Is psychological safety just another buzzword in the world of work? Or can it make the difference between a business merely surviving or thriving?
Most people want to step into the world of work and feel like they can make a difference. That sense of purpose is what gets many out of bed in the morning. But – whatever makes you avoid the snooze button on the alarm clock – everybody wants to be treated fairly and respectfully at work.
According to the Harvard Business Review, high levels of belonging is linked to a whopping 56 per cent increase in job performance and a 50 per cent drop in turnover risk. That sense of belonging boosts productivity, retention and helps people feel they can contribute meaningfully at work.
But how does a sense of psychological safety make for a thriving workplace where everyone can feel that sense of belonging be their authentic selves?
Team psychological safety is a shared belief held by those within a group; an understanding that it’s okay to take risks, to express ideas and concerns and to admit mistakes – all without fear of negative consequences.
But if we feel a strong stress response at work – be it through difficult work, our own sense of anxiety or any other external factor – it becomes harder to put team psychological safety into practice. So how can you foster psychological safety in the workplace?
In the book, ‘Even Better If: Building better businesses, better leaders and better selves’, Rachel Thornton, Lindsay Kohler and Charlie Sampson outline the four benefits psychologically safe workplaces profit from:
The result? If your team feel safe, you’ll see a boost in innovation, problem-solving and creativity.
Though it takes time to embed psychological safety within a team, the consequences of not doing so can be far worse – potentially causing anxiety and burnout among your people. That can make an even greater negative impact on your business in the long term.
We know building that sense of safety takes time. So, what can you do right now to get the ball rolling?
Remember, psychological safety isn’t just about empowering individuals – it’s the foundation of any high-performing team.
Ready to make sure that you have the environment where it’s safe for people to be, do, and feel their best?
A good place to start in boosting psychological safety is first understanding where you're currently at.
How can we do this?
measures the key metrics of wellbeing in your workplace, such as
motivation, readiness, emotional connection and psychological safety,
giving you meaningful data and actionable recommendations to help drive
individual effectiveness and organisational performance.