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What is psychological safety at work?

What is psychological safety at work Safety Forward

Psychological safety at work is the ability to show and employ one’s self without fear of negative consequences of self-image, status or career. This has never been more important as we all stress over the unsure financial climate and deal with feelings of worry and self doubt in all aspects of our life, home and work. We all deserve to feel safe and engaged at work and psychological safety is a way to focus on behaviour changes which can spread throughout the organisation and lead to a multiple of benefits to individuals and businesses alike.

We need to create an environment where people feel comfortable being themselves and develop a climate that is characterised by interpersonal trust and mutual respect. But how do we do that?

Set an example

We talk a lot about leading by example but it really is important as it means being consistent and rational, which helps to keep everyone informed and organised. Leading by example is a leadership style where you model the behaviour you want to see in your team members, encouraging a learnt behaviour pattern. Even if you’re not the team leader, you can still set an example by being respectful, sparking honest discussions, and offering constructive feedback to promote physiological safety.

Promote feedback

Feedback is one of the most powerful drivers of employee improvement. Without it, your team is blind to their weaknesses and limited in how much they can achieve. Research reports that employees who give and receive feedback regularly have greater role clarity and perform better than those who do not.

Constructive feedback is one of the best things managers can provide to their employees and when delivered properly it can, reinforce positive behaviour, correct any negative performance and ensure a strong culture remains in your team.

Communication

We can’t champion this strength enough! Communication really is key in all that we do and alone can often solve a multitude of issues, often with a simple conversation. How we actually communicate though is the important part. Employers who invest time and energy into delivering clear lines of communication will rapidly build trust among employees, leading to increases in productivity, output and morale in general.

Create space for new ideas

Creating a supportive atmosphere in which people feel free to express their ideas without the risk of criticism or ridicule can often bring the best ideas! Encourage risk taking and experimentation – don’t penalise people who try new ideas that fail. Keep things fun, encourage trust and build collaboration and watch employees grow in confidence.

Celebrate success

Nothing brings a team together more effectively than success and recognising your employees’ achievements lets them know that they are a part of the team and that they are a valued member of it, thereby strengthening the team itself and creating a snowball effect of motivation that can reach every individual in your workforce. Reward and recognition is paramount in the workplace to nurture and boost morale.

Benefits

The benefits of psychological safety in the workplace include the following:

  • Enhanced employee engagement
  • Inclusive culture
  • Improved creativity
  • Greater collaboration
  • Better employee well-being
  • Reduced employee turnover
  • Increased level of team performance

Ultimately, psychological safety in the workplace is about providing a safe space for employees to be their full selves. For further information on psychological safety at work and the benefits this can bring, please contact us here.

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