Team psychological safety is a major contributing factor to team performance, and within a workplace context, this might mean the success or failure of a policy, program, project or service.Research confirms that when people feel safe within a team they will perform better; they willingly take informed risks, actively contribute and work hard knowing that they can depend on the others in the team to support them. In a workplace context this is called ‘psychological safety’ and it is the key to high-performance teams.
But it’s not a quick or simple ‘thing’ to create and it all starts with you, their leader.What if some team members don’t feel comfortable speaking up? What if they’re afraid to share their concerns or are nervous to offer a dissenting opinion? What if they avoid suggesting new ideas because they’re worried about rejection or judgement?
Unfortunately, many people feel this way about their workplace.According to a 2017 Gallup poll, 3 out of 10 employees strongly agreed that their opinions don’t count at work. And that was before the global COVID pandemic arrived and changed everything, creating more separation, shifting the way we all work and challenging leaders to figure out how to sustain a high performing team without the physical cues they relied on.
Remote working settings have worsened the problem, particularly for women. A recent survey from Catalyst found that nearly half of female business leaders face difficulties speaking up in virtual meetings, and 1 in 5 reported feeling overlooked or ignored during video meetings.
The net result? A lack of psychological safety at work, which has real service delivery repercussions.The question should be, can any of us afford not to invest in psychological safety?
The reality in current work environments is one of staff shortages, remote or hybrid workers, disconnection amongst teams and constantly shifting sands. If leaders in today’s public sector want to mitigate the very real risks these realities present, they need to invest in the teams that they have and forge a way forward to engage team members, reduce staff turnover, heighten engagement and protect against the disconnection and difficulties of disparate teams.
The Psychological safety top eleven checklistAs a leader in the public sector - there are some key questions you can ask of yourself to determine whether there is likely psychological safety in your team and whether a culture of social safety and positivity exists.
Psychological safety requires you to look within and determine how you are influencing and impacting the safety of those around you and how they are able to interact within your team.
1. Do you encourage risk-taking?
2. Do you tolerate mistakes? How does the team respond to them?
3. Have you created an environment where taking calculated risks and voicing new ideas is safe?
4. Are team members able to communicate openly and honestly without fear of retribution?
5. Is there trust and mutual respect within the team?
6. Is conflict resolved fairly, appropriately and productively?
7. Do you lean into important or difficult conversations?
8. Are you consultative in your leadership approach and open to ideas and suggestions from your team?
9. Does your team believe that you or others on the team will not embarrass, reject or punish them for speaking up?
10. Do you encourage learning from failure or disappointment and openly share lessons from when you have made mistakes?
11. Have you created space for new ideas (or even wild out-there ones)?
If - as a leader - if you feel that building the foundations of psychological safety could help your team to excel in their performance - attending this workshop may be the perfect opportunity to leverage the evidence and research and apply it to immediate and positive effect.
Who should attend?This Masterclass has been designed for EL1-2 leaders in the public sector committed to building psychological safety within their teams to drive high performance. Whether you’re new to psychological safety concepts and frameworks or want to build on the foundations, this Masterclass will give you the skills to translate ideas into practice.
Emerging and existing leaders across the Public Sector in EL1-EL2 roles such as:
• Assistant Director
• Acting Director
• Assistant Commissioner
• Senior Manager
• Regional Manager
• Senior Adviser
• Team Leader
• Local Manager
• Program Manager
“Why does psychological safety matter? It is the optimal indicator of team performance. Psychological safety allows team members to have a voice and take managed risks – both strategically and in terms of their relationships; creativity is fostered, even though there may not be a guarantee of success, failure is accepted and seen as an opportunity for growth and resolving interpersonal conflicts is proactively addressed, rather than being avoided and manifesting with more negative outcomes. Without a doubt, organisations with higher levels of psychological safety have better retention of talent and more engaged higher performing teams.” - Karen Schulz
Walk away with the tools to:
- Understand how to create psychological safety and why it’s necessary for high performance
- Ensure your team feel safe to take informed risks, voice opinions and ask judgement-free questions
- Figure out how to build and sustain psychological safety across hybrid and remote teams
- Understand your internal narratives and how these influence your ability to lead
- Reflect on your leadership triggers and understand the impact they have on you and the ripple effect they have on your team
- Enhance employee engagement, staff retention and the inclusivity of your team culture
- Boost team performance and productivity and enhance overall service delivery
- Build new connections and forge a support network from across the APS
- Get ahead of the staff shortage by investing in the team that you have
Accredited in Amy Edmondson’s Fearless Organisation Scan Tool
Karen’s experience in cultural transformation and business performance is grounded in over 20 years of proven performance working as a senior leader, executive coach, consultant, facilitator, university lecturer and cultural and strategic transformation change agent. She works nationally and internationally with Boards, Executives, Senior Leaders, Middle Managers and Employees across government, non-government, not for profit and private sectors.
As an experienced Executive and Leadership coach with over 2500 coaching hours, Karen has a proven track record of effectively supporting leaders to rapidly identify and understand underlying mindsets, beliefs and behaviours and supports them to make significant behavioural shifts. As a neuro coach, Karen utilises the results based coaching system drawing from the heart of neuroscience and incorporating the study of change, systems theory, learning theory and positive psychology.
What People Are Saying
“Extremely professional and interesting course. Looking forward to putting into practice what I have learnt.”Participant Support Officer, NDIS, May 2022
“I found this training extremely useful and well run. I gained some good insights and practical tools to use.”Department of Defence, May 2022
“Fantastic course, helpful tips and helped me to identify new/learned and future behaviours.”Australian Federal Government, May 2022
“Both courses that I have done through The Hatchery have been exceptional – polished resources and presenters that know their stuff but also able to convey it to their audience extremely well. Very engaging and inviting.”National Indigenous Australians Agency, May 2022