What is Psychological Safety?
“Psychological Safety is a belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes.” – Amy Edmondson (Harvard Business School)
She was the one who coined the term and told that psychological safety is crucial for developing productive teams. Productive teams will achieve the targets within the set time.
This concept gained popularity when Google did extensive research on psychological safety and concluded that in order for the teams to work efficiently, they have to feel psychologically safe. It also helps the organization to be more innovative and generate more revenue because employees feel safe and they work better.
What Impact Does It Create On Organization?
Psychological Safety is extremely important for an organization because its employees become open-minded, resilient, creative, and motivated. All these things happen because there is no fear of being judged by others. This increases the productivity of employees and ultimately the organization grows.
It helps in developing trust among teams because they don’t blame each other for a mistake instead they talk about it and work together towards solving it. Team members give feedback about each other’s tasks and work cohesively towards achieving a particular goal.
It reduces turnover rates because employees feel safe and happy at the workplace. They are happy and motivated to work in the organisation.
Psychological Safety leads to accelerated productivity because people don’t feel threatened to make mistakes and implement new ideas to achieve their goals. If the idea works, it’s good and if it doesn’t, they find a better way to do it. This happens because people want to work together and find the solution.
Psychological Safety gives a competitive advantage to the organisation in comparison to the organisation which doesn’t practice this phenomenon because it helps employees to be creative and take educated risks. This ultimately keeps an organisation at par from others.
How To Create A Psychologically Safe Workplace?
1- Don’t Blame Others
One of the most essential things for psychological safety is people should feel comfortable during voicing out their opinions. There should be no fear of being judged. This can happen when everyone understands each other and don’t blame anyone for their opinions, thoughts, actions, etc. Being empathetic to others is a must for creating a psychologically safe workplace.
2- Management Should Practice Active Listening
People who in the higher position should practice active listening and encourage it so that people feel valued and heard. When concerns are addressed properly and solved logically, people feel safe to voice out their opinions. Management should ask for feedback from employees, always acknowledge and accept their mistake, and be open for different opinions and should implement the appropriate ones.
3- Developing An Open And Learning Mindset
It’s important for everyone in the organization to have an open mindset where new ideas are encouraged and accepted. People learn from each other’s mistake and grow from it. Management should not punish for being wrong or committing mistakes. Everyone should give constructive feedback so that people can learn from it.
4- Lead by Example
People who are in management should create a safe environment for colleagues. They should listen to each other, accept each others’ views, and work together. When employees see managers creating a safe environment, they will be motivated to do the same.
5- Promote Healthy Conflict
Each employee comes with different experience and has different view point towards any situation. It is possible that when different people put their points, conflict can arise. Management should promote this, so that every person can come forward and raise the point. In the end of discussion, management should take a reasonable decision.