Psychological Safety Serves As An Enabler For DEIB, Resilience And Innovation.

HA-MINH CHAU​

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Psychological Safety

Originally coined by Edgar H. Schein and Warren G. Bennis in 1965, the concept of psychological safety gained important insights from Dr. Amy Edmonson’s 1999 definition. Her emphasis on confidence in welcoming candor and vulnerability, highlighted in the June 22, 2021, HBR article ‘4 Steps to Boost Psychological Safety at Your Workplace’ co-authored by Dr. Amy Edmonson, reshaped its understanding.

Over decades, it has manifested in two key behaviors prevalent in excellent workplaces: celebrating team errors and fostering individual authenticity.

The concept of ‘Not All Failures Are Created Equal’ underscores how Psychological Safety through Celebration of Errors (CoE) supports employees in embracing their work’s purpose. Here, both success and failure contribute to their journey of improving the business. This environment encourages stepping out of comfort zones, challenging conventional approaches, and fostering innovation without fear of reprisal or criticism for acknowledging errors or mistakes.

Coca-Cola Beverages believes in cultivating an environment where employees aren’t afraid of making mistakes and know that imperfection is acceptable. Leadership sets an example, encouraging everyone to voice opinions and take calculated risks. The aim is for everyone to trust that even in failure, leaders will support them, aiding their learning and growth.

Psychological Safety serves an an enabler for DEIB.

Diversity encompasses the representation of different individuals within an organization, while inclusion ensures that everyone has an equal opportunity to contribute and influence every aspect and level of the workplace. Belonging, on the other hand, ensures that everyone feels secure and can bring their complete, unique selves to work.

The relationship between Psychological Safety and DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging) was initially addressed in 1999 by Dr. Amy Edmonson. She expanded the definition of psychological safety to encompass ‘a shared belief among team members that the team is a safe space for interpersonal risk-taking.’ In her 2020 article, ‘The Role of Psychological Safety in Diversity and Inclusion,’ she emphasized that psychological safety is crucial for leveraging the benefits of diversity, enabling the realization of inclusion, and fostering candid communication.

At Disco Hi-Tec, Performance Innovation Management (PIM) fosters self-development initiatives through friendly competition. Departing from the traditional top-down approach, all employees are encouraged to conceive enhancements themselves. They have the freedom to present their ideas to the entire company, modifying work processes or proposing entirely new concepts.

Psychological Safety serves an an enabler for resilience and innovation.

Resilience has now become a frequently mentioned term in business, seen as a way forward post-COVID. Recent articles in the Harvard Business Review suggest that whether it’s an inherent personal trait or a skill that can be cultivated, resilience—the ability to thrive amidst change—has ascended to the forefront of many leaders’ agendas. It is no longer viewed merely as a cost or a risk mitigation strategy but is recognized as a driver of value for businesses. Analysis spanning a 25-year period highlights how resilience delivers distinct long-term performance value.

In the HBR article ‘Resilient Organizations Make Psychological Safety a Strategic Priority,’ three critical cultural dimensions for resilience are highlighted: Integrity, Innovation, and Inclusion. Psychological safety forms the core of these dimensions, and any breach erodes their foundation. Fear of retaliation compromises integrity, stifling creative ideation leads to stagnation, and disrespectful interactions disproportionately impact engagement and belonging.

DHL Express’s Code of Conduct and Human Rights Policy Statements include policies against sexual harassment and bullying. Additionally, all employees undergo extensive training on interpreting and applying the organization’s Code of Ethics through mandatory Code of Conduct sessions. This training encompasses recognizing ethical dilemmas and understanding the available channels/resources for safely reporting issues or violations.

Validate Psychological Safety and Enhance Employee Experience in Your Workplace.

Highlighting the nexus between DEIB, resilience, and innovation, psychological safety emerges as a fundamental factor. Analysis from the Great Place To Work Survey correlates high psychological safety with positive experiences in statements such as:

  • Management recognizes making honest mistakes as part of doing business.
  • Management makes its expectations clear.
  • I can be myself here.
  • We celebrate people who try new and better ways of doing things, regardless of outcomes.

Creating a culture of psychological safety can transform employee experience. By fostering an environment where individuals feel secure to express themselves, share ideas, and take risks without fear of judgment or reprisal, workplaces can significantly enhance employee satisfaction, engagement, and overall well-being.

Ready to Validate Your Employee Experience? Contact us for an Emprising Demo to discover how Emprising™ can help you gauge and enhance your employees’ experiences.

Schedule a demo today to explore the power of insightful tools that elevate psychological safety, engagement, and workplace satisfaction.

Great Place To Work® has been surveying employees around the world about their workplace experiences for 30 years. We have developed a set of themes and metrics that not only predict whether employees feel their workplace is great, but predict retention, agility, and overall business success.

Using our proprietary Trust Index™ survey, we measure the core of what we know creates great workplaces — key behaviors that drive trust in management, connection with colleagues, and loyalty to the company.

The survey enables employees to share confidential quantitative and qualitative feedback about their organization’s culture by responding to 60 statements on a five-point scale and answering two open-ended questions.

Employees tell us whether leaders are accessible, communicate honestly and clearly, and if their actions match their words. They tell us whether they feel respected as individuals, if they receive training benefits, appreciation, support for their well-being and opportunities to contribute. They tell us whether they believe their company is fair related to pay, profits, promotions, recognition, favoritism and opportunities. They tell us if they are proud of their work, their team, and their company and if they feel they make a difference, and their work is meaningful. And they tell us whether they enjoy the people they work with, feel cared for and can be themselves.

List rankings are based on this employee feedback, which we analyze to determine the extent to which this experience is shared by the full workforce. Great Place To Work measures the differences in survey responses across demographic groups and roles within each organization to assess both the quality and consistency of the employee experience. Statements are weighted according to their relevance in describing the most important aspects of an equitable workplace.

The best companies create great work experiences not just for management, but also for their part-time employees on the front lines, for those who’ve just joined and those who’ve spent their whole career there, for every race and ethnicity, gender, neurotype, or other demographic in the organization – we look at it all. Companies with the broadest set of employees who report positive workplace experience receive the highest rankings on lists.
In addition to analyzing employee feedback for the Best Workplaces™ in Vietnam 2024 list we also consider what a company can tell us about their programs and workplace strategy. Each company also answers six essay questions that provide greater insight into how, and why the organization is great for all people. Responses are rigorously evaluated and cross-reviewed according to Great Place To Work’s research-driven criteria. From what companies share in datapoints and essays, we identify the organizations that offer the most generous, caring and innovative programs reflecting a genuine commitment to meet the diversity of their people’s needs inside and outside the workplace as validated by what employees themselves report in survey results.

Surveys must meet strict requirements for how they are distributed and the percentage of employees who respond to ensure they accurately represent honest feedback from the company’s full population. While essay responses provide important context for rankings, only survey data can garner a list placement. In the last year, Great Place To Work® surveyed companies employing more than 135,000 people in Vietnam and received more than 125,000 survey responses.

Great Place To Work identifies Best Workplaces in Asia™ by surveying 2.1 million employees in Asia and the Middle East about the key factors that create great workplaces for all and analyzing company workplace programs impacting 5.9 million employees in the region.

To be considered, companies must first be identified as outstanding in their local region by appearing on one or more of our Best Workplaces lists in Bahrain, Greater China (including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, UAE, Vietnam during 2022 or early 2023.

Companies rank in three size categories: Small and Medium (10-499 employees); Large (500+); and Multinational. Multinational organizations are also assessed on their efforts to create great workplaces across multiple countries in the region. They must appear on at least two national lists in Asia and the Middle East and have at least 1,000 employees worldwide with at least 40% (or 5,000+) of those employees located outside the headquarters country.

To determine the 2022 Vietnam Best Workplaces™, Great Place To Work®️ analyzed confidential survey feedback representing nearly 20,000 employees across different industries in Vietnam. Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place To Work For All™️.

85% of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. Great Place To Work analyzes these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical in their industry. The remaining 15% of the rank is based on an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders, to ensure they’re consistently experienced.

To be considered, companies had to meet the Great Place To Work-Certified™ standard. To ensure survey results truly represent all employees, Great Place To Work requires that Trust Index©️ survey results are accurate to a 95% confidence level with a 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results. 

Companies with 10-99 people were considered for the Small category, companies with 100-999 people were considered for the Medium category and companies with 1000+ people were considered for the Large category.