Why does Psychological Safety At Work Matter?
In every industry, the team has the pressure to work better and perform the best.
However, there are a lot of things that can affect how the team is performing; sometimes, it’s internal, or sometimes, it’s external factors.
One of the important factors that should have the biggest concern of every industry is psychological safety in the workplace.
To know what this means and how you can achieve it, here is what you will need.
Psychological Safety At Work
According to Maslow’s hierarchy, it means a basic human need.
Psychological safety is of utmost importance for supporting a high-performance team. Also, it’s not just the basics of human needs but also increases retention.
The term was coined by Professor Amy Edmondson from Harvard Business School; defining she says it’s a shared relief that helps teams believe they are safe for interpersonal risk-taking.
When the workplace has psychological safety, it helps people to speak up and share their ideas.
Why Does Psychological Safety Matter?
Well, for an effective team, Psychological Safety is one of the things they value; it holds importance as much as physical safety does.
Also, it helps meet the company’s standards and performance.
Here are some points that can help understand the importance of Psychological Safety in the workplace.
Enhancing The Engagement Of Employees
When the team feels that they are safe at work, they can easily engage and participate in the meetings and engage with the activities happening in the workplace.
Having Psychological Safety also boosts the engagement of the team in activities that happen in the workplace, including problem-solving, collaborating, and having more engagement with peers as well as employees.
Also, they inspire more employees to be present fully at work instead of dozing off or counting hours to go home.
Boost The Performance Of the Team
When the team feels they are safe, highly engaged, and interested. They also don’t want to leave, not just because they inspire more people and have better performance at the workplace.
Reducing The Turnovers
According to a study, team who have Psychological Safety at the workplace are less likely to leave the company
And also why anyone would leave the workplace where they are treated with respect and value.
It helps in saving the money that wastes on hiring new employees.
Boost the Wellbeing Of employees
Mental health contributes hugely when it comes to overall well being
When the employees feel safe at the workplace, it becomes easier for them to perform their best.
It also helps in reducing stress and the overall impact on health, improving the well-being of your employees.
Getting More Ambassadors
Creating Psychological Safety also helps create more ambassadors who cannot help but feel gush over how wonderful their workplace is.
Also, people share about the company with their family, and friends, and on social media. This helps in getting free advertisements and loyal brand ambassadors.
Fostering An Workplace Culture
It’s important that the team feel included, and when the workplace has safety, it welcomes more people to feel that way
Also, it helps in flourishing everyone regardless of what age, gender, color, background, race, or political preference they have.
Inspiring More Creative Ideas
When an employee feels safe working and has the assurance that they can freely share their thoughts, they try to be more creative and unique in their voices, helping more ideas flow.
What Are The Stages Of Psychological Safety?
Well, to develop the stages of Psychological Safety at the workplace. There are basically four stages that you can consider.
It includes :
Stage 1: Inclusion Safety
Well, the stage 1 level is about satisfying the human need at their basics, where they connect and belong.
When the workplace has inclusion safety, it means the individuals feel safe and accepted the way they are, including all the quirky characteristics.
Stage 2: learner Safety
The second stage is called Learner Safety, which means the workplace is safe for learning, asks if someone has a question and does an experiment.
The individuals feel open to sharing their feedback and receiving it from others. Also, to be safe when they make mistakes.
Stage 3: Contributor Safety
Stage 3 contributor safety is to make the individual feel safe to share and contribute using his gift as well as skills.
The purpose here is to give the environment which can make them feel protected so they can freely contribute what they want to the project, idea, plans, and results.
Stage 4: Challenger Safety
The final stage that you need to focus on creating is challenger safety. It’s to provide the safety that makes the individuals approach the challenges when they see the opportunities as well as chances for improvement.
What Are The Ways To Promote Psychological Safety In the Workplace?
Establishing a culture that helps in promoting Psychological Safety is considered to mean taking the first step to making the employees feel welcome and share their ideas.
And to make that happen, here are some of the best ways that you can consider using at your workplace.
Meet The Needs Of Each Other
When interacting with other team members, it’s important to be conscious of what their preferences are.
There are a lot of chances where the managers make the decision without consulting or consulting the direct reports.
This is important for you to figure out what the employee requires and do more and better communication.
Do the one-on-one meetings and get feedback more frequently,
Show that their preferences and needs are also important, and you are taking care of it by asking instead of taking the action directly.
Keep in mind that if you are asking for input for once, it’s not enough.
Do the follow-up and make sure the requirements are constantly meeting up.
Define The Rule Of Engagement
Create and define the rules of management so everyone knows what they can expect and what behaviors they might have.
And then add the rules of the organization, regardless of the levels and titles.
Encourage others to do dialogues between people so they can attempt to resolve the errors or issues.
If it is not working, then ask the third party to help and intervene in order to solve the problems.
Focus On Authenticity And Consideration
The best way to boost psychological safety is to engage between teams but in a more considerate and authentic way.
The experience that the employees have is what matters, and it’s important that they engage more with the people; however, they also take care of what considerations and also keep the authenticity.
Don’t Make A Run For Fixing Things
One of the powerful tools that you can use to fix the silence while having a discussion is to let people find the answers to their own questions.
Allow them to solve how they can solve the challenges and what their conclusions will be.
Here it’s important for the leaders to not jump in or rush to fix things.
It’s important to trust their capabilities and let them do it.
Leaders should speak only when there is anything toxic or destructive, but generally, they should refrain from taking any actions correctly.
Be Empathic, Not Egoistic
When you are trying to boost psychological safety at the workplace, you need to lead the team empathically.
Also, being self-aware, respectful, and direct, as well as having strong communication and feedback are some of the important keys.
These will help boost comfort and safety and help the employee keep confident.
Do not do passive-aggressive communication or manipulative behaviors.
The leaders require not to bully their team into achieving certain results.
Being supportive and genuine is crucial; here, being empathic will help. Not egotistic.
Take Actions And Confront When Needed
The upper management must understand that sometimes taking action and confronting is needed to keep the workplace safe.
If there is someone whose behavior is threatening psychological safety in the workplace culture, do not waste time and take action.
Also, using subtle ways to undermine co-workers can cause a threatening situation and cause distress.
Address the behavior and make sure to understand the root cause that is leading to such kinds of situations.
Also, confronting and taking action can send the message to bullies that such behavior won’t be tolerated in the workplace.
Educating the staff And Leaders About Mental Health Aid
Stress is common in most workplaces. However, people are becoming more comfortable talking about it and its impact.
To prevent this, it’s important to know how it can be paid for by providing education to the staff as well as leaders in the workplace.
Certifying the key leaders and staff about mental health and first aid so they can prioritize the building as well as implementing the mentorship program so the workplace can be positive.
Be Open To Exchanging Feedback
It’s important for the manager to be open when it comes to feedback.
Also, it’s important to establish communication that can be healthy within the team as well as among the leaders.
It should simplify the process, make the vision clear and lead to performance that can be better.
When the workplace has healthy communication, it also helps in boosting the higher level of trust that makes the initial feel safer and protected.
Make It Transparent
To boost psychological safety, the best way you can consider is to be more transparent.
It can be anything, including performance feedback, budgets, promotions, organizational politics, layoffs, etc.
It’s important that people in organizations feel like they are being heard and taken seriously.
When you are keeping everything transparent, it can help in giving the answer to the questions that can be vague but the root cause that might be causing the anxiety.
Also, transparency helps in building trust, and when individuals trust, they also feel psychological safety.
Be Curious When You Approach
When addressing certain issues becomes important, instead of placing the blame, approach with the curious respective.
It can be anything; for example, it can be a performance issue that might be going on.
So the best way you can approach this is with a collaborative and neutral mindset and help in troubleshooting the solution together.
Going with this option will help in solving the problem but also deter the disengagement and the defensive behavior that you might receive from other approaches.
Mistakes Are Okay And Acceptable Culture
One of the keys that can help you in boosting psychological safety is to create a culture where individuals feel safe from making mistakes. And where making mistakes is considered okay as well as acceptable.
Not only do mistakes help the person to grow, but also it helps in boosting creative ideas and approaching in different ways without hesitation.
Support the efforts, and it will help in bringing more results. However, it does have risks on its own.
Build a Culture Of Team Instead Of Talent
The best way that helps in boosting psychological safety is to build a culture where the team is important instead of just being talented.
This situation is where the person can trust their colleagues and can be vulnerable. Also, feel comfortable sharing what they are good at and what are bad they need to tackle.
Also, it will help in passing the ball without getting worried if someone is going to use it against them.
Here it’s important to hire the people and evaluate them based on the ability they play in the team.
Practice Actively Listening to More
To make sure that the person feels safe, the managers are required to listen and not disparage when it comes to the person’s ideas.
Not just that, the tone of how you are conversing with them or thanking the team members for their advice or input can impact psychological safety.
It doesn’t sound like you are belittling the person, as it can make them anxious next time.
Creating The Sense Of Belonging
Psychological safety reminds the inner circle, it has to make the person believe that they belong to something.
The conversation should be something that people do with their family in the business.
What you discuss is the importance of the basic need, which is a sense of belonging.
This works as the key element in the relationship and building the safety net where the person can be vulnerable without feeling tense or worried.
Fostering The Support Between The Colleges And Co-Workers
When it comes to building psychological safety in the workplace, it will help the organization.
So the first thing which should be important here is to make employees feel safe and comfortable when it comes to voicing their opinion.
Also, it’s crucial to not feel judged by others and be confident when they are sharing their opinions.
A positive environment can be achieved when the team is solid and has the banality to bounce ideas.
Also, the performance of the employee will get better if he or she is working in a positive environment.
When coworkers and colleagues are helpful and support each other, it will bring the best out of everyone.
Promoting The Insculvity And Openness
Well, the next way that you can consider is making your team champion and promoting inclusivity as well as openness.
It’s important that the team gets enough support from upper management, whether it’s personal or professional development.
Managers can implement the system as well as strategies that can allow their team to share their thoughts.
Also, the managers can encourage the habit by promoting and giving rewards. And it can boost it by giving credit.
Value The Staff As Humans
To make sure that the staff feels safe, ist important to value them as humans, not just because of the resources.
When you treat them as humans instead of resources, you are also focusing on their needs and well-being first.
Also, it’s important to have an environment where respect, compassion, empathy, and inclusion, and where everyone is helping everyone so they can move forward.
Engage With The Generative Dialogue
Generative dialogue is a helpful tool as it can help in boosting the safety of your team.
The conversation where no one is considering the losers or winners and different points of view are respected and welcomed.
This will bring a possible impact to the organization as well as the team. Also it will help the individuals to communicate with them more clearly and with more creativity.
Encourage The Innovations And Creativity
A growth mindset should be natural as it can influence people to be innovative thinking.
This also means that the company requires courage from its managers and employees to bring ideas.
Also to make sure that everyone feels welcome and respectful, regardless of how ridiculous it might sound.
It’s important to see if the values are giving respect and help people to think outside the box.
Not just that, it supports the risk-taking nature.
Show Appreciation And make Good Remarks.
The organization requires them to be as active as they are in highlighting the mistakes.
Showing the errors will help in improving the individual however, apparition can help in boosting their morale to do better in their next time.
Creating a culture where people encounter each other’s good work and appreciate it can help in creating a safer environment.
Also, it will help in creating a stronger team as well as individuals who are ready to give their best to the company.
Boost Their Mental toughness.
There might be huge problems or situations that arise during work. It’s important that you have a team that knows how to solve the error on their own.
The first thing that you need to do is to increase the toughness of their mind.
When the person is mentally trained, they should be capable of tackling the stress, challenge, and pressure.
Also, developing mental toughness will help in getting a positive response regardless of how negative the situation is.
This will boost psychological safety at the workplace as well.
Promote The Roles And Responsibility
When people take responsibility and perform certain roles, it helps them in becoming confident, and the confidence leads them to feel safer on a psychological level.
It’s accrual for the organization to promote responsibility within the team. Let them handle certain tasks on their own, but also make sure that the required resources are variable IF someone needs them.
Focus On The Trustworthy
Trust is the basic foundation that helps in keeping the environment safe, where people can rely on each other and perform what best they can do.
Without having the test, people will never engage or the act of self-preservation will waste time as well as money.
However, the important point here is that trust must be earned, so the leadership and management must focus on that.
Avoid The Blaming Game
The blaming game might be the easiest way to find a safe way and push all the responsibility to someone else.
This can create a problematic environment at the workplace and also will increase the unsafe vibes.
The blame game should be avoided at all costs. Instead of quitting about what happened, it’s important to focus on what you can do to make it better.
Also, here we are more important than me or I. The team should work together instead of individually. And for the individual, it is crucial to have a culture where they know that the team has their back.
Improve The Self Awareness
When people work in a team, they bring their whole selves, including their preferences, working styles, and unique personalities.
Building self-awareness can help the team to know how they can work best and how they can communicate.
Also, they can focus on others too, encourage the team to be more self-aware, and understand what they have to do to improve themselves.
The companies do a behavioral assessment, which helps in building self-awareness among the employees.
Also, the assessment can help in improving psychological safety in the workplace.
Not just that, this can help the employees to learn better about each other, which boosts trust and understanding among them.
This leads to creating a trustworthy team and improving the working culture where everyone can rely on each other to do better.
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Carol T. Mahaffey is a certified American Author And a creator of Theleaderboy. Carol is a Self-Taught Marketer with 10+ Years of Experience. She brings her decade of experience to her current role, where she is dedicated to writing books, blogs, and articles, inspiring the world on how to become a better Leader.