People come to work for a variety of reasons, but everyone is there to meet their own unique mix of personal needs. But what are the top 5 personal needs of each member of your team?

This was the big question posed by Nigel Risner, an expert on team performance and leadership, at the latest business breakfast meeting I hosted earlier this week, in partnership with SportsAid, the charity that supports promising young athletes and their families.

Interestingly, none of the business leaders present were able to answer that question. Yet, having everyone in your team meeting their own personal needs is a critical driver of team performance.

More interestingly, to me at least, my business Morgan Cross Consulting has only one employee – me – and I wasn’t even sure what my employee’s needs were!

After a little reflection, however, I was able to set out my own personal needs: (1) Variety – I don’t like to do the same thing twice; (2) Intellectual challenge – I like projects that get the old grey matter going; (3) A mix of analysis and creativity – I enjoy working with data to discover new insights, but equally like running sessions where we come up with creative new solutions; (4) Being part of a team – I don’t really like leading teams, but I love working with my clients as a partner and team member; and (5) Positive feedback – I don’t need big eulogies, but react positively to genuine encouragement and appreciation.

Now it’s your turn. What are the top 5 personal needs that you’re looking to meet from your work? And, even more importantly, what are the top 5 needs of each member of your team?

Off The Record: If You Don’t Know Me By Now by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes (written by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff)

If you don’t know me by now,

You will never, never, never know me,

Now all the things that we’ve been through,

You should understand me,

Like I understand you.