As the world evolves, so do the needs and demands of the modern workplace. Today, employers are no longer just focused on providing their employees with a good salary and benefits. Instead, companies are now looking at new and innovative ways to improve employee wellbeing, productivity, and overall job satisfaction. One such trend that has gained significant attention in recent years is psychological safety. In this article, we will explore what psychological safety is, its benefits, and how it can be linked to OKRs.
What is Psychological Safety?
Psychological safety is a term coined by Harvard Business School professor Amy Edmondson. It refers to the shared belief that team members feel safe to express themselves and take risks without fear of ridicule, embarrassment, or retaliation. It is the feeling of being able to show your vulnerability, make mistakes, and speak up without the fear of negative consequences. In a psychologically safe environment, employees feel comfortable sharing their opinions and ideas, even if they go against the norm or challenge existing assumptions.
Importance of Psychological Safety in the Workplace
Leaders play a critical role in creating psychological safety. According to research by Gallup, leaders who foster a culture of trust, openness, and inclusion are more likely to create an environment where employees feel safe to speak up and share their ideas.
Research has shown that psychological safety is crucial for team performance and individual wellbeing. In psychologically safe environments, team members are more likely to engage in learning behaviors, such as asking for feedback and sharing knowledge. This leads to increased innovation, creativity, and problem-solving. Additionally, employees in psychologically safe environments are less likely to experience stress, anxiety, or burnout, leading to increased job satisfaction and retention rates.
Psychological Safety & OKRs
OKRs, or Objectives and Key Results, is a goal-setting framework used by many successful companies. It involves setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound objectives, along with key results that indicate progress towards those objectives. When done right, OKRs provide clarity, focus, and alignment to an organization’s goals.
Psychological safety can play a significant role in the success of OKRs. In psychologically safe environments, employees are more likely to take risks, share their ideas, and engage in learning behaviors, which can lead to better objective setting and alignment. Additionally, psychological safety can help teams communicate more effectively, leading to better collaboration and accountability towards achieving their objectives.
Of course, it’s worth noting that simply implementing OKRs does not automatically create a psychologically safe workplace. It’s important for leaders to also foster a culture of trust, respect, and open communication, and to encourage employees to speak up with their ideas, questions, and concerns. However, OKRs can be a helpful tool in supporting and reinforcing these broader efforts.
In conclusion, psychological safety is a new HR trend that has gained significant attention in recent years. By fostering a culture of respect, open communication, and learning behaviors, employers can promote psychological safety in the workplace. Psychological safety can lead to increased productivity, innovation, and employee wellbeing. Additionally, it can play a significant role in the success of OKRs by promoting effective communication, collaboration, and accountability. With the importance of psychological safety in the workplace becoming increasingly recognized, it is vital for organizations to prioritize and invest in creating a psychologically safe environment for their employees.