If you’re looking at team building for your Vancouver business, as a leader one of the most important parts of your job is to help employees succeed and feel engaged with their job. But if you don’t create psychological safety at work, those goals may not be possible.
What is psychological safety?
Psychological safety is defined as “a belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns or mistakes.” and was coined by Dr. Amy Edmondson of Harvard Business School.
A business team with strong psychological safety are less likely to be afraid of the negative consequences that may result from:
- Taking risks
- Making mistakes
- Sharing their opinions/concerns within their team
- Being candid with team members
Because of this, these teams are more likely to share their opinions and take initiative when it matters most.
How to create psychological safety at work
Now that you know the definition and why psychological safety matters, the next questions is how do you create this at work? Here are some strategies you can use.
To create psychological safety in the workplace, building self-awareness in your team is critical. Everyone thinks and behaves in certain ways and if you look at yourself and how you think and behave, you can find out how this might impact your team’s willingness to share their opinions.
Self-awareness also encourages you to understand how you normally respond to changes or challenges in the workplace. Knowing this, you can now make adjustments on how you react and learn to react in a way that promotes open discussion.
Demonstrate concern and interest
Some people are not naturally mindful of how team members are doing, so they may not ask. By getting into the habit of checking in with your team, it shows that you care about them as people and not just employees. Doing this will make team members feel more comfortable speaking with you about certain things as they know you appreciate them and not just their production.
Allow for questions
As a decision is being made, pause the meeting and ask the team if they have any questions or different viewpoints that may have not been addressed. Once you have asked this question, count to 10 before moving on or ending the meeting. Some people need a few moments to collect themselves and to ask the question, so train yourself to pause and promote additional input.
Alternate ways to share thoughts
While some people are comfortable speaking up in meetings, others may need time to think about what they want to say. Encourage your team to share feedback alternatively through email, online chat, in-person conversations, etc.
Judgement free zone
If you really want your team members to openly share their opinions, you need to establish an environment where all ideas are welcome. As you are brainstorming together, make sure you suspend all judgement. You don’t need to act on each and every idea, but thanking someone for their input goes a long way when trying to establish psychological safety.
Explain timeline changes
As with all businesses, timelines can change and plans will need to be adjusted. Some team members will be able to accommodate these changes easily, while others may have a difficult time. When expectations change or new information is brought forward, make sure to be clear on what changes and why these changes occurred, and give your team time to adjust to the changes.
hen teaming building for your Vancouver business, the tone and environment you set for your employees will determine whether you succeed or not, so when you employ these strategies to build psychological safety, you encourage your team to share ideas and concerns and to feel comfortable doing so, which will improve your team’s performance. Contact us today to learn more about this very effective tool.