Please support the development of this toolkit by signing our guestbook or donating if you're able.
Respect, Behavior, & Expectations

Respect, Behavior, & Expectations

Setting expectations with community agreements

AJP standards require that employers treat all employees with respect and dignity.

Workplaces, like every community, function best when their members relate to each other in healthy, respectful ways. “Community agreements” are a tool for setting both boundaries and aspirations for behavior and ways of relating. Importantly, this does not mean imposing uniformity or one culture’s notions of proper behavior: community agreements should be written and maintained together, with sensitivity and attention to the diverse needs and expectations of the individual team members.

The simplest community agreements are like those found in the AJP’s Model Handbook for Farm Employees, which set basic expectations about diligence and attention to work tasks, good two-way communication, respect and courtesy, and nonviolence. As required by the AJP standards, these agreements also forbid harassment or intimidation of any kind.

We have also gathered some excellent examples and resources for writing community agreements from Rock Steady Farm, Soul Fire Farm, and others, that offer more specific agreements for how to engage with each other respectfully, create a caring and inclusive workplace, and deal with concerns and disagreements when they arise.

Skills for working together #

Alongside community agreements, it’s also important to build the skills necessary for your team to work together well and stay resilient amidst the inevitable friction that arises when people share space. We share some skill-building resources for conflict resolution that are helpful in this regard, too: