Key concepts

The modern workplace is demanding…

Consider if, in the last six months, you’ve used any of these words to describe any of the work you’re involved in… Collaboration. Teamwork. Creativity. Innovation. Problem solving. Agility. Complexity. Uncertainty. Decision-making. These all require mental effort and are best supported by a Psychologically Safe environment.

In a survey of 3000 knowledge economy workers, people just like you that is, Workhuman found that a decidedly low 26% of employees felt psychologically safe during Covid. They also experienced more burnout, stress and loneliness. Further, when employees rate their managers’ skills as a 9 or a 10, they have an average psychological safety score of a hefty 84%. In contrast, those whose overall skills are rated a 6 or lower have an average psychological safety rating of a paltry 36%.

The impact of managers and leaders is profound, and they carry more responsibility for creating Psychological Safety. That said, everyone has a role in creating a better environment.

Psychological Safety

Psychological Safety is a shared belief held by members of a team that the team is safe for interpersonal risk taking. It’s a deliberately constructed context and culture that facilitates higher performance.

You’ll recognise it as the feeling we can speak up, take risks, ask questions (including hard questions), debate, identify problems, suggest improvements and make mistakes without fear of humiliation, censorship and embarrassment.

While the concept itself isn’t new, and you’ll probably recognise elements of it, research in the last twenty years has demonstrated how pivotal it is in creating high performance teams and organisations. That said, it isn’t a panacea. You still need good policies, processes and structures, clear strategy and tactics, measurement, accountability, products and services, and everything else that goes into a good business.

What Psychological Safety does is allow your people to flourish and deliver their best.

We’ve broken this into three sections

We’ve mentioned this comes in three parts:

  1. Preparation
  2. Participation
  3. Partnership