A team contract outlines the standards that are expected to be met by all team members. It is agreed to at a team meeting and signed by all members. The idea behind it is to encourage a collaborative and supportive environment amongst the team, as well as to clearly set out individual responsibilities.
It is most commonly used when a new team is formed, as it can help to gel the team and set clear responsibilities for members who may be new to the department or organisation. However, a team contract can also be introduced to an existing team to try and improve performance levels. If certain team members appear to be putting in more effort than others, then a team contract may be introduced to encourage equal levels of commitment from all members.
A typical team contract will include individual responsibilities, meeting times and overall objectives, amongst other things.