How many times have we seen the quote about people not leaving bad companies but leaving bad bosses? This LinkedIn-friendly meme is a pain-in-the-ass oversimplifying something bigger than ‘the boss’. Eskil focuses on building psychological safety at the corporate, departmental, team and individual levels. What this means is that we see the root causes of much that ails an organisation.
The 2015 quote by Steve Gruenert and Todd Whitaker in 2015 explains the problem a lot better.
Novartis Professor of Leadership at Harvard Business School, Amy C. Edmondson is the author of the book The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation and Growth. She defines “psychological safety” as “a climate in which people are comfortable being (and expressing) themselves.”
There are many issues that result from poor psychological safety. Referring back to the quote above, poor psychological safety is a reflection of what leadership is willing to tolerate.
By building psychological safety, leaders are building new cultures. We empower everyone to think and act in an adult, non-directional, non-judgemental way.
Gallup’s 2017 “State of the American Workplace Report” revealed that only 30% of U.S. workers strongly agreed that, at work, their opinions seemed to count. However, improving this figure has direct correlation to a reduction in turnover, safety incidents and an increase in productivity.
In the 2017 “report of the Office of the Ombudsman for Mental Health (the Office) of Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC)“, the Ombudsman found:
- 70% of Canadian employees are concerned about workplace psychological health and safety
- 14% of Canadian employees feel that their work environment is not healthy or safe
- 60% of Canadian employees with a mental health problem or illness won’t seek help for fear of being labeled
It went on to outline how some behaviours can lead to or aggravate an existing mental health issue, such as:
- A lack of communication, trust and empathy, primarily in the employee-employer relationship
- A lack of courtesy and respect, primarily in the employee-employer relationship
Building Psychological Safety
In our work in facilitative leadership, we focus heavily on ‘relationships’ – empowering and enabling individuals to build a new culture.
If you are interested in developing the mental wellbeing of your employees then you need to consider the culture and leadership that is driving this. Contact us to discuss ways to build your psychological safety framework.
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