One often overlooked yet crucial element stands out for professional development: psychological safety.

This is the cornerstone of a thriving workplace. It creates an environment where team members can freely articulate their thoughts and ideas without fearing judgment or reprisal. A more confident team is a more successful team.

What does psychological safety mean?

Psychological safety is the collective belief that individuals can take risks, share ideas, voice concerns, ask questions, and admit mistakes freely without fearing judgment.

It makes people feel confident in expressing their opinions and ideas without reservation. In this secure space, creativity can flourish. It can lead to better ideas, projects moving forward quicker and innovative solutions to ideas.

A genuinely safe space helps build trust in each other and their leaders. Individuals are more likely to collaborate openly and constructively. The lack of fear of judgement is essential for tackling challenging behaviours and practises and creating a culture of shared responsibility.

But how do you create a psychologically safe space?

Lead by example

Leadership sets the tone for your team’s culture. Encouraging open communication, admitting mistakes, and demonstrating vulnerability create a ripple effect, empowering others to do the same. Leaders prioritising psychological safety lay the foundation for a workplace culture where authenticity is celebrated. Normalise vulnerability and openly admit when things have gone wrong to start the conversation on how to do it better next time.

Active listening

Cultivating a culture of active listening ensures that every team member feels heard and valued regardless of their role or seniority. This inclusive practice contributes to a positive work environment and opens the door to a wealth of perspectives that can fuel innovation and problem-solving. Don’t just listen, but ask questions.

Constructive feedback

Redefine the perception of feedback within your team. Encourage the view that feedback is a pathway to growth, not a form of criticism. Make it clear that the goal is improvement, not judgment. Framing feedback as a tool for development fosters an environment of continuous improvement and mutual support. When someone comes to you with a mistake, change the narrative and use it as a lesson to learn from.

Why is Psychological safety important?

We know that at the heart of creating a great team is ensuring the individuals work to the best of their ability. To do that you need to be confident you’re creating a space where they can be the best versions of themselves. Work culture is more than just the brand values on the office wall. It should be at the heart of every interaction you have.

By creating a space where you can build confidence in yourself and your team, you can increase employee engagement and retention.

Our 2024 Work-Life Survey found that 52% of our candidates left work at the end of the week feeling positive.

And what was it that they had in common? 55% felt supported at work, 46% had a work best friend and 67% felt comfortable speaking up if they felt overwhelmed.

To be successful, everyone must be in a healthy working environment. We can help find the perfect balance. Contact us to speak to a consultant about how you can do that for your team or if you’re looking for a psychologically safe new job.

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