There are employees who outperform others every year and there are employees that somehow miss the zeal to contribute and end up performing below par in the tasks assigned to them. So what does it take to have more of the former in our workplace and motivate the latter to improve? The answer has been the same for hundreds of years. Everyone tends to perform better when they feel safe, both physically and psychologically. Psychological safety at work, therefore, plays a major role in the performance of an employee as much of the data suggests.
High-performing teams thrive in an environment of trust and psychological safety. When organizations prioritize making the workplace a safe and happy place for employees, not only do the employees’ performance shoot up, but so do the profits. A perfect win-win.
As leaders, it is therefore important to prioritize and provide psychological safety at work for every employee. Employees need to understand that failing is ok and that they are always given a space to explore, learn, execute, fail and re-learn with every project they take up. It is important that they feel safe to open up about their issues and talk about them openly without the fear of being judged.
In a survey conducted by Qualtircs, two out of five respondents (nearly 41.6%) have said that their mental health has declined since the pandemic outbreak. It is therefore also clear that stress due to work has increased even when the employees are staying home. Hence, it is the leaders of the organizations who are responsible to keep their teams together, making them feel safe and happy and engaged.Here are a few ways we recommend in which you can ensure psychological safety for your employees and create a better work environment for them.
4 Simple Ways to Ensure Psychological Safety at Work
Show your team that you are listening to them
Everybody has an opinion and each opinion has its own value during a discussion. However, often we tend to sometimes ignore suggestions or forget to respond to them and resume with the work. While this may be done unintentionally, it makes employees lose confidence in their opinions. When that happens, they slowly reduce their inputs and their psychological safety is compromised. Always ensure that as a leader you are always listening to your employees while you are talking to them.
If things go wrong, avoid the blame game
While making people accountable for their actions is necessary, it should not start putting additional pressure on your employees to an extent that at the end of the day, everybody starts taking responsibility for themselves and not as a team. Keep the reviews such that it brings out the best from your employees, keeps them on the right track, and yet ensures that they are not scared to make mistakes.
Work should be fun for everyone
Think of innovative ideas to make your employees come together. It can be a FIFA game or a movie night, basically anything that helps them to talk to each other about things other than work. With Covid-19 limitations in place, this list of some amazing virtual team-building exercises might help.
Use Technology to Understand Sentiment
Often your employees might not be able to share issues that they are having directly with you. However, tools such as Berry, an AI-based deep learning employee voice platform can help you get the pulse of your workforce at the click of a button. Berry integrates seamlessly with your communication channel, holds conversations with your employees gaining valuable insights about their routine, behavior, sentiments and transforms this data into insights for leadership teams to make informed employee-centric decisions.