Psychological Safety Training: 7-Signs Your Organization Requires One

Psychological safety training infers that one can be their authentic self and openly voice their ideas and opinions without fear of judgment or discrimination. Such mental peace is essential for the employees to remain empowered of their work and role, taking on necessary risks and working out the situations altogether. 

Importance of Psychological Safety

As per the statistics of 2021, a full-time employee in the US spends an average of 1,801 hours per year, that is 37.5 hours per week. Thus, the employees must stay enthusiastic at work every day and contribute better in bringing up ideas on the plate and decision making.

Psychology safety training can help build up trust, employee well-being, retention, also allowing room for creativity and innovation.

What is the Reason Behind Discomfort Expressing Yourself

The core issue boils down to insecurity and fear of getting ostracized or ridiculed for their thoughts and ideas. The core issue boils down to insecurity and fear of getting ostracized or ridiculed for their thoughts and ideas. They feel others will judge them for who they are, and their opinions. They fear that they will be yelled at or scolded for disagreeing with the decision of the higher-ups.

So, what is providing psychological safety? Is it just about being nice or, is there more to it? How is it beneficial for the organization?

No, it’s Not Just About Being Nice

Psychological Safety is not, at all, about being nice and going on sugarcoating things just to allow others to feel happy. In contrast, a result found that being nice and all eventually lead to losses. The higher-ups fail to deliver constructive criticisms and feedback only for being a nice push, and the business is at stake.

It’s about providing a safe space, encouraging and inviting everyone to be their authentic self and share their thoughts and views without any fear of judgment or action. It results in job satisfaction and pushes the bar of innovation, resulting in higher productivity.

7 Signs Your Organization Requires Psychological Safety Training

It is an utmost requirement in every organization, whether a multinational or startup business, to ensure your employees love and feel safe working with you. Here are signs your company may be falling short in this aspect and require psychological safety training.

  1. Your employees feel uncomfortable voicing their concerns or seeking advice.
  2. You don’t encourage your employees to take risks.
  3. Punish or blame employees every time they make a mistake.
  4. Your employees don’t like to come to work and feel uncomfortable.
  5. Employees feel their concerns and issues get unheard.
  6. Lack of coordination among employees, which is necessary for team effectiveness.
  7. There is a lack of genuine feedback and either sugar-coated or not given at all in fear of upsetting others.

If you observe these signs in your business setting, you require a training program to promote psychological safety.

9 Key Objectives of a Psychological Safety Training Program

  1. Promote a healthy work culture
  2. Create a space for risks and mistakes
  3. Promote interpersonal relationships among employees
  4. Employees feel valued, heard, and respected.
  5. Encourage group discussions to resolve issues.
  6. Free flow of dialogues and ideas exchange across all hierarchical levels.
  7. Promote active listening
  8. Help employees better manage work-life challenges.
  9. To encourage a diverse and inclusive environment.

5 Things No Organization Must Tolerate at their Workplace

  1. Pressure employees to refrain from speaking up and voicing their opinions in meetings.
  2.  The higher-ups respond to mistakes by yelling, blaming, and ridiculing the juniors.
  3. Culture of continuous criticism with no space for encouragement.
  4. There is no room for discussions to reflect on what things went wrong in case of losses.
  5. Employees feel their opinions and perspectives don’t matter.

10 Key Strategies for Promoting Psychological Safety

An organization’s foundation is its employees, and its foundation must be strong and unified. Here are three key strategies by which you can make your organization a safe place for your workforce.

  1. Promote Quality of Conversations for Better Performance
  • Quality conversations are crucial for the exchange of ideas and knowledge.
  • People must be encouraged to work in teams to integrate ideas and listen to different perspectives.
  • Communicate quality conversations to be a direct factor in improved performance. It will encourage employees to get involved since they realize their role in resolving complex situations and spreading the good word to others. 
  1. Educate Employees on the Importance of Catering Different Perspectives
  • No change begins unless both teams are eager to change their viewpoint and tolerate differences. Executives must broaden their mindset and encourage and look onto different perspectives.
  • You must promote the healthy and free exchange of ideas and thoughts time-to-time discussions will help both the juniors and executives to assess their problem-solving skills.
  1. Help them Visualize their Skills
  • Visualization is a powerful tool to emboss certain behaviors and skills in the personality.
  • You can help employees compare their decision-making skills before and after visualizing themselves as open-minded and confident in themselves through model situations.
  • This technique will help them internalize the newly learned skills.
  1. Encourage to Show Vulnerability
  • Being open about vulnerabilities helps employees become better at handling interpersonal risks.
  • It allows employees to feel free to participate in discussions on uncomfortable issues and also helps build trust in their leaders.
  1. Encourage Learning from Mistakes Attitude
  • Punishments and blame games are never a solution for dealing with mistakes.
  • You can encourage employees to approach failures with an open mind to analyze what may have gone wrong.
  • Honest discussions on such issues will help the employees to learn from their mistakes and explore new ideas.
  1. Promote Cultural Competency

Having a diverse workforce will allow you to connect to a greater audience and become aware of one’s own biases.

  1. Active Listening and Volunteer for Feedback
  • Listen to your employees and observe their verbal and non-verbal cues to detect any sign of discomfort and stress.
  • Encourage the employees to deliver feedback and voice their suggestions for a particular issue. It will help employees leave hesitation behind and freely express their views.
  1. Organize Healthy Conflicts through Debating Platforms

Make the employees get comfortable to voice their opinions in front of others. You can organize debates wherein they can engage in healthy dialogue without veering any personal attacks on one another.

  1. Respect is a Top Priority
  • No one in the world likes to feel disrespected for whatever efforts they put in their work or discussions.
  • The leaders must ensure every employee’s thoughts and perspectives are heard, and their opinions are respected.
  • The acknowledgment for their efforts will help them feel heard and appreciated, and thus they will feel motivated to put their ideas more often on the table.
  1. Assess How Safe and Valued They Feel
  • You can assess psychological safety by either conducting surveys or one-on-one meetings to cater to the employees’ feedback about how safe and valued they feel in the organization. 
  • You can also encourage them to provide suggestions for making the work culture and environment a better place for them. It will help build trust, and they will feel heard.

6  Benefits of Psychological Safety

  1. Encourages employees to seek help from those who are in higher positions.
  2. It allows improving them through constructive criticism and motivation to strive forward.
  3. It encourages people to voice for wrong-doings.
  4. The employees don’t shy away from taking risks and picking up challenges.
  5. It brings up the innovation and creativity factor as more and more employees share their perspectives and ideas.
  6. It improves interpersonal relationships, coordination, and to have effective communication.

Psychological safety is all about creating a safe space for people to freely voice their opinions and thoughts while being their authentic selves. Such training programs allow the organizations to become a haven where fruitful regular discussions and dialogue exchange occur, and no barriers seem to come and hamper the free flow of ideas. After all, these ideas are what give birth to novel innovations.

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