Lately, I have been giving a lot of thought to the concept of psychological safety in the workplace and seeking ways to establish a safe environment in all teams I lead.
In today’s fast-paced work environment, it is crucial for managers to create a safe environment that prioritises mental health and wellbeing. This can be achieved through fostering a culture of psychological safety. In a safe environment, employees feel comfortable to express themselves, take risks, and share their opinions without fear of negative consequences.
I recently took a step towards promoting psychological safety in my workplace by conducting an end-of-year team strategy session. During this session, I asked each team member two questions about their preferred methods for receiving positive feedback and resolving conflicts. This led to an engaging discussion that helped build trust and establish effective communication within the team. Each team member now knows how to provide feedback and resolve conflicts in a way that is safe and comfortable for everyone involved.
I also recently read an article about the impact of managers on mental health, which reinforced my belief in the importance of creating a psychologically safe workplace. Earlier in my career I had a manager that made me dread going to work. One of my greatest leadership lessons came from this manager. They taught how not to lead. I learnt how not to treat people.
Strategies for Managers To Establish a Psychologically Safe Workplace
- Encourage open and honest communication: open and honest communication makes employees feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas.
- Show appreciation and recognition: acknowledge and reward employees for their contributions. This helps to boost their self-esteem and promotes a positive work environment.
- Be transparent: be honest and open about your intentions, plans, and decisions. This builds trust and creates a sense of security for your team.
- Promote inclusiveness: foster a culture of diversity and inclusiveness, where everyone feels valued and respected, regardless of their background or beliefs.
- Encourage open feedback: when everyone is safe to provide feedback and suggestions, it creates a culture of continuous improvement and collaboration.
- Embrace failure: taking risks and embracing failure recognises failure is a natural part of the learning process.
- Lead with empathy: make an effort to understand the perspectives of your employees. At times you need support from your HR personnel to fully support your staff.
We all have a responsibility to create a psychologically safe work environment. As managers and leaders we have a greater responsibility!
Book a Strategy Session for Your Team/Organisation
As part of my business coaching I work with teams and organisations to facilitate workshops around psychological safety and diversity, equity and inclusion. Book a free strategy session to discuss how I can work with your team to support your goals and create a positive and productive work environment.