5 tips to improve psychological safety in your company

Psychological safety is crucial for building trust within teams. When employees feel safe and supported by their colleagues and managers, they are more likely to be motivated and productive. Companies that want to help their employees reach their full potential should prioritize creating a psychologically safe environment where individuals and teams can thrive

A few years ago, Google released a study showing that psychological safety was one of the most important factors in creating effective and high-performing teams. And since then, many companies have explored how to achieve this.

What is psychological safety?

In short, psychological safety means that employees feel they can freely express themselves without fear of how it will be received by others, and they feel safe to bring up ideas or admit mistakes.

There are many benefits for companies that create an environment with high psychological safety. It builds trust between colleagues and teams, encourages new ideas, increases motivation and engagement, and improves your retention rate. 

What can HR or leaders do to promote psychological safety in the workplace?

Applying psychological safety is not only about giving employees the freedom to express themselves, it is also about creating an environment that encourages creativity and innovation. Here are some tips on what you can do to create a healthy dynamic in the workplace

1. Include employees in decision-making

Companies should ensure that there are contexts where employees can safely share their opinions and thoughts. Creating a meeting culture that encourages employees to express their opinions or make suggestions is crucial. To contribute to a sense of transparency, managers should ensure that their teams understand the reasons behind different business decisions, as a lack of transparency can create friction and negatively impact productivity.

2. Admit and share mistakes

Mistakes are an essential part of learning. All employees should feel that it's okay to make mistakes and share their experiences when things go wrong. Organizations can greatly benefit from being open about their goals and potential mistakes, increasing transparency and preventing repetition. Strengthening psychological safety requires efforts to promote effective leadership that refrains from blaming individuals for mistakes. The focus should always be on collaborative learning and finding solutions together.

3. Focus on mental health

Mental health is always important but is especially relevant in this context. Being stressed at work, while also dealing with personal stress, can create major problems for individuals and the overall work environment. Educating managers on identifying mental health issues and encouraging them to address these issues openly is important. Furthermore, maintaining a work-life balance by respecting working hours and not sending requests or other communications outside of work hours is crucial.

4. Develop a feedback culture

Constructive and consistent feedback is necessary for employees to develop and is the foundation of the company's growth. The absence of feedback increases the risk of unmotivated employees, who neither feel seen nor acknowledged. Giving and receiving feedback can be challenging, but in a psychologically safe work environment, constructive feedback is integrated into the culture and ensured through various processes, such as system support for regular and relevant feedback.

Did you know that AlexisHR offers tools for both Employee Reviews and Engagement Surveys? These features help you carry out effective performance reviews and gather important feedback through regular engagement surveys. By using these methods, you can establish a clear and effective framework for feedback, which facilitates communication between leaders and employees. This contributes to a more encouraging and constructive work environment where both leaders and employees feel supported and appreciated.

5. Adjust your routines and leadership style 

The pandemic has changed how many companies work. It's not as common for all employees to be in the same place every day, and companies need to adapt their routines. First and foremost, trust between managers and employees is crucial, and it is particularly important to avoid 'micromanagement.' Adapting to individual working styles is also key, which is best achieved by encouraging employees to be open about their preferences regarding feedback, leadership style, and communication methods.

Another effective strategy to improve collaboration, even when team members are working remotely, is to use software like AlexisHR for Goal setting and OKRs. An HR platform with functionality for setting goals can assist in establishing, tracking, and aligning both goals and OKRs. This approach keeps everyone focused on shared objectives and makes it simpler for managers and leaders to oversee their departments and monitor progress continuously.

Get in touch to learn more and explore how AlexisHR's features can support your work in psychological safety.

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