Psychological Safety Should Be a Part of Your Safety Programs

by Aug 16, 2023

In today’s modern workplaces, we recognize the growing importance of psychological safety. It’s not just another buzzword; it’s a fundamental concept that we value deeply. Just as we prioritize physical safety measures to protect our employees, we understand that psychological safety is equally vital.

The emotional and mental well-being of employees directly impacts their overall health and safety. That’s why we place as much emphasis on their psychological, social, and emotional needs as we do on physical safety. After all, taking care of their mental well-being is an integral part of maintaining a truly safe and thriving work environment.


Psychological Safety and Physical Safety

Psychological safety is a powerful concept that revolves around creating an environment where individuals feel free to express themselves without any fear of negative consequences. It’s about fostering a workplace culture where people can take risks, share ideas, and raise concerns without worrying about facing humiliation, ridicule, or punishment.

Now, let’s shift our focus to physical safety. Organizations understand the importance of providing a safe and secure working environment. They invest significant time, resources, and effort into measures such as: 

  • safety training
  • ergonomic assessments
  • equipment inspections 
  • implementing safety protocols

These measures are not just optional add-ons; they are fundamental responsibilities of employers who genuinely care about the well-being of their employees.

However, it’s crucial that we don’t overlook the significance of psychological safety. Just as a physical injury can have a detrimental impact on an employee’s ability to perform, a lack of psychological safety can hinder their cognitive abilities, creativity, and overall engagement. We must recognize that both physical and psychological safety are equally vital for creating a healthy and productive work environment.


Action Items for Your Organization

Let’s dive into some actionable steps that can truly foster a better workplace!


Invest in Training Programs

To create a truly inclusive and supportive work environment, your organization should prioritize investing in training programs and resources that promote essential skills such as empathy, emotional intelligence, inclusive communication, and allyship.

Just imagine the incredible impact these training programs can have! They have the power to bring about a positive transformation in the workplace. The result? A work environment that celebrates differences, resolves conflicts constructively, and ensures that every individual feels valued and respected. 

This kind of transformation can cultivate a psychologically safe space where employees can be their authentic selves, contribute their best, and flourish both personally and professionally. Check out our truly transformative training programs here!


Address Toxic Culture

Creating an inclusive work environment is extremely important for organizations. It’s crucial to address instances of bullying, harassment, or discriminatory behavior promptly and effectively. By having clear policies and procedures in place, you can ensure that all employees are aware of their rights and feel safe reporting any violations without fear of retaliation. Taking a strong stance against these behaviors sends a clear message that you prioritize psychological safety and will not tolerate any compromise.

We have an amazing resource available that provides 16 ways to step in when you notice toxic behaviors. It’s a great guide to equipping your employees with the tools and confidence to make a difference in your workplace.

And register for our FREE webinar on August 30th, 10am PST on Dealing With Toxic People at Work!


Lead By Example

Creating a safe work environment is key, and treating psychological safety with the same level of importance as physical safety is essential. It’s crucial to recognize that leadership plays a pivotal role in prioritizing employees’ mental health and safety, just as you do with their physical well-being. As a leader, you have the power to set an example by embracing inclusive behavior, respecting diverse perspectives, and demonstrating empathy in your interactions with colleagues.

To assist you even further, we’re offering free access to Catherine’s LinkedIn Learning course, “Teaching Civility in the Workplace.” Feel free to share this valuable resource with anyone who could benefit from it!

Civility is the platform for organizational success—it is absolutely necessary for an organization to reach its goals. Download our Ebook on Seeking Civility to learn more on how to create a workplace free of bullying and abusive conduct.


About Catherine Mattice

Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

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