How do we foster safe environment in a workplace?
Are there benefits when an employee embrace safety at workplace?
Employee engagement was first defined as “personal engagement” by Dr. William Kahn who is commonly known as the father of employee engagement (Delves, 2020). Dr. William described safety as part of psychological condition that influences employee engagement.
What is psychological safety?
Psychological safety is the ability to recognize that high performance requires openness, flexibility, and interdependence that develops under an environment that is conditioned to psychologically being safe (Delves, 2020).
With this being said, the establishment of a sense of safety in a workplace promotes levels of engagement as this directly motivates individuals to handle difficult tasks, creates a space for learning and development as well as it significantly improves their performance. A psychologically safe environment opens doors to ideas sharing without the fear of criticism and employees would feel able to make mistakes, admit mistakes and learn from their mistakes.
Now, ask yourself if these leads to better innovation and decision-making in the workplace, would you start working on creating a safe space for your employees?
Let’s discuss some of the tools that you could provide whilst focusing on employee engagement with safety.
To instill an environment where employees have a sense of safety requires an organization to provide them with the programs, tools and endless opportunities.
Here are 4 takeaways that you could use in a HR Space to build a psychologically safe environment at your workplace:
- Become acquainted: Find out the core factor that makes each team member to get along. What could be their motivational values, hopes, dreams, fears and ambitions?Psychological safety can only be created with mutual trust and the first step to attaining it is to build acquaintance.
- Setting expectations: This step ensures everyone have a clear understanding that these expectations are all about honesty and openness — to create a high performing team. Having a fun and transparent culture would allow the employees to take a step towards the organizational goals.
- Display some susceptibility: In the given era, it is almost rare that an employer is expected to have a distant attitude far from their employees. An employer is as much as a human as an employee and vice versa. Allow the showcase of humanity, humbleness and vulnerability and you’ll be surprised on how quickly employees would reciprocate.
- Communication is the KEY!: Provide feedback and receive feedback. Express your feeling when you’re pleased with their progress. Ask them questions as such as “how is it going with you?”. Display concern and a sense of responsibility. This would create a culture that builds a safe environment for the employees.
Alchemy Resources have our own learning management system (LMS) in which our course “Essential Qualities of Great Leader” (EQGL) have described Motivational Triggers in a workplace that drives an employee’s performance. In behaviour modification, triggers are essential tools to remind and activate a response. The following describes an excerpt from the content from the LMS:
A person’s strengths aren’t always on display. Sometimes they require precise triggering to turn them on. Motivational trigger can be categorized into Intrinsic and Extrinsic. Sense of safety is categorized under the intrinsic reward which may directly improve performances of individual.
Physiological reward such as sense of safety, that allows employees to speak their ideas and voice out their opinions, promotes and triggers them to perform better.
Squeeze the wrong one, and the person may well shut down. This can be tricky because triggers come in myriad and mysterious forms.
- Delves, R. (2020). How Psychological Safety Drives Productivity and Engagement. Bonusly. Retrieved from https://blog.bonus.ly/how-psychological-safety-drives-productivity-engagement