Harvard Business Review recently published an article by Constance Hadley, Lecturer of Management and Organizations, discussing psychological safety in the workplace.
Between bank failures, war, inflation, and layoffs, there is a growing sense of instability and unease. At a time where the World Uncertainty Index remains high, it is natural for people to avoid taking risks to protect themselves. Companies learn faster and better when employees reveal errors, raise ideas, pose questions, and challenge perspectives. In unstable times, those acts of knowledge-sharing, pressure-testing, and feedback are even more vital, often making the difference between companies that innovate and adapt and those that don’t.
Contrary to how it may seem, these challenging times present an excellent opportunity to foster psychological safety in organizations. Conducting business-as-usual is a flawed approach. What’s required instead is creativity, experimentation, learning, and flexibility. Hadley states,
“Leaders are dependent on the contributions of employees’ ideas, perspectives, talents, and insights. They’re dependent on psychological safety if they wish to harness the full power of the workforce to address the challenges ahead”.