29th June 2020

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Categories: Engage for Success Blog

Psychological Safety in the Workplace as a Base for Productivity

Are you a leader who is interested in creating a strong and high performing team? If the answer is yes, chances are you’ve wondered countless times how you can do this. To create an effective and high performing team, you’ll have to create a workplace that fosters psychological safety.

Psychological safety refers to the belief that you and your team are safe to take risks. It also revolves around speaking your mind fearlessly. When team members are psychologically safe, they feel empowered to express their thoughts and ideas without fear. And you can be more confident when delegate tasks to them.

An environment without psychological safety stimulates the fight for survival which is not healthy and definitely wouldn’t nurture creative thinking at the workplace.

4 ways to enhance psychological safety in the workplace

Apart from job competency, resources, feedback, incentives, productive relationships and a supportive work environment are all essential to boost the productivity and performance of teams. When employees feel psychologically safe, it will be easier for them to give ideas during brainstorm, experiment and collaborate. Here are eight proven ways that will help you achieve your goal.

Promote respect

Your team members will not always agree with each other on different subjects affecting the business. However, it’s important to encourage mutual respect. Mutual respect not only reduces stress and conflicts in the workplace but also improves communication.

It’s common for people to argue over petty things. Therefore, reducing feuds and encouraging respect in the workplace will do a lot in building psychological safety. As a leader, you have to respect your employees if you want them to respect you.

Establish a culture of trust

Psychological safety is based on openness and vulnerability. Therefore, leaders need to encourage open conversations that improve the safety of organizational processes and promote engagement. Managers need to create a conversational framework that will establish an environment where employees feel safe to be open and vulnerable. And if you have to use time tracking solutions on your team, for example, make sure to do it gently.

Welcome doubts, questions, and bad news

As a leader, you should encourage questions and opinions of your team. A leader who asks his or her employees for their opinions and preferences in a group setting will not only enhance their involvement and accountability but also empower them to be creative.

Take risks and embrace failures

When you encourage your team to take risks and show them that it’s okay to fail, they will grow rapidly and avoid making expensive mistakes in the future. Remember, your team members are always looking at you.

If you are not vulnerable, it will be extremely difficult for them to be vulnerable too. Consider discussing the risks and failures in a non-threatening way. This will help your team interact fearlessly and this will keep them engaged in their work.

Structures that create psychological safety

  • Feedback sessions

Setting up sessions or meetings that are well-designed will make it easier for your team members to give each other constructive feedback. Liberal leadership pathways help in encouraging conversation and providing feedback.

  • Empathy training

Creating sessions where every team member shares a story to raise interpersonal empathy levels is important in enhancing psychological safety. Storytelling is one of the best methods you can use to raise empathy levels.

Conclusion

It’s important for leaders to understand the company culture and know when their employees are overwhelmed or afraid as these are the basics of enhancing psychological safety. A culture of trust is essential in developing a psychologically safe working environment.

And it is built by respect, by focusing on solutions, embracing conflicts consciously and celebrating risks and failures. When the groundwork of psychological safety has been laid, leaders will easily manage and grow their organizations.

Author Bio: Leon Collier is a freelance writer for college paper reviews from the UK, who loves to write about everything: pop-culture, travel, self-development, marketing. Follow him on twitter @LeonCollier12

Photo Credit: Arek Socha from Pixabay