50+ Sample Group Contract Templates

What Is a Group Contract?

Every individual is unique. For that reason, working in a group of people with different personalities can be challenging. That is when a group contract comes to play. When a team of students has a project plan to complete, they can write down their expectations, roles, rules, and obligations in a contract to make each member of the group useful and accountable. In other words, a group contract formalizes the responsibility of each group member. Typically, a group agreement contains the following information: contact information and names of group members, expectations, specific duties, the term of tasks, processes, methods, and signatures of all group members.

In a study conducted by Johnson et al. in 2014, 168 studies of students show that undergraduates who joint group works have more achievements compared to students who work alone.

Also, Attle and Baker point out that about 80% of employees work together in teams.

Moreover, the Census Bureau reports that there were about 5.6 million employer establishments in the U.S. in the year 2016.

Qualities of an Excellent Group Member

In collaborations, a combination of personalities may repel or attract. So, it is crucial to choose and keep members with good personality traits. The following are qualities you should look for in an individual.

Self-aware. To become a good team player, one must be aware of both his strengths and weaknesses. Self-awareness is accepting what your weaknesses are while focusing on improving your strengths. One should be able to face his weaknesses and sharpen his other skills to make himself valuable to his employer. You can also apply this idea in education. For example, students who are working on a group school project must determine the strengths of each member and assign a specific task that fits a member’s particular strength. Therefore, every member must be an expert in his discipline because this is how a team reaches its full potential.Seeks growth. One shouldn’t stop at what one already knows because we live in an age where change is rapid and constant. With that said, skills that are valuable today may be outdated the next day. An excellent team member makes time to improve his talents and add something new to his knowledge and skills. A team member who seeks personal growth does not only infect other members to do the same, but he also offers new information that will solve problems arising within an organization. One great example is Mindvalley company. The company demands its workers to spend at least 5 hours of working time developing a skill or learning something new.Dependable. Before employers agree to sign a work contract agreement, they consider an individual’s personality traits rather than skills, especially when reliability is on the mark. A person who has an extraordinary skill set but is slothful in doing his job can be a bad influence on other team members. Note that there are factors that affect an employee’s reliability. For example, a group or team member who does his best on his tasks but is not commended by his work, may become unmotivated and unreliable in time. So, if an employee’s working environment doesn’t encourage reliability, you don’t expect that company to have reliable employees.Honest. Every team member must be honest, especially when it comes to owning their mistakes. Even employers are aware that nobody is perfect. So, when a member shifts the blame to another, it may cause some disturbance within the organization. Yes, it is hard to handle bad news, but one can only find a solution once one accepts the truth. When team members build their relationships based on honesty, they can form deeper connections and better outcomes for the institution.Positive. One doesn’t have to be gleeful to show positivity because one can modestly show this trait. Positivity is about a person’s mindset. When an individual is positive, he will see all his failures as an opportunity to grow. Also, he will try to find solutions to problems instead of blame-shifting them to his colleagues. According to research studies, positive employees show more productivity by 12%. Moreover, a happy worker infects his co-workers with the same attitude. Note that most laborers’ motivation in work declines because of a manager who gets credit alone for the accomplishment of a project contract.Sensitive. Treat people the way you want them to treat you. That is the gold standard for being empathic. One should be sensitive to how his other teammates feel about him. It is about being able to put oneself in the shoes of another and seeing another person’s perspective. Moreover, empathy is something that one can develop because it is not a fixed trait. One should learn how to listen to one’s colleagues and try to assess their state of mind when communicating. For example, if a co-worker is wearing his headphones, that indicates that he doesn’t want to be disturbed. When one learns how to respect others’ boundaries, others will find it easy to work with one.Communicates well. Lousy communication may lead to confusion among team members. Good communication skills are a requirement for every person who works in a team. One must know and learn how to give thoughtful and constructive criticism. One may be criticizing another for a useful purpose, but another team member may find it as an offense if one is tactless. By appreciating a teammate’s work, one can then explain a way to do it in a better manner. In this way, the criticism will yield a positive result for the team. Additionally, being able to communicate well means knowing when to speak up and when to be silent.Confident. We usually link confidence with people who are extroverts, but it is more than that. Bear in mind that people would want to work with a confident person. Why? Here are some reasons: (1) A confident person is less insecure. Therefore, you expect him not to gossip about other professionals. (2) A confident person often gives compliments to his colleagues rather than slander them. (3) A confident individual doesn’t overreact to criticism. Instead, they use feedback as an opportunity to make improvements.Attentive. An excellent worker pays attention to details. For example, a detail-oriented writer meticulously proofreads his work before publishing it. Also, it is hard to imagine a team member who is an editor and is not attentive to details—being detail-oriented means paying attention to small things where people tend to be oblivious. In Mathematics, one incorrect number or operation used in a formula will result in a wrong answer. The same is true when solving a problem within a group. One can depend on attentive employees to find out the cause of the issue.Persistent. An inspiring quotation by Winston Churchill says, “Success means tripping over one failure to another without losing enthusiasm.” When you accept difficulties and strive to get up when you stumble, you will be successful. One example is Mr. Thomas Edison, who failed 10,000 times or more before he triumphantly created a functional light bulb. You can see his invention everywhere because of his persistence. By having persistent team members, you will have a motivated and better working atmosphere.

How To Effectively Work in a Group

Group work or teamwork is a great opportunity for workers or students to take benefit of the strengths of other members. In a classroom setting, group work can sometimes be stressful if members don’t organize. So, here are the steps to follow to work in a group under a school group agreement effectively.

Step 1: Set the Roles of Each Team Member

This can’t be a problem in a work setting since well-established companies already have an organizational chart at hand. In an academic setting, students may assign different roles to different members according to their level of commitment. The following are some roles a student may take while working in a group: (1) Leader. The leader’s role is to lead the discussions, motivate his team members, encourage brainstorming, guide conversations, and address his group’s questions. (2) Organizer. The organizer’s role is to schedule meetings, check if the project is on track, and take note of everything. (3) Editor. The editor edits the final work and collects the reports of team members. (4) Researcher. The researcher’s work is to research some topics, present reliable information, and provide credible sources for the project. (5) Writer. The writer writes the report. (6) Presenter. The presenter creates the whole presentation and presents the work to the class.

Step 2: Make a Timeline

Creating a timeline is vital so that group members will keep track of their progress for whatever role they are taking. Without a specific timeline, group members will not feel obligated to complete each of their tasks. Therefore, a timeline set in a team contract is crucial to keep the project going until the very last second.

Step 3: Schedule Meetings Regularly

Group meetings don’t always have to be in person. A leader can decide to hold a meeting online using Skype or other applications that will work for the team. Also, members can organize their projects through email by sharing their research and notes conveniently.

Step 4: Create a Plan for Communication

To prevent contract disputes, members must agree on rules for communication. For example, if one member misses a scheduled meeting, he must cover up for his absence by reading the notes taken by the organizer when possible. So, if a member consistently fails to communicate or be productive, he will not receive credit for the group project.

FAQs

Who creates the group contract?

A college instructor or group member can create a group contract. Everyone can use the same agreement, or individual groups can outline their own in writing. Every contract must set all the expectations it demands from all team members, and all must abide by the stipulations of the contract.

What is a working contract?

In a company setting, a working agreement defines how group members must work together as a team to provide an environment free from worries and open for exploration. The working agreement’s function includes determining how a group will work as a unit and encouraging positive behavior. For a working contract to work, it must have SMART goals.

What are “ground” rules?

Ground rules spell out how individual members should act towards other members of the group. These written rules must be concise, consistent, and followed. The absence of ground rules triggers natural behaviors to emerge.

A group contract is an agreement that benefits a group with several members. It helps attain a specific goal by giving each member a particular role and responsibility as a contribution. Also, it serves as a guideline for every member to look upon and follow while completing a specific task. If you wonder what a group contract looks like, you can download one of our group contract templates above as reference.