Hello PPMA members and friends
This week’s post is all about understanding psychological safety has been written by our good friends and supporters Real World Group, who as you will probably know, are leading experts in the field of leadership and teamworking. This thought piece looks in more depth at psychological safety and how it can and must be embedded in organisations by their leaders. We’re delighted that Juliette Alban-Metcalfe, Real World Group CEO, is one of the keynote speakers at our Annual Conference on 27th April at the Hilton Metropole Birmingham – you can find out more on our website
“The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted almost all aspects of people’s lives. What was believed to be generally predictable has suddenly become extremely uncertain, and severely disrupted, including:
- physical safety
- financial safety
- career safety
- family & domestic safety & relative calmness
- social relations & support
- our work identity and all that brings.
All of these factors can severely drain employees’ psychological resources, and increase stress, anxiety, and depression, resulting in significantly reduced wellbeing. Richard Boyatzis, a US psychologist, goes so far as to state that the disruption to our lives and threats to our livelihood, concerns for our family have become a bigger source of threat than the virus itself.
As the boundaries between home and work life become blurred and confusing, leaders in organisations must accept the fact that this combination of factors has the potential to considerably damage employees’ confidence, mental health, and productivity. There is also the added pressure of being susceptible themselves to the same forces.
Whilst the success of the vaccination programme and the anticipated freedoms from lockdown bring hope for the semblance of a return to a ‘new normal’, leaders must also prepare their teams to be adaptable and resilient to meet the inevitable, unforeseen disruption in the weeks, months, and possibly years to come.
The case for needing to make the working environment – whether physical, virtual or hybrid – ‘psychologically safe’ has never been stronger.