Prioritising the psychological safety of staff and creating an environment where everyone feels included, safe to ask questions and able to work without fear of retribution or retaliation is essential. It creates a sense of belonging amongst colleagues, which leads to increased employee engagement, an improved culture, better wellbeing, and mental health.
Truly psychologically safe workplaces don't just allow people to speak out when they feel that there is an issue which needs to be discussed. They also encourage their colleagues to support and act on those conversations and eliminate unwanted behaviours, opinions, and practices.
It's an indication of the team culture and is only present if all team members feel it. Nurturing psychological safety in diverse teams is therefore crucial. It helps those in minority groups to feel they can engage in interpersonal risk-taking at work safely, without the fear of negative consequences.
Psychological safety has been proven to help teams realise the potential of diversity for both performance and well-being. It is essential for team leaders to build psychologically safe environments through framing good practice, inquiring how their colleagues are feeling, and bridge boundaries that may result in discrimination and harassment.