In today’s fast-paced and high-stress work environment, mental health and well-being have become critical issues that need to be addressed. One aspect that can significantly impact the mental health of employees is psychological safety in the workplace.
Psychological safety refers to a work environment in which individuals feel comfortable expressing their ideas and opinions without fear of retribution or judgment. A psychologically safe workplace promotes trust, collaboration and creativity, and can significantly enhance employee well-being.
At Kantola, we believe that when employees feel that they can speak up without fear of retribution, it can positively impact their mental health, job satisfaction, and overall performance. Conversely, when individuals feel that they are not free to express themselves, it can lead to stress, anxiety, and burnout.
While experts are still exploring the concept of psychological safety in the workplace, its impact on employee mental health, and strategies that employers can use to create a psychologically safe work environment—it can be difficult to know how to initiate this within your own workplace.
Here are three influencers we follow, and what they say about prioritizing psychological safety in the workplace.
Antoine Ferrère | Global Head Behavioral and Data Science
In his recent research highlight from MIT Sloan Management Review, Proven Tactics for Improving Teams’ Psychological Safety, Antoine along with experts Chris Rider, Zsófia Belovai, Maria Guadalupe, and Florian Englmaier reveals interventions that managers can use to increase employees’ comfort with speaking up and raising concerns. Why we like it? While we know a lot about psychological safety and its association with desirable outcomes in the workplace, there has been little evidence suggesting how to foster it in practice. That’s what Antoine sought for: actionable guidance in putting this concept into practice. Read the full research takeaway here.
Amy Edmondson | Professor at Harvard Business School
In an episode of her podcast for HBR titled Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace, Amy discusses why she believes companies with a trusting workplace perform better—and what psychological safety can actually look like. Why we like it? Amy hones in on giving candid feedback, openly admitting mistakes, and learning from each other through active storytelling, listening, and employee engagement. Listen to the full 26 minutes.
Jennifer Guckel Porter | Author and Managing Partner
In her article featured in Harvard Business Review, How Managers Can Address Their Own Biases Around Mental Health, Jennifer discusses the importance of preventing personal biases from affecting task assignments or performance reviews of an employee who has disclosed a mental health issue to their manager. Why we like it? Jennifer says that to minimize the negative effects of stigma after a mental health disclosure, managers should acknowledge their biases, approach the situation with an open mind, work together to find solutions, and promote a workplace culture that is supportive and understanding. Read the full article.