Confused about the psychological safety of your team?
August 12, 2022
The job of a manager is a crucial one. First, they are responsible for ensuring that their team reaches optimum levels of productivity day after day. Second, they must ensure that optimum conditions are present, allowing the team to achieve optimum productivity. Managing the environment has many dynamic facets, and a one size fits all formula would be rare to find. It includes both the physical as well as mental wellness of the employees.
If you are a manager or a leader, there is a chance that you, too, would have found yourself struggling to ensure that both are covered. Sacrificing on either front would stand for undervaluing your team members, which can be detrimental to team morale and enthusiasm.
Moreover, finding resources and guides for physical well-being would be relatively more straightforward. Several central and state legislations dealing with the issue are in place. It is the other part of employee well-being, psychological safety, which is prone to frequent overlooking.
Before beginning to dive deep into psychological safety, we need to develop an understanding of the term itself. In its simplest form, psychological safety comes from the feeling of acceptance without having to hide one’s good or wrong parts. Psychological safety in the workplace is closely associated with being comfortable with their place in the team. As a result, it can impact employee experience and engagement within the team. Therefore, we can agree on the importance of psychological safety in the workplace. And consequently, every manager needs to figure out ways to ensure the psychological safety of their employees.
Psychological safety is of immense importance for any manager for several reasons. It helps the team members by keeping them free from stress and tension. A healthy work-life balance is both a cause and effect of psychological safety in the workplace. Moreover, a free mind promotes curiosity and creativity. Additionally, it enables innovative problem-solving. People who feel safe in their environment are more likely to raise questions and bring new ideas to the table.
When team members are secure about their position in the team and the organization, they are more willing to take on responsibilities that involve risk. They might make mistakes, but they won’t be scared of doing so. Also, it has a positive impact on the team’s environment. Primarily, managers can create an atmosphere where collaboration and cohesion are the path guides, powered by effective communication. All in all, we cannot negate the benefits offered by psychological safety.
In order to do so, you can develop a stepwise framework.
You must first assess your team’s psychological safety level to get started. A keen eye and attentive ears can help you in this task. The absence of psychological safety is easily identifiable in a dead atmosphere. In a psychologically unsafe environment, you rarely find anyone raising counter questions or disagreements. You might also see that the communication is centered around a select cluster of people; the rest are not as active. Further, you can check if your workplace is psychologically safe or not by checking against this handy list of signs. A proper appraisal of the situation is essential before you set out to carry out the change.
In the second step to ensuring psychological safety, you will have to look for tangible actions that you can take. As we have noted earlier, the absence of psychological safety can bear a manifold detrimental impact on your team. Consequently, as a great manager, you must take steps to avoid that fate for your team.
Your initial interventions can be related to adding positivity to the general environment of the organization. After that, you can take concrete steps to address the problem. A series of interactions with your employees, either as one-on-one interviews or surveys, will help you envisage a suitable solution for your organization. Further, you can also take help from our blog on How Can Managers Ensure the Psychological Safety Of Their Team? These tips will surely help you become an effective and caring manager.
As you embark on the journey to create a better environment, you must take immense care in carrying out the task. Seniors and supervisors can easily jeopardize a team’s psychological safety due to their words’ impact. Therefore, you might want to take care while addressing your employees. Motivating comments that help in increasing their enthusiasm and commitment are always welcome.
However, in the flow of enabling unseconded productivity in your organization, you might lose the script and turn to behavior that can be dangerous for the mental well-being of your team. Many people will tell you what to say to your team. But it’s equally essential to know what you should not say to your team. To understand this idea further, you can read our blog on things no one told you to never say to your team. Because when you are making an effort, you should also take care to ensure their fruition.
All in all, the importance of psychological safety in the workplace cannot be highlighted enough. And the role of a manager or a leader in ensuring it is crucial as ever. Effectively, ensuring psychological safety in your team has to be on your to-do list if you want to become a great manager whose team touches new heights with every new day.