How to Create a Psychologically Safe Work Environment

While there are many positive emotions to encourage in the workplace, trust is one of the most fundamental. It comes as a surprise to few that trust is crucial in a work environment, but creating it isn’t always a straightforward task.

With this in mind, there are a number of ways to create a psychologically safe atmosphere in the workplace.

Choose a Compatible Team

First impressions are deceiving, and it may take a number of meetings to gauge whether someone fits with a team dynamic. For this reason, pre-employment testing more accurately determines whether an individual fits on a specific team. A psychometric test measures a person’s unique behavioural and mental capabilities measures up to a specific role.

Set Clear Expectations

Without clear expectations there will be a great deal of miscommunication. As a result, employees won’t know exactly what needs to be done to succeed. Not only will they be less productive, but the office morale will suffer tremendously. Setting clear expectations and constantly updating them provides a solid ground for communication.

Encourage Ideas and Risk Taking

Although some ideas won’t stick, encouraging creative discussion fosters a more potent team environment. In fact, some leaders are unaware of how much their employees fear criticism for bad ideas. While staff may have a multitude of opinions and suggestions, they may feel discouraged to come forward.

Normalise Mistakes

While mistakes are a part of life, employees often feel unnecessary fear of making them. In fact, some work environments make them so fearful that they end up making mistakes as a result of stress. Although it seems counterintuitive, staff shouldn’t feel terrified of slipping up. There are times when mistakes may constitute a larger issue; however, it is important to keep in mind that
mistakes are integral to growth and illustrate that a team takes risks.

Lead by Example

In order to encourage active listening in the workplace, be an active listener. Employees are far more likely to follow their leaders’ example if they feel that they hold themselves to the same measure. For example, leaders that own up to their mistakes set a tone of responsibility in the office.

Acknowledge Success

It is important that staff aren’t terrified of making small mistakes. With that being said, it is equally important that they are recognized for their successes. Above all, individuals thrive with encouragement – whether this comes in the form of accolades, kind words, or promotions, it helps maintain an upward momentum.