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Is psychological safety overrated?

BY Michelle McQuaid

Hey there,

We hope your week is going well.

Over the past few months, we’ve been surprised at the healthy level of debate as to the merits of psychological safety (the belief that talking openly and honestly is valued), especially when it comes to minimizing psychosocial (emotional and social) risks in workplaces.

Despite new standards (e.g. ISO 45003) and legislation stating workers need to be educated and consulted on their experiences of psychosocial risks, there are some concerns about the evidence supporting the potential benefits of psychological safety.

In an effort to better understand these concerns, we recently asked over 1,000 randomly selected workers and the world’s leading psychological safety researcher for their evidence-based insights.  Here are the three things we learned:

The surprising way to help minimize psychosocial risks

In this new research snapshot, we share the research data that shows how high levels of psychological safety impacted 15 different psychosocial hazards. Spoiler alert: workers who reported high levels of psychological safety reported fewer experiences of every psychosocial hazard measured. 

How psychological safety helps to lower levels of burnout

In this new blog, we share why Dr. Amy Edmondson suggests psychological safety can help to buffer us from psychosocial hazards by making it easier to be open with each other and talk about the risks we are encountering and how they can be navigated. 

Building a culture of safety and care

In our new podcast series, we share why workplaces that were perceived as having a culture of safety and care, reported higher levels of performance, psychological safety, and wellbeing and the lowest frequencies of psychosocial risks. Make sure to grab our toolkit of evidence-based practices to help build a culture of safety and care at the “Me” (individual), “We” (team), and “Us” level.

Please note, in case it needs clarifying, we nor anyone else is suggesting that psychological safety is the only action workplaces and leaders need to take to minimize psychosocial risks. We are simply sharing data that suggests it is an evidence-based tool worth considering depending on the context and skills of your workers.

After all, as Nikki Giovanni wisely said, “If now isn’t a good time for the truth I don’t see when we’ll get to it.” 

Warmest wishes,

Michelle & Team

 

P.S. If you’d like hands-on guidance to building more psychological safety in your workplace to help minimize psychosocial risks, then join us for our new Certificate In Leading Safety & Care. This live online training program kicks off on July 19th. Just click here.

 

P.S.S. We can’t wait to share what else we learned from this research about the enablers and drainers of workplace wellbeing in the coming weeks.

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