The importance of psychological safety
One of the most fundamental yet overlooked drivers of high performance is inclusion. Studies show organizations with inclusive cultures tend to experience everything from greater innovation and agility to greater performance and business outcomes.
This is a large reason why workplace diversity matters. When organizations bring in talent from a variety of cultural, behavioral, and cognitive backgrounds, they’re committing to an environment where all ideas are valued.
Psychological safety is an essential aspect of inclusion. When workers feel safe at work—not just physically, but mentally—they’re more likely to trust those around them. They’ll share their ideas in a team meeting, rather than tense up. They’ll assume good intent when working with colleagues, instead of jumping to conflict. And they’ll put in extra discretionary effort, knowing the organization values them and their contributions.
As a leader, you may wonder what you can do to move the needle for your organization. Just like The Great Resignation, there are a lot of factors at play—some out of your control. But a major factor you can control is how you manage and communicate with your teams.
Try for yourself: Learn what you can do to be a better manager. In the interactive below, try stack-ranking the skills employees value most in their manager—as well as the skills they feel managers lack most.
As the above shows, confidence and communication are both in demand among today’s employees. Yet, they’re also two skills many managers lack. For organizations to thrive moving forward, managers must instill a sense of clarity and comfort within their teams. With that safety net in place, even the most critical teams can mend themselves—and work with renewed energy.