“Psychological safety” the missing piece of occupational safety
Is it safe to speak? This is an issue employers should focus on when trying to improve workplace safety, according to a work culture expert.
A climate in which members of a team or organization feel safe enough to talk about issues, raise questions, report conditions, confront behaviors, and even come up with new ideas – known as ‘safety’. psychological ”- can have a significant impact on workplace safety, according to Dr. Steven Simon, president of Culture Change Consultants, Inc., who presented Tuesday at the American Society of Safety Professionals’ Safety 2021 conference and exhibition, which held in Austin and online.
“Organizations with high (psychological security) regularly and effectively leverage employee expertise for innovative ideas,” he said, adding that “organizations with low (psychological security), on the other hand, remove engagement employees. Without psychological safety, fear can – and prevents – employees from bringing up problems and, therefore, problems may never be noticed or resolved. “
Since he started consulting with organizations on culture change, employee needs and the elements that embody a comprehensive approach to psychological safety have evolved, but overall, Dr. Simon says there are has four main factors: the individual factor, the team factor, the leadership factor and the culture factor.
“You have to work on all four levels at the same time,” he said, offering practical tips and tools to promote psychological safety in each category.
First, establishing team standards around psychological safety is a critical start.
“When teams have ground rules or standards they can work on, they tend to rely on them when they go through the stormy period of a lot of conflict, and they get it done,” and they become much more efficient, ”Dr. Simon says.
Paying attention to team standards leads to the leadership factor. There are three main ‘clichés’ for success in this area, Dr Simon said: “Number one, practice what you preach. Second, be collaborative. Third, listen to understand rather than to be understood.
Maintaining a healthy and secure culture – the fourth factor – relies heavily, if not entirely, on leadership. To be successful in the leadership factor, organizations must go back to the basic first factor: the individual.
In one case study, a former chairman of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc., who describes himself as a “man of numbers,” struggled to measure the true security performance of the New York utilities giant on a quarterly basis. Jersey, understanding that incident rates alone were not enough. So he became a thug.
“He said, I will create my own measure and that will be the quality of the dialogue I hear when I engage with the employees of this company, whenever it comes to safety,” Dr recounted. Simon. “Each quarter, I will tell a story about a conversation I had, and I will tell you where I think that places our safety culture.”
Managing not by the numbers, but by the human element of safety, has had a huge impact on the business, improving safety performance, improving company culture and demonstrating strong leadership – and by carrying out a global approach to safety culture.