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Community Agreements

Community Agreements

Healthy workplace relationships require effort. AJP’s guidance on planning for healthy relationships advises that you

  • Develop and negotiate clear work assignments
  • Offer timely, appreciative feedback to others
  • Cultivate a collaborative spirit
  • Support respectful, collegial work relationships
  • Find & encourage ways to enjoy the work of farming, feeding people, and working the land

And because conflicts and disagreements are inevitable when people work together:

  • Develop a conflict resolution process and plan/practice how people will use it when conflict arises
  • Learn & train in mediation and de-escalation skills

These points can be helpfully addressed and summed up in a set of community agreements, your team’s commitments to how they will relate to each other. Such agreements are an important part of building a healthy culture of collaboration.

Note that there are both legal and ethical limits on what an employer can require of employees, as well as limits on the consequences they can impose for violating agreements. Consult a lawyer or legal resource if you are unsure. This is also a good reason to develop workplace agreements through a collaborative process among employees and supervisors. In general, we recommend sticking to agreements that promote respect, a collaborative spirit, good communication, and diligence. The goal should be improving workplace relationships, setting boundaries, and establishing expectations for performance—not exerting rigid control over workplace behavior.

Here are a few examples of and resources for writing your own community agreements: