Ever heard any of these lines uttered at work?
- “Well, on our Zoom call a couple of weeks ago you said…”
- “Didn’t I Slack you about that last month?”
- “Remember in the meeting when we agreed…”
Confusion around agreements is rampant in every organization we’ve ever joined. In fact, we’ve noticed confusion increases with the remoteness of the team.
Yes, setting appropriate roles and role accountabilities helps solve some of these issues. But what about inter-team values, intra-team working methods, and dispute resolution methods? We view these as longer-term, meta frameworks. As such, we are huge proponents of Agreements.
What are agreements (besides being things you agree to)? We think of agreements as documents that stakeholders review, edit, and sign. Once signed, they can be referenced whenever confusion erupts. However, taking the time to write, review, and edit an agreement diminishes confusion from even happening in the first place.
Agreements can (should) be changed and re-signed based on changing team dynamics. Nothing is static in the Future of Work.
Agreements are one of those examples where the upfront time to get them right has a clear long-term payoff as confusion about working methods/styles/values/accountabilities diminish.
Put another way: The teams who take the time to set-up an agreement framework save time, energy, and emotion long-term.
Don’t be lazy. Make agreements a part of your working methods.