Psychological safety in the workplace is the shared conviction that taking interpersonal risks as a group is safe. These dangers include, among other things, speaking out when there is an issue with team dynamics and expressing new ideas.
Techniques to improve workplace psychological safety
Employee turnover is less common on teams led by managers who establish psychologically secure work environments, according to the 2019 People Management Report. If you want to keep high performers, make sure the entire organization is psychologically safe. It, like any big project, must begin at the top with executive support.
Are you unsure if your staff are protected psychologically? Begin by assessing workplace psychological safety. Continue reading if you need to make your workplace a safer place to work.
How to Make Workplace Psychologically Safe
You must hold employees accountable for performance measures as a leader, but your work does not end there. You must also keep employees engaged by making them feel at ease and fostering a common notion that the team is a safe place to take risks.
Here are some suggestions for improving workplace psychological safety:
Demonstrate your commitment to your team
Employees will shut down if they believe you aren’t paying attention when they talk, or that you don’t appreciate their ideas and opinions.
Being present throughout meetings demonstrates involvement. Making eye contact and closing your laptop are examples of this. During a meeting, it’s easy to get distracted by emails, texts, or Slack, but even minor acts of disengagement may have a severe influence on your team’s psychological safety.
Listening to what others have to say is also part of engagement. Exercise active listening skills. To ensure that you comprehend the other person’s views or beliefs, ask questions. By actively interacting, you create an environment in which others believe it is not just acceptable but also encouraged to speak up.
Show your squad that you’re paying attention
People feel psychologically protected when they know you care enough to comprehend and consider their viewpoint.
Recap what has been said to demonstrate understanding. “What I heard you say is ______,” for example. “Does that make sense?” This demonstrates your want to comprehend their viewpoint. It also provides your teammates the chance to clarify anything they said that you misunderstood.
Body language can also be used to convey comprehension. During conversations, nod your head to show that you understand what an employee is saying. Lean forward to demonstrate interest. Pay attention to your facial expressions. Your employees will notice if you appear exhausted, bored, or dissatisfied. Employees may absorb the message you’re giving with your face, even if you don’t mean it: This concept does not appeal to me.
To create trust, avoid accusing
When anything goes wrong, it’s simple to search for someone to blame. Focus on strategies to develop and sustain psychological safety in the workplace.
“How can we make sure this goes better next time?” instead of “What occurred and why?” Take note of the emphasis on collaborative language: How can we ensure that this happens easily the next time? Instead of singling out an individual for a mistake, we statements convert the accountability into a communal endeavor.
Be self-aware, and expect your colleagues to be as well
People bring their entire selves to work, including their distinct personalities, preferences, and working methods. Share how you prefer to work, communicate, and be acknowledged with your team to help them become more self-aware. Encourage your teammates to follow suit.