Psychological safety in the workplace is a subject that should be high on the agenda for all businesses. Psychological safety promotes a work environment where employees feel safe to speak up and express their thoughts, opinions, and ideas without fear of negative consequences. It is a sense of trust and confidence that people have in their colleagues, leaders and organisations that allows them to feel comfortable taking risks and making mistakes, knowing that they will not be punished or ostracised.
In lean manufacturing we promote the adage of “fail safe and fail often,” but how can any business transition to this new way of working?
These are some of the ways with which any organisation can quickly engage to promote psychological safety in the workplace include:
Availability: Leaders must be available to their employees to build the sorts of relationships that build trust and confidence. Leaders locked away in their offices do not build business changing relationships that promote psychological safety.
Encouraging open communication: Encourage employees to share their thoughts and ideas by creating a culture of open communication. This can be done through regular team meetings, one-on-one check-ins with employees, and other communication channels.
Recognising and valuing diversity: Celebrate and embrace diversity in the workplace, recognizing that everyone brings unique perspectives and experiences to the table.
Providing feedback and support: Provide continuous constructive feedback to employees and support them in their efforts to learn and grow. This can help build trust and confidence in the organisation and its leaders.
Setting clear expectations: Make sure that employees understand what is expected of them, and what they can expect from the organisation. This can help reduce anxiety and uncertainty and promote a sense of safety.
Fostering a culture of learning: Encourage employees to take risks and try new things, emphasising that mistakes are opportunities to learn and grow.
By promoting psychological safety in the workplace, organisations create a more inclusive and productive work environment, where employees feel valued, engaged, and empowered to contribute to the success of the organisation.
If people feel safe, they are more likely to be creative and that creativity can bring the edge to a business over its competitor.