Tips to Build Psychological Safety in Your Workplace: Part 3 – Reinforce Through Response

6 mins read

This article covers 3 tips for reinforcing psychological safety in your workplace through response:

    • Express Appreciation
    • Openly Discuss Mistakes
    • Realign with Goals

This is the final part of a 3 part series on “Tips to Build Psychological Safety in Your Workplace”. Make sure you don’t miss out on the tips from Part 1 and Part 2 of this series!

Before we get started with the final tips, if you are wanting more information on what exactly psychological safety is and how it could benefit your workplace, read our article on [link 3] “What is Psychological Safety in the Workplace”.

Part 3 – Reinforce Through Response

In order to reinforce psychological safety in your workplace once you have started to establish it, it is essential for you to respond to situations arising around psychological safety in a constructive manner. Constructive responses can include expressing your appreciation, openly discussing mistakes, and realigning with the company goals to emphasize purpose.

1. Express your Appreciation

It is very important as a leader that you show support for your employees’ effort regardless of the outcome. When people are shown that their performance is solely based on their abilities, they are more likely to act out of fear and not open up fully in the work environment. If you show your employees that their performance is instead measured by their strategies and efforts, they are more likely to be willing to try new things with less fear and participate with the team despite adversity or the possibility of failure.

Appreciation can be shown in many different ways in your workplace. Showing your gratitude to an employee for their efforts can be shown through various forms and a varying range. Appreciation can be a simple thank you or pat on the back, to a gift card, a paid day off, or even a bonus!

Responding to your employee’s efforts with positivity is a great motivation booster, even if they may have experienced failure i.e. a learning opportunity. The effort is what is important, and if you don’t acknowledge the effort, it may discourage them from trying something similar in the future out of fear.

2. Openly Discuss Mistakes

While Part 1 of this series talks about making it ok to make mistakes, this is about reinforcing that point by openly discussing those mistakes to find solutions. Once your employees understand that mistakes are okay as long as they are learning from them, it is important that they see how you are reinforcing the positivity around mistakes and making them a learning opportunity. By openly discussing errors that have happened within your company without placing blame, you are able to come up with solutions as a team in a healthy way while making up for those errors and allowing them to learn from past mistakes.

Destigmatizing failure in your workplace will be a steppingstone towards success. Acknowledging gaps demonstrates humility on your end as a leader and will also help to promote an effective group discussion that is solution focused.

In these discussions around mistakes, you can offer help, brainstorm on what should be done next, consider possible outcomes, then decide together on an effective solution.

3. Realign with Goals

Realigning with the company goals and the greater purpose is one of the best ways to engage with your employees. What is the point in reinforcing anything or engaging with your employees if they don’t have or understand the motive behind their actions? As their leader you need to recognize what is at stake, why it matters, who this matters to – then communicate it in a meaningful way to your team!

Clear goals and a strong company purpose will help align employee’s actions while also creating clear shared expectations. This also creates a great opportunity to discuss with your employees what measures will be taken if there is a clear violation or breech on the agreed upon goals or purpose.

While some may see this as something that would create negativity or stress in the work environment, discussing repercussions for actions will create ease as the expectations are clearly laid out with no surprises looming.

Safety is Safety

Whether mental or physical, safety is safety and should be taken seriously within the workplace. If you are focusing on building psychological safety within your workplace, reinforcing what you have established is the final step we recommend focusing on. Reinforcing can be demonstrated by responding with appreciation, openly discussing company mistakes, and realigning you and your teams with the company goals and purpose. Now that you have read our suggestions on building psychological safety within your workplace, it’s time to put those tips to action! What tip can you focus on today that will help to promote psychological safety in your workplace?

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