Why is it important for organisations to ensure they are establishing a psychologically safe environment for their staff and colleagues?

ByJoanne Lockwood

Why is it important for organisations to ensure they are establishing a psychologically safe environment for their staff and colleagues?

Psychological safety is important for employees at all levels to feel safe and included. This is because psychological safety allows employees to feel comfortable discussing problems and issues they are experiencing at work, without fear of repercussions. This in turn leads to a better understanding of the problem and potential solutions being found more quickly. Additionally, employees who feel psychologically safe are more likely to take risks and be innovative, which can lead to better business outcomes.

There are numerous statistics which highlight the importance of psychological safety in the workplace. For example, a study by Bain & Company found that high-performing teams are five times more likely to have employees who feel psychologically safe. Additionally, another study found that 91% of employees who feel psychologically unsafe are likely to leave their job within two years.

There are a number of ways in which employers can create a psychologically safe environment for their employees. This includes having an open and honest communication style, encouraging employees to share their ideas and concerns, and providing support when employees make mistakes. Additionally, it is important to ensure that everyone in the organization feels like they are part of the team and valued for their contributions.

If you want to create a high-performing team, it is essential to ensure that employees feel psychologically safe. By creating a supportive and inclusive environment, you can encourage innovation and risk-taking, leading to better business outcomes.

The top 5 key elements to creating a psychologically safe organisational culture are:

1. Encourage open and honest communication

It is important to encourage open and honest communication in order to create a psychologically safe environment. This is because employees need to feel like they can openly discuss problems and concerns without fear of repercussions. Open communication will also lead to a better understanding of the problem and potential solutions being found more quickly.

Some ways in which employers can encourage open and honest communication amongst employees are by:

  • holding regular team meetings where everyone is encouraged to share their ideas and concerns
  • encouraging employees to give feedback to one another

2. Encourage employees to share their ideas and concerns

If employees are not able to share their ideas and concerns, they will likely feel like they are not valued or that their opinions don’t matter. This can lead to them feeling disengaged and unenthusiastic about their work. Additionally, if employees feel like they can’t speak up about problems they are experiencing, these problems will likely go unresolved.

Some ways in which employers can encourage employees to share their ideas and concerns are by:

  • promoting a culture of open communication
  • setting up an anonymous feedback system where employees can provide feedback without fear of retribution
  • establishing procedures for reporting concerns (e.g. a whistle-blowing policy)

3. Provide support when employees make mistakes

It is important for employers to provide support to employees when they make mistakes, as this can help to create a culture of learning and growth.

Some ways in which employers can provide support in this are by:

  • giving employees the opportunity to learn from their mistakes
  • providing mentorship and coaching opportunities
  • encouraging employees to seek help when they are struggling

4. Ensure that everyone in the organisation feels like they are part of the team

Organisations should ensure that everyone feels part of the team in order to create a sense of belonging and inclusion. This is important because employees who feel like they belong are more likely to be engaged and motivated, and less likely to leave the organisation. Additionally, feeling like you are part of the team can help to build trust and cooperation amongst employees.

Some ways in which employers can ensure that everyone feels like they are part of the team are by:

  • including everyone in the decision-making processes
  • giving everyone a voice and platform to share their ideas
  • celebrating successes and achievements together

5. Value each employee’s contribution to the organisation.

Organisations should value employee contributions because doing so can help to create a culture of appreciation and recognition. This is important because employees who feel appreciated are more likely to be engaged and motivated, and less likely to leave the organisation. Additionally, valuing employee contributions can help to build trust and cooperation amongst employees.

Some ways in which employers can value employee contributions are by:

  1. providing opportunities for employees to share their ideas and opinions
  2. giving employees recognition and rewards for their contributions
  3. investing in employee development opportunities.

Summary

In summary, it is important for employers to nurture a psychologically safe culture in their organisation as it will lead to numerous benefits such as increased employee engagement and motivation, improved communication, and greater trust and cooperation amongst employees. Additionally, valuing employee contributions helps to build a strong sense of belonging and inclusion. All of these factors will contribute to the overall success of the organisation.

Joanne Lockwood (she/her) is an Inclusion and Belonging Specialist with SEE Change Happen and works with organisations throughout the UK, Europe and Elsewhere – speaking, training, and consulting.

She can be reached via https://seechangehappen.co.uk

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Joanne Lockwood administrator

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