak more than one language?
On a scale of 1 – 10, how much of a team player are you?
What is your #1 recommendation in this city?
What is your favorite holiday?
What bucket list item do you most want to check off in the next six months?
What is your favorite mythical creature?
What was the first way you made money?
If you could be great at any Olympic sport, which would it be?
Which song could you listen to over and over again?
When did you start liking/hating mushrooms?
Where is your favorite vacation spot?
Do you take your PTO all at one time, or another way?
Which show do you remember most from your childhood?
Which beverage goes best with pizza?
Would you want to have a personal assistant follow you around everywhere and do what you asked of them?
Have you ever met your idol?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Would you rather live 100 years in the past or 100 years in the future?
What is your hobby?
When you are alone in the car, what volume is the music at?
Imagine you no longer have to work. How would you spend a Tuesday?
What is your favorite type of sandwich?

Becoming a team leader is both exciting and demanding. And just like every critical phase, it comes with its peculiar challenges. 

One common one is gaining the trust and support of colleagues who were probably friends and peers. Hence, one of your first objectives will be getting them on board.

New roles and responsibilities define this phase, often representing a positive step toward attaining professional excellence. It’s an opportunity to inspire and influence key decisions actively. 

This article will guide you through effectively transitioning from team member to team leader, highlighting questions and best practices.

How Do You Transition From Team Member To Team Leader?

A constant objective of every team is to be more effective and efficient at reaching its goals than its members could do alone. The first step to smoothly transitioning into a team leader is figuring out how to achieve this. But that’s not all. 

Here are five steps to make your transition smoother: 

  1. Create a leadership persona
  2. Make communication a priority
  3. Foster teamwork
  4. Workforce development
  5. Schedule personalised meetings
  1. Create a leadership persona.

Your leadership style reflects your team management skills and influences how your team members relate to you. 

An authentic and empathetic leadership persona produces better results, allowing you to set boundaries while being kind and approachable. Importantly, your management style must motivate and guide the team towards fulfilling a shared vision.

  1. Make communication a priority.

As the team manager, you must keep the lines of communication open. Actively obtaining employee feedback, providing guidance, and constructive criticism are necessary. It allows you to clearly define the team's objectives and your expectations of individual team members.

It's best practice to schedule retrospective meetings where you discuss progress, challenges and strategic plans. Routine retrospective meetings motivate employees and keep them fully abreast of their responsibilities.

  1. Foster teamwork

Teamwork is about collaborations and effective partnerships. And the team management transition is smoother when you can leverage existing relationships to build a strong team with a positive culture. 

Teamwork begins by first gaining the trust and respect of your team because when morale is low, your primary assignment as the team manager is to maintain the connection.

By promoting a culture of inclusiveness, team members can freely share their opinions on how to achieve goals. They’re also more comfortable providing honest feedback and willing to seek guidance.

Assembly has the best ideas, team activities and strategies to keep your team connected. Try some today.

  1. Workforce development

A team's success depends on team members' success in their respective roles. And as a team manager, you're to inspire, mentor and coach.

So, being open to professional development helps you prioritize policies and resources, enabling employees to develop their expertise further. 

  1. Schedule personalized meetings

A one-on-one meeting with team members provides more insights than general team check-ins. It's a critical step in the team development process.

Having one-on-one discussions with your team members informs you of their expertise level, strengths, weaknesses, goals and personal development plans. 

It also enables you to address aspects of workflow where employees desire improvements. And making these changes will help secure the support and cooperation of your team members. 

What Questions Should A New Manager Ask Their Team?

As a new manager on unfamiliar ground, asking questions is the best way to grasp the situation. You're better equipped to lead when you get to know the team better. So, curate questions that will enable you to obtain honest feedback from your team.

Some questions to ask your new team members to get you started include: 

  1. What are your professional targets?

Awareness of employees' professional goals and aspirations helps you develop workable frameworks and opportunities that assist employees in attaining optimal levels of professional development. 

This question sets you on the right path early in team management, allowing you to increase team morale and commitment.

  1. What's your favorite aspect of work?

Knowledge about which tasks they enjoy doing plays a role when delegating tasks. 

When employees are assigned tasks they enjoy doing, they're much more eager to execute them. What follows is increased team productivity. According to Gallup, employees whose managers focus on their strengths report higher engagement.

  1. What are your current challenges?

You can only implement necessary changes when you have sufficient information. You first need to understand the limitations experienced by your team members before you can proffer the best solution.

So, asking your team about the challenges affecting their work productivity is essential. 

  1. What's your preferred means of communication?

Communication styles may vary within the team for different reasons - virtual, physical, instant messaging, calls, etc. And while you may only be able to cater to some, it helps to have the information when creating communication guidelines, especially if you're managing a remote team.

It also lets you know the quickest way to get a response from your team members. Plus, employees feel respected when you pay attention to their preferences.

  1. How would you like to receive feedback?

This is a great question to ask when taking over a new department. 

Some people prefer in-person feedback, while others prefer virtual feedback, such as emails. Correspondingly, some people will opt to receive feedback on a routine basis, such as scheduled weekly or monthly check-ins, and some want their feedback in real-time.

A huge part of being a team manager involves providing and receiving feedback. Establishing the frequency and delivery format at the commencement of your tenure is essential. 

  1. What were the policies of the previous manager that you liked or disliked?

Mistakes are lessons when you learn from them. You don't want to start with the same errors as the previous manager. In the same vein, maintaining existing policies that worked is a great move.

Inquire about what worked, what’s still working, and what can be improved. To encourage honest feedback, you can obtain the responses anonymously

The responses will provide a mental picture of your team's ideal working relationship with team leaders, whether they prefer supervision or can work with little or none. This guides you in developing a managerial approach that's best suited for the team. 

What Should A New Manager Do In The First 90 Days?

The first 90 days as a new manager allow you to prove your capability. Your performance during this period is a reliable indicator of success in this new role. 

Hence, your primary aim should be to set up a workflow that guarantees the smooth running of your team and ensure team members align with it

In your first 90 days as a new manager, you should:

  1. Identify your priority projects.

Getting caught up with many things to do or change is easy, even on the first day, but it’s best to slow down and hierarchize. To succeed as a team manager, you must hack the art of prioritizing top projects. 

Using SWOT analysis, you can rank the projects into different priority levels based on impact and feasibility of completion.

  1. Clearly define the team's goals and objectives.

When people work towards achieving a shared vision, they're more motivated and committed.

It’s crucial to state what the team intends to achieve over a period - monthly, quarterly, etc. Attach specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound goals to each priority project for the team. 

Most importantly, ensure you involve team members in the goal-setting process. It fosters trust and respect in the team.

  1. Delegate, delegate, delegate

It's a team. So, don't assume team managers are to run every aspect of the workflow. 

Delegating tasks effectively is a core team management skill. Assign tasks to your team members according to their strengths and weaknesses. And request progress reports after meetings.

What Do You Say In The First Meeting With A New Team?

You can begin the meeting with icebreakers to douse the tension. Or personal but fun questions such as:

  • What are your hobbies outside work?
  • Who is your favorite artist?
  • What is your favorite snack?
  • What's your dream travel destination?
  • What's your favorite TV show? 

To get the meeting back on track after the icebreaker, you can:

  • Start with an enthusiastic statement expressing your eagerness to work with the team on high-impact projects. 
  • Next, present the organization's overall aim and reiterate the team's core objectives. 
  • Conclude by letting team members know you're open to ideas on how the team can fulfil its objectives satisfactorily.

Leading The Way

Leading the way is the most challenging and exciting part of transitioning to a team manager. Your ability to influence and lead others well is a function of being self-aware and ready to learn and grow.

Leadership is a beautiful experience. It's a significant milestone, both professionally and personally. So, it's important to be confident in your abilities and consciously evolve by acquiring new skills and unlearning old ways. 

Become better at being a team leader by using Assembly’s productive team management software. Book a free demo today!

Browse our Free Employee Recognition Guide

Get the foundational knowledge on creating an employee recognition program that boosts employee engagement and helps them feel valued.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Assembly SOC 2 compliant?

Yes, at Assembly, security is a top priority. Each quarter, we have ongoing security work that is everyone’s responsibility. While we maintain a strong security posture, it was important for us to prove to our customers that we do everything we claim to do. This led us to pursue a SOC 2 Type II report that would provide evidence of our compliance with industry gold-standard security practice.

What's the ROI for employee recognition?

There is study after study showing that employee recognition leads to increased engagement. This in return creates an environment where employees are happier and more motivated which increase productivity and reduces voluntary turnover significantly. In order to filled critical roles, companies tend to spend nearly twice the value of an annual salary. Assembly is an investment in your employees that supports your bottom line.

Does Assembly offer longer-term contracts?

Yes, we will offer contracts for companies with longer-term agreements to help larger customers have more certainty around future costs.

The minimum agreement term is a 12-month subscription.

Does Assembly offer onboarding support?

We do and for FREE! Any new customer needing further support to get started with Assembly to ensure you're set up for success can request custom onboarding support. Improving your employee experience is about much more than just using our amazing software; it’s about transforming your business to create a workplace that people love. That’s much easier to do with the personal support and advice from our passionate people experts.

Is there a free version of Assembly?

Yes. We offer a completely free plan for up to 50 team members. This plan is intended for teams or organizations that are looking to get started with an employee engagement tool. Keep in mind, this plan is limited in features.

All customers can open an Assembly account for free and get started without a credit card. Then you can change plans as necessary.

How much do rewards cost?

At the time of redemption (when your employees exchange their points for a paid reward) you'll pay face value. If a reward is a $10 Amazon gift card, your cost will be $10. All paid rewards are billed for on a monthly basis.

The good news is that you don't have to pay for rewards upfront because we only charge you when points are redeemed, not when they're earned.

Does Assembly offer discounts?

We offer discounts or educational or charitable organizations. In order to secure a discount, you'll first need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

For all other organizations, we are willing to consider longer-term agreements in exchange for discounts. To set up annual plans or longer, you will need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

How do I cancel my plan if needed?

If you're on a month to month plan, you can go here and cancel anytime. If you're having concerns or need help setting up your account for success, you can always book a demo with a customer support specialist.

If you're on a longer-term custom plan, you'll need to reach out to your customer support specialist to cancel your account or email us at

What customizations are available?

Great question! You can customize your core values to match your organization's to boost and track alignment. You can change your currency from the 🏆 emoji (our default) to any emoji of your choice. You can swap our logo for your own. You can also set up company culture rewards such as, "Lunch with the CEO," "Buy a book on us," and so much more!

Who can give or receive recognition?

While we recommend a peer to peer set up where anyone in your organization can give or receive recognition, you can set up Assembly however you want. If you need to limit the people who can give or receive recognition, that's perfectly fine and can be done from your Admin, here.

What integrations are available?

Assembly connects to the tools your employees use every day to offer an easy, seamless experience with minimal change management.  

Assembly has integrations with HCM/HRIS systems like ADP, Google, Office 365, and Slack. We also integrate with communication tools like Slack and Teams so you and your employees can access Assembly wherever they work now.

What's your average adoption rate?

That depends on the company's permissions set up. That said, over 90% of the employees on Assembly's platform are recognized on a monthly basis. That means nearly every employee across all of our customers are receiving regular recognition from their peers, managers, or leadership. We're extremely proud of this.

Must rewards be set up to use Assembly?

They are not required. You can use Assembly without having rewards set up. However, we don't recommend it if you intend to have a high adoption and usage rate. You can always keep the costs down by offering internal culture rewards that are fulfilled by you internally.

Are points required to use Assembly?

No, you can remove allowances from anyone or everyone. It's up to you but we do recommend using points whether they're worth a real dollar value or not. Companies that use points have a much higher engagement rate even if those points don't exchange for real dollars.

Could find the answer you are looking for?

Please schedule time with an expert and we will help you to get all your questions answered