What Psychological Safety Looks Like in a Hybrid Workplace | Harvard Business Review

Leadership & Culture

In the workplace, psychological safety (PS) has focused chiefly on fostering candor, trust, and transparency on work-related topics. However, as work and life become more integrated, this article suggests managers must extend aspects of psychological safety beyond work areas to include other parts of employees’ experiences. Said differently, previously off-limits topics like child care, health-risk comfort levels, or challenges faced by spouses or other family members are increasingly required for joint (manager and employee) decisions about how to structure and schedule hybrid work. The article provides five steps to assist managers in creating an environment that encourages employees to share aspects of their personal situations as relevant to their work scheduling or location and/or to trust employees to make the right choices for themselves and their families, balanced against the needs of their teams. Step 2: Lead the way focuses on managers sharing their WFH/hybrid work personal challenges and constraints—this way, workers feel they can do the same. Building managers’ capability to create PS can reduce employees’ anxieties about future work arrangements while fostering performance and engagement.

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