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.

HA-MINH CHAU​

Author

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.