It’s usual for businesses to want to take calculated risks to maximize business output and reap the rewards. But there are a number of repercussions of this, most notably the impact on our employees. Employees want to feel they contribute to every nature of the business but it’s critical that our employees feel psychologically safe when undertaking risk.
Psychological safety is the essence of employees feeling like they can express themselves and contribute to the business in their own way, but there are a number of crucial things underpinning this. What are these?
A Physically Safe Working Environment
Any accident attorney will tell you about the importance of a physically safe space and, on the surface, it’s very straightforward as to why this is so important. Health and safety are those two things that businesses feel is a box-ticking exercise at times. But it becomes critical in certain environments where an employee may not feel they can work safely even in an office environment.
For example, working too close to staircases or not feeling like they can maneuver safely because of a physical issue like a disability. When you provide a physically safe working environment, you are giving them that real sense of stability beyond those perks like fair compensation and health care.
An Open Door Policy
Something that contributes to an understanding culture in a business, an open door policy is essential but it’s critical to make sure the people feel like they can come to the door. Psychological safety is all about ensuring those employees feel free to express themselves and so when they approach you, you’ve got to be approachable, non-judgmental, and have an open mind to match your open door.
Employees need to have faith in their leaders’ abilities. Their support can easily waiver based on what is occurring within the business. Every employee can feel like they’re not able to weather those storms if a leader is communicating only the negative aspects. A leader is there to ensure that those employees can still do their jobs safely and that it will be okay. A leader who does offer stability and a clear direction will help employees feel confident in where the company’s going as well as the prospects for the future.
For many of us, it is a get-out clause that it’s always something or someone else’s fault. The problem with this is that when something goes wrong there is no way to put it right because of the propensity for deflection. Instead, any leader or line manager can help employees feel psychologically safe in a work environment by putting the kibosh on this. Problem solving is necessary and therefore when we get over the habit of blaming we slowly chip away at any negative mindset which will only result in positivity, curiosity, and better effort.
Psychological safety is something that does not need to be overtly discussed but if the components are there it will never need to be brought up again and you will have great workers and a great working environment.