Understanding the Difference between Psychological Safety and Psychological Health & Safety

Psychological safety and psychological health & safety are related concepts in the workplace, but they address different aspects of employee wellbeing.

 

Psychological safety refers to the perception that one can take interpersonal risks without fear of negative consequences to their career, status, or self-image. It involves creating an environment where team members feel comfortable expressing their ideas, taking risks, and being vulnerable without the fear of retribution. This concept is crucial for fostering open communication, innovation, and collaboration within a team. When employees feel psychologically safe, they are more likely to share their thoughts and contribute to problem-solving, ultimately leading to a more productive and positive work environment.

On the other hand, psychological health & safety encompasses a broader spectrum of wellbeing in the workplace. It includes not only the emotional and mental aspects related to psychological safety but also factors such as workload management, work-life balance, job satisfaction, and the overall impact of the work environment on an individual’s mental health. Organisations that prioritise psychological health & safety aim to create a work environment that supports employees in maintaining their mental and emotional wellbeing, contributing to increased job satisfaction and overall productivity.

How Does Psychological Safety and Psychological Health & Safety Impact the Workplace

 

Psychological safety and psychological health & safety play integral roles in influencing employee performance and productivity in the workplace.

Enhanced Employee Engagement

Psychological safety, with its emphasis on open communication and a supportive environment, plays a pivotal role in boosting employee engagement. A study by Google found that teams with higher psychological safety were more productive and had higher levels of employee satisfaction. In a psychologically safe workplace, employees feel empowered to voice their opinions, share ideas, and contribute actively to discussions without the fear of criticism.

This sense of inclusion and value enhances job satisfaction and commitment, ultimately leading to higher levels of engagement. Engaged employees are more likely to invest discretionary effort in their work, leading to increased productivity and a positive impact on overall team and organisational performance.

Increased Innovation and Creativity

Psychological safety is a catalyst for fostering innovation and creativity within teams. Research shows teams that foster psychological safety are 57% more collaborative with colleagues. When individuals feel secure in expressing unconventional ideas or suggesting new approaches without the fear of judgment, they are more inclined to take risks. This risk-taking mentality is essential for innovation, as it encourages employees to explore novel solutions and challenge the status quo.

Psychological safety contributes to a culture that values experimentation and learning from failures, both of which are crucial elements of the creative process. As a result, organisations with a strong foundation of psychological safety are better positioned to adapt to change, solve complex problems, and drive continuous improvement, all of which positively impact employee performance and overall productivity.

How Can Leaders Foster Psychological Safety and Psychological Health & Safety

 

Implementing and fostering psychological safety and psychological health & safety within teams requires a multifaceted approach that involves both leadership commitment and employee engagement.

Open Communication

One key strategy is to cultivate a culture of open communication. Leaders should actively encourage team members to express their opinions, ideas, and concerns without fear of judgment. Establishing regular team meetings and forums where everyone has a voice can create an environment that values diverse perspectives.

Model Vulnerability and Authenticity

Leadership plays a pivotal role in modelling vulnerability and authenticity. By openly acknowledging their own challenges and mistakes, leaders set an example that it is safe for others to do the same. This fosters trust and helps break down barriers that may hinder open communication.

Celebrate Achievements

Recognising and celebrating achievements, both big and small, contributes to a positive work environment. Regular feedback sessions, not only focusing on performance but also on personal growth and wellbeing, can help employees feel valued and supported.

How Can Wellity Support You?

 

A Wellity session ‘Psychological Safety: Building Trust in Your Teams’ delves into real-life examples, showcasing the benefits of psychological safety In contrast to its absence. Participants will learn practical strategies for effective communication, to nurture respectful dialogue and feedback and encouraging employees to take interpersonal risks.

Objectives:
  • Understand the critical role of psychological safety in promoting teamwork, innovation, and productivity.
  • Identify behaviours that nurture or hinder psychological safety within the team.
  • Implement strategies to encourage open communication, constructive feedback, and diverse perspectives.
  • Strengthen trust among team members, leading to improved collaboration and engagement.

To book a meeting with our team, contact us at hello@wellityglobal.com.

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