Sunday, May 23, 2021

Psychological safety nets

Psychological Safety Nets are important to create the effective culture 

You can smell the organizational culture by entering the office. You sense it through the approach of the security guard, receptionist, the behaviour of office boys and the overall atmosphere you feel. If you keep observing, you may get more clues about the organization. I know that we should not judgmental based on our primary interactions, but unfortunately the culture that you observe is cascaded down by the top management. Sometimes you sense the invisible pressure among employees, sometimes, you sense a vibrant and cheerful atmosphere. In some organizations, laughing, joking is not allowed, however in some organizations work is fun. It is upto the management what culture they want to create. One of the friends shared that in his organization being active on social media is not considered positively. However, in most of the organizations social media is a tool of branding, marketing and increasing the business. Different people will have different perspectives but being logical is the key to success.

"Some Managers believe that employees should be controlled to get the maximum benefits. However, they forget that the presence of fear in an organization is the first sign of weak leadership. After working with different Indian and multinational organizations and working closely with the leadership team, I can co-relate human being’s basic needs.

My observations are

Human beings want to be included. They are productive when they feel that they are the part of the team, group, tribe, and overall ecosystem.

They want to grow: Human beings want to grow in life in two ways, financially and in their career. In this process they want to learn to earn both, salary increase and career development.    

They want to contribute to the organization if you keep them motivated towards their purpose. If their purpose is aligned, they will go the extra mile.

And finally, they want change when they believe things need to change. They will come up with suggestions, solutions on how we can change. They will be the part of change. 

Now to do this we need to create the ecosystem in the organization where employees feel safe while doing any legitimate activities in the organization. They expect psychological safety. It is organizational responsibility to create such safety nets within the organization.  

"When psychological safety is secured, people take more accountability and ownership. They use their discretionary effort, resulting in learning and problem solving. When there is a fear people use their energy thinking risks and hardly opening their mouth. They choose to be selective and only speak that managers and top management like to listen to.

How do you create such an ecosystem?  

Inclusion: Organizations who were serving strictly veg food because of owners’ values, started serving non-veg food when they expanded in different geographies and continents. It was necessary to be inclusive and by doing this they exercised the inclusion where employees felt that their needs were taken care of.            

Allow to fail: When organizations stimulate learning by any means and reward the learning, employees try to take risk by doing different things. Learning means not necessary just having training programmes. It also means doing things differently, working on change, and taking risks. During this process, there are possibilities of failures, and when people fail, leaders need to reward the failure. Failure stories and learning from those should be encouraged.

Empowerment: Getting people on board and empowering them is necessary to get the contribution from them. Empowerment and freedom of doing the job makes the environment more productive.

LinkedIn conducted a study to identify the most important soft skills. One of the top skills is creativity. But creativity doesn’t come when people are under pressure and have the fear to express. When people feel free and are empowered to apply their creativity, they make wonders. If they are not allowed to challenge, they will never speak; they will not be creative. During this process healthy conflicts need to be allowed. When there’s censure or punishment, when intellectual conflict turns into interpersonal conflict, when fear becomes a motivator, the process collapses, and people go silent.

Safety nets are necessary in any ecosystem to create the psychological safety in the organizations. If you want results, give freedom and make the environment safe.  

(Opinions are purely personal & does not represent my organizations, current or past) 

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Nitin Shinde said...

Thanks sir for well narrated understanding..

Unknown said...

That's great share..

Ravindra Patil said...

Very nice....

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