10 Ways Leaders can Create Psychological Safe Work Environments

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It’s senior leadership’s responsibility to not only create, but also maintain, a psychologically safe work environment. From April 1, 2023 the ramifications for all leaders and those in positions of authority, are significant. 

Initially, senior leaders and responsible persons within organisations are responsible for creating organisational psychological safety. 

They can do this by:

 

Leaders influence the behaviour and team environment up to 70%. It is critical that they are upskilled in communication, facilitation, emotional, social and cultural intelligence. 

Unless team leaders, at all levels of the organisation, publicly and consistently support psychological safety through their language and actions, team members will not take the actions necessary to create a high-performance work team nor will they support team members who do take those actions.

Ensure that your culture encourages psychological safety and not conflict ie if mistakes that are reported are penalised then it will be impossible to drive a “speak up culture” to report issues so that they can be resolved. 

It is the involvement of team members that matters most. Psychological safety only survives if every team member accepts their responsibility to support the rights of every other team member to be treated with dignity and respect and defend those rights against any behavior, from senior leaders, team leaders or other team members, who try to erode those rights.

Only with a commitment to the goal of a psychologically safe work environment, at every level of the organization, can a culture of silence, based on fear, be replaced with an enduring culture of “see something, say something” that creates high-performance teams.

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