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Psychologically Safe and Inclusive Workplaces

Safety At Work for Employees

Online Course – $45

Psychologically Safe and Inclusive Workplaces

Safety At Work for Employees

Online Course – $45

While the benefits of psychological safety are well established, a new survey suggests how leaders, by developing specific skills, can create a safer and higher-performance work environment.

Leaders can build psychological safety by creating the right climate, mindsets, and behaviours within their teams. In our experience, those who do this best act as catalysts, empowering and enabling other leaders on the team—even those with no formal authority—to help cultivate psychological safety by role modelling and reinforcing the behaviours they expect from the rest of the team.

Program Learning Outcomes

People come to work to make a contribution, with the aim of doing their best. When individuals don’t feel safe it’s hard to do their best work. It is one of the reasons why psychological safety is important.

One of the key elements and cornerstones of psychological safety is feeling included. People all want to feel a sense of belonging. Humans crave social connection. There is research that suggests that being socially excluded is as painful as any physical pain that one feels.

Think about a time where you felt left out or where you were excluded from a group. Not much fun was it? Exclusion and not being part of something impacts on people’s mental health. It can feel shameful, embarrassing and generate lower levels of self-worth. If we want to improve mental health outcomes in the workplace then creating a safe environment where everyone feels included is vital.

It’s more than just feeling included. A psychologically safe environment enables individuals to feel safe to learn. They can dive into the discovery process, make mistakes and occasionally fail knowing that the environment is safe to do so. People are encouraged by others in their learning. It doesn’t mean that they can keep making mistakes, it just means the focus is on learning so that mistakes and failures reduce over time. Learning and growing amplifies an individual’s self-worth and increases their sense of resilience. Both lead to positive mental outcomes.

Psychological safety doesn’t just help create the best conditions for positive mental health, it also makes good business sense. High levels of psychological safety leads to greater business performance, employee engagement and innovation. Without psychological safety individuals won’t feel comfortable in challenging the status quo, nor will they look for new ways of doing things. If an individual doesn’t feel psychologically safe, then they will stay in their comfort zone rather than take calculated risks. The result is less innovation and progression.

On successful completion of the program participants will be able to understand and manage several mental health strategies that managers can implement to build a more psychologically safe environment.

Encourage a Learning Mindset

If the team’s focus is on learning rather than judging, on encouraging rather than marginalising, this will lead to enhanced psychological safety of the team.

A team with a culture of learning is comfortable with raising difficult issues, challenging the status quo and asking questions.

Team members would be comfortable with feedback both from inside and outside the team. Managers can encourage questions, see failure as an opportunity to learn and run experiments and learn from them.

Show Your Vulnerability

Managers that are comfortable with showing vulnerability in front of their team members are able to promote a sense of openness.

Encouraging others to speak about challenges they were facing, their development areas and the struggles combining a busy work load with a busy personal life allows managers to lead by example.

Creating a culture where managers display their real self can have positive flow on effects on team members as they feel that they are part of a psychologically safe environment.

It allowed others to show vulnerability and increased the level of trust and safety in the team.

Build Social Connection

Managers can focus on relationships within their team.

When individuals feel like they belong and can connect with others they are able to do their best work. Invest time in building connected relationships.

Check in with team members on how they are going. Create an environment where team members feel they can approach members in leadership.

Create a space to have fun!

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Course Outline

Module 1:  Introduction to Psychological Safety in the Workplace

1.1 Definition and importance of psychological safety

1.2 The Benefits of psychological safety for individuals, teams and organisations

1.3 Common workplace situations and signs showing psychological safety is missing

A. Eight Common Workplace Situations Where Psychological Safety is Lacking
a. Meetings where certain team members dominate
b. Attitudes Dismissive of New Ideas
c. A Culture of Blame and Punishment
d. Negative Consequences for Giving upward feedback
e. Negative Consequences for Reporting unethical practices
f. Microaggressions are Common
g. An Uncomfortable Environment for Sharing personal experiences related to diversity
h. For of Asking for help or Assistance

B. Six Cultural Sign Psychological Safety May be Lacking
a. Self-censoring of ideas and concerns
b. Lack of open communication and collaboration
c. High employee turnover
d. Low reporting of harassment or ethical issues
e. Minimal conflict or disagreement
f. Lack of diversity in leadership roles

1.4 Common myths and misconceptions about psychological safety

1.5 Examples of psychological safety successes and failures

Module 2: Understanding Psychological Safety

2.1 The Neuroscience Behind Psychological Safety

A. How the brain processes threats and rewards
B. Understanding the roles of the amygdala and prefrontal cortex
C. Impacts on cognition, emotions, and behaviour

2.2 Three Important Principles of Psychological Safety

     A. Foundational Elements of psychological safety
B. The 4 stages of psychological safety: Inclusion, Learning, Contribution, Challenge
C. Differences between psychological safety and trust
D. Why psychological safety matters for performance, innovation, and engagement

2.3 What Causes Psychological Safety

A. Leader behaviours that foster psychological safety
a. Being accessible and approachable
b.Inviting participation and feedback
c. Modelling openness and fallibility

B. Group dynamics that enable psychological safety
a. Welcoming new ideas
b. Soliciting divergent opinions
c. Balancing team roles and characters

C. Organisational context that supports psychological safety
a. Providing resources and information access
b. Promoting fairness, diversity, and ethical culture2.4 What Damages Psychological Safety

A. Toxic leader behaviours
a. Bullying, intimidation, ruling by fear
b. Breaking promises
c. Having the “wrong” responses to mistakes

B. Unhealthy group dynamics
a. Competitive or rigid team culture
b. Lack of norms for openness and trust

C. Unsupportive organisational context
a. Lack of policies protecting psychological safety
b. Culture of secrecy and fear of failure

Module 3: Improving Psychological Safety

3.1 How team members can foster psychological safety

  • Speaking up about concerns respectfully
  • Seeking feedback regularly
  • Admitting mistakes openly
  • Welcoming new ideas positively

3.2 Other tools for fostering psychological safety

  • Turning failures into learning opportunities
  • Using anonymous feedback to surface issues
  • Role-playing of responses to build skills
  • Promoting belonging and ally-ship

Module 4: Cementing your Understanding & Next Steps

4.1 Key takeaways on understanding and applying psychological safety

4.2 Additional resources for learning

4.3 Working towards a psychologically safe culture

4.4 Bringing learnings back to your team


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