create a 2020 Team environment agreement

The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to set up an agreed way of how you will operate as a team. I am not talking about what work needs to be done or KPI’s. I mean what kind of environment do we want to be in when we are at work. We spend a lot of our time at work so we should decide what place we want that to be.

As a team when this is done together, you end up getting everyone’s contribution and buy in to the process. From construction teams to accountants and early educators, when I have facilitated these types of meetings there has been a common theme emerge. The common theme is that everybody wants to be in a happy, respectful, non-judgemental environment. Everyone wants to feel valued and have some fun too.

By setting the environment from the beginning of the year you get to determine and choose how your team wants it to be. The advantages include:

  • Facilitates a clear understanding of our environment and responsibilities
  • Helps manage expectations
  • Promotes transparency, accountability and consistency
  • Supports cooperative and collaborative working environment
  • Focuses on continuous improvement

If you want to create a positive environment in your team, here are 3 simple steps to follow to create a Team Environment Agreement:

  1. What environment do we want to work in?

This is a brain storming session where all team members contribute to the environment they want to work in. This may include behaviours, communication methodology, general feel of the environment and what is zero tolerance. It is recommended that a manifest be developed and displayed visually in the team area.


  1. Who do we need to be, and how do we need to ‘show up’ to create the agreed environment?

Gaining commitment of how individuals will behave and ‘show up’ to work to ensure the agreed environment is met. Ask the question “who do I need to be to contribute to creating the agreed environment?”


  1. How do we hold each other accountable?

It is important that this becomes an ongoing conversation and revisited regularly. The team members need to agree on a respectful and a non-judgemental way of holding each other accountable to the agreed environment. This could be a statement or a word or even a symbol (like handing the person a toy). It is a means to saying ‘are you ok?’ in a respectful, agreed non-judgement way.


Be sure to get every team member involved, make it a fun meeting and document what is said. This will set the tone for your team environment in 2020.

Good luck!