Most of us will spend the majority of our adult lives working, which makes workplace culture a major factor in our well-being. A relatively new concept in the world of work, psychological safety is a measure of how comfortable we feel speaking up and sharing our ideas in the workplace. An increasing number of studies show that cultivating psychological safety in the workplace is the most effective way to realize the full potential of your team. Here are three ways you can create psychological safety in your workplace.
1. Set the scene & lead the way
As a leader, it’s important to be transparent about your challenges and cultivate a safe space for your employees to open up about theirs. Be sure to practice what you preach. If you’re actively encouraging candor and transparency from your team, make sure you’re demonstrating those qualities and exposing your own vulnerabilities, too.
2. Be inclusive in your decision making
Consult your team when making decisions. Not only will your team feel included in the decision-making process, but it will lead to better outcomes and promote psychological safety. Always ask for input, thoughts and feedback before and after decisions are made. Transparency is crucial, especially for your leadership team. A lack of trust in senior leadership drives disengagement, according to the 2019 Employee Engagement Report.
3. Promote positive dialogue and discussion
Never underestimate the power of words. A series of cognitive studies have found that using more positive words can actually improve mindset and performance. Everyone messes up sometimes — that’s inevitable. But how you go about it, like helping your employees learn from their mistakes as well as opening up about your own will aid in cultivating psychological safety within your workplace. Moreso, encourage honest and candid dialogue across teams, leaders and roles. Create an environment where achievements are celebrated but frustrations, feedback and constructive dialogue is also encouraged.
Sometimes it’s hard to know what helps and what hinders psychological safety. But as Harvard Business Professor Amy Edmonsdon affirms, “It’s so much better to be in a workplace where you can be your real self, and contribute to the work in a meaningful way.” So just start somewhere, your work environment will be better because of it!
Want to use structured conversations to promote psychological safety in your workplace? Speak to a member of our sales team today!