Years ago when we talked about safety at work we were usually talking about the physical elements – no trip and fall hazards, good air quality, making sure those who had to lift, haul or move things had the appropriate equipment.


Today, in addition to that – with more burnout and anxiety at work than ever before – the conversation has shifted to Psychological Safety. One of my teachers calls this a BANI world: brittle, anxious, non-linear, and incomprehensible. Yikes!


In a BANI world, creating a psychologically safe work environment is a necessity if you are looking for more productivity, innovation, and employee well-being (and I know you are!)


Today – if you want to be attractive to the best employees (and best customers) you want to make sure your workplace is a safe space for employees to express themselves, take risks, and learn from failures.


So what IS psychological safety and how do you cultivate it in your organization?


Psychological safety refers to an environment where people feel comfortable being themselves, speaking up without fear of reprisal, and taking risks without the dread of being ridiculed or ostracized. It’s about fostering an atmosphere of trust, respect, and openness where everyone’s opinions and contributions are valued.


Teams with high levels of psychological safety simply perform better. There’s high trust and high performance.


When employees feel safe to share their ideas, concerns, and feedback, it leads to increased collaboration, creativity, and problem-solving. When you focus on creating that kind of happiness at work, it enhances employee engagement and job satisfaction. It reduces the risk of turnover and boosts overall organizational performance.


So, here are 7 ways you can create it in your workplace:


Lead by Example: As a leader, your behavior sets the tone for the entire organization. Demonstrate your vulnerability by admitting mistakes, asking for feedback, and encouraging others to do the same. Show empathy and actively listen to people’s concerns with an open heart. Create a high “Positivity Ratio” by creating at least 3 times more positivity than negativity.


Establish Clear Expectations: Provide clarity about goals, roles, and responsibilities to avoid confusion and ambiguity. When employees understand what is expected of them, they feel more confident in their actions and decisions. And while you’re doing that – help them prioritize them as well!


Encourage Open and Honest Communication without Blame or Judgement: Create channels for open dialogue where employees feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, ideas, and concerns. Foster a culture of constructive feedback where it’s viewed as an opportunity for growth rather than a personal attack. See if you can rid yourself of the need to call it “criticism”. That word is loaded.


Celebrate Diversity:  Respect and appreciate the unique perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences that each individual brings to the table. Create a sense of belonging where everyone feels valued and accepted.


Support Risk-Taking and Learning: Encourage experimentation and innovation by rewarding initiative and creativity. Acknowledge that failure is a natural part of the learning process. Emphasize the importance of resilience and continuous improvement. And make it fun!


Address Conflict Promptly: Conflict is inevitable in any workplace, but how it is managed can either enhance or undermine psychological safety. See it as an opportunity for learning. Resolve issues quickly before issues escalate.


Invest in Training and Development: Provide opportunities for skill development, training, and coaching to empower employees to reach their full potential. Invest in programs that promote emotional intelligence, empathy, and effective communication. (Mine do!)


Creating psychological safety at work is not an overnight process; it requires continuous effort and commitment from both leaders and employees alike. When you foster an environment where individuals feel safe to be themselves, speak their minds, and take risks, you lay the foundation for a thriving and resilient and happy organization.

Cultivate a culture of trust, respect, empathy and appreciation where everyone can flourish and contribute their best.

Start. Right. Now.

I can help! 561-279-0027 for a complimentary mini coaching session that will leave you with ideas you can put into practice.

Be well, stay happy,


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