Nisha had recently gone through a divorce before joining her current role. She had begun settling in the new workspace and worked hard to form good working relationships. One day, she had overheard her manager saying, “Divorcees are quite promiscuous in nature. That is why they struggle to commit to a relationship.” Nisha’s manager would often dismiss her in the meetings. Nisha was feeling frustrated at their workplace.
Rahul was harassed at his workplace. Some of his colleagues were making fun of the way he dressed. He brought up this concern to his manager. But Rahul was surprised when he learned that his manager wanted him to stop complaining for such trivial issues. His manager also dissuaded people from conversations about workplace harassment. He never encouraged an open dialogue or communication in his team. Rahul felt unsafe working in the office.
Studies highlight some of the reasons behind increasing employee attrition rates. Like Rahul and Nisha, many employees at workplace feel unsafe in their work environment. One of the topmost stressor at workplace is lack of psychological safety. This begs the question: What is psychological safety?
Psychological safety is the shared belief that an employee or team would not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns or mistakes. In a psychologically safe environment, discrimination would not interfere with allocation of opportunities to employees. Research indicates we become more open-minded, resilient, motivated, creative and persistent when we feel safe. As a result, team productivity increases contributing towards the growth of the organization. In other words, psychologically safe environment leads to a happier and productive workforce.
Leaders can influence the climate of the workgroup or organization by supporting a positive, open, and trusting environment. Let us look at some of the ways in which managers could create and facilitate psychological safety at workplace:
With an increase in psychological safety at workplace, you can expect to see higher levels of engagement, increased motivation, more learning and development opportunities, and better performance. To learn more about creating psychological safety at workplace, consult with our professional, qualified counselors by calling in at 1800-270-1790.