Psychological Safety in Teams
"Psychological safety is a belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes.
Prof. Amy C. Edmondson
Why PS matters?
Multiple research has shown that the most effective teams score high in psychological safety.
One of them was Google’s Project Aristotle, which studied team effectiveness for 2 years among 180 teams. Psychological Safety turned out to be the number one factor differentiating their highest performing teams, where results showed in:
revenue about 50% up
rated as effective x2 by executives
less likely to leave
Source: Rozovsky, J. (2015) The five keys to a successful Google team. Rework. Retrieved from https://rework.withgoogle.com/blog/five-keys-to-a-successful-google-team/
What are known benefits of Psychological Safety?
Improved communication: When employees feel psychologically safe, they are more likely to share their thoughts, ideas, and concerns openly and honestly. This can lead to better communication and collaboration within teams, which in turn can improve performance and productivity. Increased creativity and innovation: Psychological safety encourages risk-taking and experimentation, which can lead to more creative and innovative solutions to business problems. Greater employee engagement: When employees feel psychologically safe, they are more likely to be engaged in their work and committed to their organization. This can result in reduced turnover and higher levels of job satisfaction. Better decision-making: When teams feel psychologically safe, they are more likely to engage in constructive conflict and debate. This can lead to more informed and thoughtful decision-making, as well as a greater sense of ownership and buy-in from team members. Enhanced well-being: A psychologically safe workplace can lead to improved mental health and well-being for employees. When employees feel supported and valued, they are less likely to experience stress, burnout, or other negative health outcomes.
How to measure PS in teams?
In cooperation with Fearless Organization we are able to measure levels of psychological safety across teams and co-design approaches to improve situation where it is needed.
Fearless Organization Scan measures the level of psychological safety for your organization, department or team using the seven statement survey. As a result you receive an anonymous PSI (Psychological Safety Index) report that shows how your team or organization stacks up against the global benchmark data.
The teams are being assessed across 4 key dimensions that are reflected in the scan report:
attitude to risk and failure,
willingness to help,
inclusivity and diversity.
PSI Report includes:
1. Anonymous Team Report
2. Individual Report for each Team Member
Here is an example of the report on one of the dimensions:
What happens after the PSI Report?
Fearless Organization Scan Debrief
After the PSI of your team is measured you will be provided with PSI results debrief with a certified Psychological Safety Practitioner.
This offering is an opportunity for you and your team to grow. Sometimes you need to slow down to go faster.
In addition to a team report and individual reports for each team member, this package contains:
Intake with team lead - a certified Practitioner will contact the team lead to obtain context and background, so the team can get the maximum leverage out of the debrief session.
Fearless Organization Scan Debrief - typically a two and a half to four hour session that consists of an introduction to psychological safety, the debrief of the results and a guided dialogue in the team about impact and coming away with actionable insights.
When you use the actual team instrument, all team members receive their personal report with comparison data from team members. This naturally triggers interest in participants who wonder why they scored this way, in comparison to other team members.
This leads to an ensuing dialogue, where often the score on one the four domains:
Willingness to help
Inclusion & diversity
Attitude to risk & failure
reveal differences in perceived psychological safety and the underlying dysfunctional patterns in team dynamics. These can then be explored productively, so the team can start to shift its game.
The whole process is led by certified Fearless Organization Practitioner Olga Zimmermann.