How can your team members contribute to creating a psychologically safe work environment?
In the past two decades, a lot has been written about the importance of establishing a psychologically safe work environment. This topic has even more crucial with the introduction of the ‘Managing the risks of psychosocial hazards at work Code of Practice 2022’ (if you’d like to read more about the Code and what it means for you, see TMS’s Blog on this topic here).
But what should we expect of our team members in supporting our leaders and employers in creating a safe work environment?
While leaders undeniably wield influence in role modelling appropriate behaviours for nurturing a psychologically safe workplace, it’s now increasingly advantageous for them to prioritise equipping their team members with capabilities and skills to exhibit these behaviours. This portable psychological safety approach empowers individuals to cultivate mental resilience, aligning with both personal growth and organisational success.
According to the findings of Cy Wakeman, a noted researcher, building our own “personal portable psychological safety” grants team members the freedom to rely less on external behaviours and circumstances and acknowledge their own responsibility for influencing psychological safety. It gives team members the confidence to acknowledge that they are each perfectly imperfect human beings who don’t have everything figured out but they possess the capability to learn and grow.
So, what are some of the core skills we need to build to enhance our personal portable psychological safety?
These skills help team members to feel safer within ourselves and with others, where they are able to make informed choices about when it is safe to persist, when they need to ask for help, and when they need to set boundaries. Healthy levels of personal portable psychological safety also help team members to see things in a clearer and more balanced way so that they can navigate their experiences of work with more emotional intelligence, compassion, and accountability.
If you’re interested in discussing further how you can support your teams to build their own personal portable psychological safety, reach out to the TMS Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.