When I talk about social contracts on my workshops, I always remember people that we are social, we need contracts to live in society, it’s not different inside a team.
For new teams formation, social contracts are fundamental to ensure alignment and set expectations.
But it can also be a good tool for teams already formed. Normally, teams that been working together for quite some time may think that things are ok, but not always what is clear to me, is clear to everyone.
That’s why when we start creating the social contract, with each ones opinions in post-its and then using cluster techniques to group ideas, people can get surprised with the results.
Social contracts are good to bring the team’s attention to behaviors that need to be avoided, as getting late to meetings, and the ones the team want to cherish, as not being afraid of asking questions.
And for the doubt: what if someone from the team disrespect the contract?
On some situations, a talk may be required, to align and avoid the situation to reoccur, remember your values!
Or, individuals that break a social contracts rule as be on time for a meeting, can have to pay a coffee to other team members.
Remember that the goal is to create a good environment for work and have fun!