sense of emotional security

How do you as a leader foster a sense of emotional security/psychological safety at your workplace?

Feeling secure can be understood as a feeling of calm, certainty and safety that is at the core of a relationship. This may exist even through a rough patch and conflict. But what can this look like at work? At a workplace, this feeling of security ties in to psychological safety – i.e., feeling emotionally safe, and empowered to be able to speak up and communicate openly. Psychological safety is linked largely to employee perceptions on the merits of having challenging conversations and views and the consequences of taking this interpersonal risk at the workplace. This perception will be influenced by prior precedents that lay markers to indicate the openness towards such behaviour within the organisation. When leaders consistently strive to build psychologically safe spaces at work, employees may not feel the fear of opening themselves up for criticism or humiliation and attracting adverse impact to their career paths. Fostering such a sense of security at the workplace may create space for people to talk about what may be going on under the surface allowing for leaders to stay on the pulse of employee voice, teamwork, team growth and learning, factors influencing employee morale and productivity and thereby enhance organisational growth and learning.

As leaders building this sense of security amongst the team may come in from different areas:

– Build a team climate characterized by interpersonal trust and mutual respect.
– Hold space for regular conversations and connects, that discuss more than just work, and humanise the team and individual.
– Consistent messaging – it’s okay to make mistakes, it’s okay to talk about what’s not okay, we can get through this together.
– Be vulnerable. Admit imperfections, challenges.
– Circle back to conflict situations after a while, and close the loop.
– Invite curiosity, and collaborative, participative decision making.
– Promote transparency.

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