The shift to home working due to the ongoing pandemic has resulted in many employers not seeing or communicating with their employees on a face-to-face basis. Meaning many may now be struggling to adapt to the loss of the social aspect, office chit-chat, culture and connectivity.
To ensure businesses successfully help their employees through these changes, we, along with over 50 other industry leaders, joined the lovely Laura Royal as she shared and explored the DNA Coach Psychological Safety Roadmap.
Laura is an award winning, public speaker and business coach, based in Newcastle upon Tyne, Glasgow, Edinburgh and London. She is the owner of DNA Coach, The Mindset Coaching Company and creator of the EDGE® Model.
The session started with an introduction to the EDGE Model – Engage, develop, guide and embed, along with what workplace psychological safety is and looks like across businesses.
Workplace psychological safety is the ability to show and be employed as one’s true self, without fear of negative consequence and retaliation. Those working in a psychological safe environment will have built a network of respect, trust and mutual interest in one another.
Psychological safety in the workplace doesn’t grow or develop from agreeing with your colleagues and employers for the sake of agreeing. Or feeling like you can’t disagree. Everyone should feel comfortable sharing their opinion.
Workplace psychological safety can be developed with the right balance of workplace respect and permissions. If an employee feels empowered, trusted, respected and that they have the ability to make change, they’re far more likely to flourish over an employee who does not.
Laura went on to explain that workplace safety is built on 4 stages: inclusion safety, learner safety, contributor safety and challenger safety. Employees should feel included, like they’re actively learning and participating, are able to contribute and have their voice heard, whilst being able to challenge their colleagues and employers, without negative retaliation.
She also highlighted the importance of acknowledging that everyone works in different ways and may contribute in different manners. One employee may be more vocal in group meetings, but another may prefer to absorb the information and communicate their thoughts via email afterward.
The Edge model can be used in several ways to ensure employees are feeling psychologically safe. Engage – it’s important for employers and employees to take a genuine interest in one another, to communicate regularly and to feel they’re able to share what’s on their mind.
Laura explained that the “Leave your personal life at the door” attitude is an outdated approach, as let’s be realistic, now more than ever, with so many of us working from home, it’s just not possible.
If an employee is struggling or dealing with something extremely straining outside of work, it’ll more than likely impact their ability to perform their daily duties/tasks. It’s much better you know what’s going on and that an employee feels they can tell you if something is impacting them. This way you can work together to make any adjustments and offer additional support if needed.
Development – It’s vital that employers stay approachable and are willing to adapt with new ways of working, socialising and having fun. We’re all living through the same pandemic and it’ll impact everyone in different ways. As a result of this, alternative approaches to work may be needed and employees must feel trusted in doing so.
Guide – A great way to open up conversation and explore how employees are feeling is to ask what’s currently in their head, heart and hands or to apply the head, heart and hand approach as a guide to making changes in the workplace.
Embed – Every workplace should embed fair workplace practices, policies and ways of working. Having a core set of values and an open, honest approach will make it easier to build trust and relationships with your employees and colleagues.
The webinar was very informative and uplifting, featuring audience participation and feedback as Laura opened up the virtual room to all. We’re very grateful to Laura for delivering such a wonderful webinar and for sharing her top tips for ensuring people and teams feel safe, secure and happy in the workplace.
Thanks again, Laura!