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Ways to Create a Psychologically Safe Work Environment

Updated: Aug 22



According to the 2019 People Management Report, managers who foster psychologically secure work environments have lower employee turnover rates on their teams.


Make sure everyone in the firm has a safe psychological environment if you want to keep high performance. Like any significant undertaking, it has to get off to a strong start with executive support.


A Google study found that psychological safety is the secret behind a high-performing team.


Psychological safety at work is the understanding that taking interpersonal risks as a group is safe. These risks include sharing innovative ideas and speaking out when there are issues with the team spirit.


Importantly, diversity was positively associated with performance in teams with strong psychological safety, according to Harvard business.


For teams with lower psychological safety than the norm, diversity was much more negatively associated with performance.


Let's understand the benefits and how to create a psychologically safe environment in the workplace.


Benefits of creating psychological safety at work?

According to research from 2020, when employees feel psychologically comfortable at work, they are more likely to speak out, discuss their perspectives with their supervisors in an open manner, and contribute to team decision-making.


It helps foster an inclusive work culture, which encourages employees to feel like they can be themselves at work without fear or judgment.


It also increases employee retention rates because people enjoy coming into their job every day knowing there are no hidden biases against them due to today's society being so transparent than ever before!


Establishing a climate of psychological safety allows space for people to speak up and share their ideas.


According to a Harvard study, When team members come from different backgrounds, norms and assumptions differ such as how to behave, how to set priorities, and at what pace to do the work. The result is misunderstanding and frustration.


Therefore, psychological safety appears to help teams realize the potential of diversity for both performance and well-being.


How to create psychological safety at work

The idea of psychological safety has been gaining momentum in recent years, and it's clear that more companies are beginning to understand its importance.


This includes industries ranging from healthcare services like nursing or therapy practice through tech firms all the way down to finance.


1. Reduce the stigma around mental health


Employees should feel comfortable discussing their mental health with their employer and should not feel like they need to hide their symptoms. Employers can create a culture of openness by providing resources and support for employees who are struggling with their mental health.


2. Provide resources to employees


Another way to create a psychologically safe work environment is to provide employees with the resources and support they need to cope with stress and anxiety. Employers can offer employee assistance programs, which provide confidential counseling and support services. Employers can also offer training on stress management and relaxation techniques.


3. Show your team you’re engaged.


No one likes to feel like they aren't being heard. When your employees have trouble getting a word in edgewise, it can make them uncomfortable and lash out at someone else or something else (sometimes even themselves). To avoid this morale drain on workers' confidence - be sure you listen carefully when others speak up! Active listening means actually taking notice of what people say with interest; showing that their thoughts matter as much as yours do by making eye contact while paying attention completely surrounding yourself with others.


4. Let your team see you understand.


Demonstrating understanding by recapitulating what has been said shows that you care enough to consider their perspective. This creates a safe space for people on your team who are able to speak up with questions or concerns without fear of judgment; they feel welcomed and seen as an individual instead of just another employee doing tasks at work.


5. Build emotional intelligence.


The ability to sense others' emotions and build positive working relationships can directly impact levels of psychological safety at work. Emotional intelligence training includes topics such as how to sense the emotional states of team members and build positive working relationships. When you give your team members credit for their hard work and achievements, they’ll develop positive relationships, which is great for everyone.


6. Create healthy policies and procedures


Finally, employers should create policies and procedures that promote a healthy work-life balance. Employees should feel like they have the time and space to take care of their personal needs without sacrificing their work commitments. Employers can promote a healthy work-life balance by offering flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting or flexible hours.


Takeaway


When employers create a psychologically safe work environment, they can help reduce the stress and anxiety of employees. This in turn will improve their overall well-being which is suitable for both employer's bottom line as well as our physical health!


Explore Mind-Easy's resources tailored for diverse communities and get personalized mental health resources for your workforce.

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