Mental safety at the workplace is the belief that you won’t be punished/humiliated for speaking up your ideas, questions, concerns.
When employees don’t feel safe/comfortable to start conversations about things that aren’t working well, the organization is losing opportunities, cannot increase performance, long-term retention of talented employees is not possible.
Here are some ideas about how to create a mentally safe workplace
Make it a priority:
- Discuss its importance in team meetings and adopt yourself the behaviours you want to see in others
Facilitate everyone speaking up
- Show curiosity, empathy and encourage truth-telling.
- Be open-minded, empathetic, a leader-coach, when someone is say something challenging the status quo. This means listening without judgement, accepting every idea or opinion, discussing with a positive and constructive approach.
Build a culture of learning from mistakes
- Mistakes aren’t bad, they are opportunities to do better in the future. It’s better to fail or make a mistake then to do nothing.
- Include in your team meetings a learning from failure moment and start sharing your own experiences of learning from your mistakes.
Build space to listen to new ideas and perspectives from the team members
- In other words encourage brainstorming.
- Include in your team’s meetings presentations of out of the box ideas moments
- Implement a system that encourages your team members to constantly generate them
Don’t run from conflict
- Conflict and distress are always a good opportunity to learn and do better.
- Encourage debate in conflict solving and make clear norms for:
- how to communicate concerns about things that aren’t working
- how can be shared with colleagues divergent opinions
- conflict solving
How do you manage your work environment? What do you do to build a safe workplace?