We’ve all been there. That feeling of dread when you’re about to speak up in a meeting, or the anxiety that comes with sharing a new idea with your boss. But when you feel comfortable and safe while interacting with colleagues or higher authorities, it’s called psychological safety, and it’s something that is essential for any workplace that wants to encourage creativity, innovation, and productivity.
In this article, we’ll take a look at what psychological safety is and why it’s important in the workplace. We’ll also explore some ways to create a psychologically safe workplace, as well as the dangers of an unsafe workplace. So let’s get started!
Psychological-safety is a term that was first coined by Professor Amy Edmondson of Harvard Business School. It refers to “a shared belief held by members of a team that the team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking.” This means that team members feel comfortable enough to take risks and share their ideas without fear of retribution.
Psychological-safety has been shown to be a key predictor of team performance. In fact, studies have found that teams with high levels of psychological-safety are more likely to be creative and innovative, make better decisions, and be more productive.
So what makes a workplace psychologically safe? There are four main components: trust, respect, equality, and belonging.
Trust is essential for psychological-safety because it allows employees to feel comfortable sharing their ideas and concerns without fearing that they will be ridiculed or punished.
Respect is also important because it creates an environment where everyone feels valued and appreciated. When employees feel respected, they are more likely to take risks and share their ideas.
Equality is another key component of psychological-safety. This means that everyone in the workplace is treated fairly and given the same opportunities to succeed. When employees feel like they are on an even playing field, they are more likely to take risks and voice their opinions.
Finally, belonging is essential for creating a psychologically safe workplace. This means that employees feel like they are part of a team and have a sense of community. When employees feel like they belong, they are more likely to take risks and share their ideas.
Creating a psychologically safe workplace has numerous benefits that can be felt throughout entire organization. Here are just a few of the advantages of fostering psychological-safety in the workplace:
Employees feel more comfortable sharing their ideas and concerns without fear of retribution.
When employees feel comfortable speaking up, organizations are able to benefit from increased creativity and innovation.
A psychologically safe workplace is also more likely to attract and retain top talent.
Engagement and productivity levels are typically higher in environments where employees feel safe to share their ideas and concerns.
Lower stress levels and greater job satisfaction are other two benefits often associated with psychological-safety in the workplace.
How to foster psychological-safety in the workplace
Psychological safety is important in the workplace because it has been linked to increased creativity and innovation, better decision-making, and increased productivity. A psychologically safe workplace is one where employees feel comfortable sharing their ideas and concerns without fear of retribution. To create a psychologically safe workplace, organizations should encourage employees to voice their concerns and suggestions, and create an environment where everyone is treated with respect.
One of the most important things that organizations can do to foster a psychologically safe environment in the workplace is to encourage employees to openly share their ideas and concerns. This can be done by setting up regular meetings where employees are encouraged to share their thoughts on various topics, or by setting up an anonymous suggestion box where employees can submit their ideas without fear of reprisal. It is also important to make it clear that all employees will be treated fairly and with respect regardless of their position within the organization. This can be done by ensuring that there are clear policies in place regarding harassment and discrimination, and by providing training on these topics for all employees. Finally, organizations should encourage employees to take risks and experiment with new ideas. This can be done by creating a culture of experimentation where failure is seen as an opportunity to learn, rather than a reason for punishment.
The dangers of an unsafe workplace are many and varied. An unsafe workplace can lead to physical injuries, mental health issues, job dissatisfaction and turnover, decreased productivity, and legal liabilities. Organizations should take steps to ensure that their workplace is safe for all employees.
Mental health issues are another danger of an unsafe workplace. According to the National Institute for Mental Health, nearly one in five adults in the United States experiences mental illness in a given year. Stress, anxiety, and depression are all common mental health issues that can be caused or exacerbated by an unsafe workplace. These mental health issues can lead to absenteeism, presenteeism, job dissatisfaction, and turnover.
Decreased productivity is another danger of an unsafe workplace. When employees feel unsafe at work, they may be less likely to focus on their work tasks. This can lead to errors, missed deadlines, and subpar work quality. In addition, employees who feel unsafe may take more sick days or use more vacation days in order to avoid coming to work.
Finally, legal liabilities are another danger of an unsafe workplace. If an employee is injured at work, the organization may be held liable if it is found that the injury was due to negligence on the part of the employer. In addition, if an employee files a lawsuit against the organization alleging discrimination or harassment, the organization may be required to pay damages if it is found liable.
A psychologically safe workplace is one where employees feel comfortable sharing their ideas and concerns without fear of retribution. To create psychological safety in workplace, organizations should encourage employees to voice their concerns and suggestions, and create an environment where everyone is treated with respect. The benefits of creating a psychologically safe workplace include increased creativity and innovation, better decision-making, increased productivity, higher engagement, and productivity levels, lower stress levels, and greater job satisfaction.