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first_imgRelated posts: Previous Article Next Article Mental ill health accounted for more than half of sickness absence in last yearA total of 38.8 million working days were lost because of work-related illness and workplace injury in 2019/20, with more… Psychological safety, such as being free of a bullying boss, is important for an effective workplace climate. Image: Shutterstock It is well recognised that feeling supported and safe psychologically can enhance individual and team performance in the workplace. But it is also important for generating and sustaining a positive physical safety culture, writes Deborah Hulme.Why is there so much interest nowadays among employers in psychological safety, and what is its interplay with physical safety? It is certainly true that there is currently much interest in psychological safety, a concept that in reality has been around since 1965, when it was first introduced by Schein and Bennis.About the authorDeborah Hulme is founder Minerva Engagement* and the Neuroleader Academy, which specialises in applying social cognitive neuroscience learnings to business.Since then there has been a growing body of research, including the influential paper, Psychological Safety and Learning Behaviours in Teams (1999) written by Harvard University professor Dr Amy Edmondson.However, the concept of psychological safety only really began to gain traction within the business community over the past five years or so.This revival of interest in psychological safety is largely thanks to a study undertaken by Google’s project Aristotle that focused on what needed to be in place to create a consistently high-performing team.The study reviewed hundreds of academic studies, analysing more than 180 internal teams involving 37,000 employees over a period of two years.Its findings showed that, whilst there were common factors such as structure and clarity, meaning and impact, what mattered most was how the team worked together rather than who made up the team.Psychological safety and high performanceHowever, it was only when the findings from Dr Edmondson’s earlier research were incorporated into the study that the consistent thread across high-performing teams was identified, namely, psychological safety.Psychological safety is defined as the ability to speak up and participate in a group without fear of consequences. Felt by individuals, it is experienced in social situations and, thanks to scientific research, is now understood to be an essential component for trust, communication and collaboration as well as innovation, decision-making and problem-solving.Quite simply the more threatened we feel within our team or social group, the less likely we are to contribute our ideas, challenge the status quo or report that near miss or close call.We know from research emerging via neuroscience and neuropsychology that the human brain works to keep us safe above all else.We respond to threats (perceived or real) such as uncertainty, unexplained change, a bullying boss or a toxic team environment by keeping our heads down and avoiding confrontation.This is one of the reasons why psychological safety is considered important for an effective safety culture and a positive safety climate.Correlational studies report a strong link between psychological safety and willingness to report one’s errors and behaviours (Wright and Opiah, 2018). In essence, the less we speak up the more safety incidents go unidentified with the subsequent loss of learning that prevents ongoing repetition.Professor Dr J Groeneweg describes this new understanding as “The New Dawn of Safety” (GCE Risk, 2020). According to Groeneweg, we are moving from continual improvement through technology, culture and leadership into the importance of team.Where organisations and individuals function as collaborative, networked teams, working together to reduce risk, they generate the motivation and energy that encourages innovation and consistently high wellbeing and performance over time.His view is that within our organisations we are now around 96% safer than we were in the 1980s.Whilst he acknowledges this is a great leap forward, he also highlights that, as a consequence, the learning pool is much smaller than it once was.Therefore, if we are to continue to learn and improve what we do, Dr Groeneweg’s belief is that we need to learn from what we do exceptionally well, as much as we learn from what has gone wrong.He references the Red Bull Formula One pit crew who are always consistently fast, breaking their own records, as they safely send their car back out onto the track.Quality of teamwork and psychological safetyIn 2019 the Red Bull team’s fastest pit-stop, involving a team of around 22 people, was 1.82 seconds and they achieve this (or within a fraction of this) consistently over and over again. When questioned on how they do it, they put their success down to human performance not mechanical advantage; the trust that exists among the team members, accountability, openness as well as the dedication to practice and process.In other words, the quality of the teamwork being determined by the level of psychological safety that exists within the team.The important point Groeneweg is making here is that the level of trust and psychological safety within the Red Bull team means they learn as much from their mistakes as they do from their successes. That error is seen as a learning opportunity and a shared experience about what works and what doesn’t.Indeed, that learning from error is a collective responsibility, one that operates within an environment and culture that makes it safe to learn from mistakes, rather than being diminished because of them.Interestingly, we are now seeing industry level responses emerging that support and encourage this thinking, including:The new ISO standard, ISO: 45003 has a focus on psychosocial risk and, embedded within this is, the importance of psychological safety at work. Launching in 2021 it will complement the well-established standard ISO:45001 for Occupational Health & Safety. (ISO/DIS 45003, 2020).A letter published recently in The Times from 33 leading organisations (Unilever, global banks, energy companies, the CBI and others) emphasised the importance of prioritising psychological safety, as well as physical safety (Gosden, 2020).RSSB, the Railway Standards Board, is currently developing wellbeing KPIs for the rail industry (RSSB home page, 2020).Whilst the focus is certainly shifting, it is not an easy ask. It is not enough for managers to say, “my door is always open”, “we are listening”, “there are no mistakes just learning opportunities”.In fact, research suggests that psychological safety does not necessarily emerge even as a product of a positive safety climate. Principally because, it’s a property of “team”, influenced to a large extent by the mindset, behaviours and energy of whoever is leading the team.Leaders and managers play a critical role in creating a psychologically safe environment by setting out the vision, values and modelling the way.For example, by avoiding negative reactions to error reports and evading initiatives such as zero accident programmes, which may, un-intentionally, undermine reporting behaviour. Effective safety structure, process, messaging and governance are all essential; however, impact is hindered if displayed leadership behaviours are not aligned.The line manager/leader/team relationships are crucial to continued safety improvement. Fortunately, we now have the intelligence, frameworks and the measurement tools to support and develop leadership understanding and capability.Through data, guidance and targeted interventions we can extend existing skills and capabilities as we work our way towards Red Bull levels of consistent high performance.*Minerva Engagement is a strategic people consultancy focused on the relationship between psychological safety, wellbeing and performance. For any OH practitioners wanting to find out more, please email [email protected] A and Lei Z (2014). “Psychological Safety: The History, Renaissance, And Future Of An Interpersonal Construct”. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, vol 1:23-43. Available online at https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/full/10.1146/annurev-orgpsych-031413-091305Edmondson A (1999). “Psychological Safety and Learning Behavior in Work Teams”. Administrative Science Quarterly, 44(2), p.350.Gosden E (2020). “Mental Health ‘Is A Priority’”. The Times. Available online at: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/mental-health-is-a-priority-lfd27dr3bWright M and Opiah S (2020). “Literature review: the relationship between psychological safety, human performance and HSE performance”. Greenstreet Berman. Available online at https://heartsandminds.energyinst.org/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/648484/Literature-review-the-relationship-between-psychological-safety,-human-performance-and-HSE-performance.pdfISO/DIS 45003. Occupational health and safety management — Psychological health and safety at work : managing psychosocial risks — Guidelines. ISO, https://www.iso.org/standard/64283.htmlKnowles M (1967). “Personal and organizational change through group methods: the laboratory approach”. Within Adult Education, by Edgar H Schein and Warren G Bennis, New York: John Wiley & Son, 1965. 17(2), pp.126-128.Groeneweg D J (2020). “Psychological Safety within Formula 1. CGE Risk”, Connected by Risk Seminar, 24 September, 2020. Available online at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brITLSki5wM&feature=youtu.be“re:Work” withgoogle.com 2020. Re:Work. Available online at https://rework.withgoogle.com/print/guides/5721312655835136/The RSSB: what we do, latest updates (2020). Available online at https://www.rssb.co.uk/en/what-we-do/insights-and-news/newsWildner M (2000). “Aristotle and the human genome project”. The Lancet, 356(9238), p.1360. Why Covid-19 is an opportunity to rethink wellbeing within constructionThe construction sector faced major workplace health, safety and wellbeing challenges even before the logistical and financial problems generated by…center_img No comments yet. Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply.Comment Name (required) Email (will not be published) (required) Website Unpicking the links between psychological and physical safetyOn 7 May 2021 in Mental health conditions, Sickness absence management, Occupational Health, Bullying and harassment, Personnel Today, Occupational psychology, Organisational psychology, Performance management Firms should have legal duty to protect night workers’ health, says Co-opThe Co-op has launched a nightshift workers’ health and wellbeing ‘manifesto’ in Parliament, which has called for employers to be…last_img

first_imgWith Thanksgiving around the corner, The Dankquet might just be the newest thing that Coloradans have to be thankful for. But next time, we’ll need a bigger guest list! To stay up to date with future events from the guys at LOOPR follow them on Instagram and Facebook and check out their daily Bud Crawls on their cannabis friendly party bus on LOOPR’s website. It’s no secret that living in Colorado comes with an impressively long list of benefits: you have Red Rocks in your backyard, one of the most incredible live music scenes in the country, wintertime in the mountains, and (of course) legal cannabis just about everywhere you look. With all the things that the Mile High City already has going for it, maybe it’s not too surprising that every so often, an idea jumps out that makes you pause and go “YES”. Well, it looks like the guys at LOOPR got it down pretty perfectly with “The Dankquet”—the answer to the timeless question of what would happen if you put a bunch of our favorite musicians, a Top Chef winner, a neuroscientist, and a handful of our friends together for a cannabis-infused feast? The answer, of course, is one damn incredible evening.Lettuce Announces 2018 Headlining TourLettuce Reinterprets Miles Davis In New Live Album “Witches Stew”The first ever installment of The Dankquet features L4LM favorites Adam Deitch and Erick “Jesus” Coomes from Lettuce and Corey Frye from The Main Squeeze alongside Top Chef winner Hosea Rosenberg and some of the leading minds in the cannabis industry. As guests worked their way through a variety of infused courses like the “Lettuce Turnip The Beet” salad, escargot with arugula pesto, applewood smoked ahi, Chilean sea bass with Thai citrus dope sauce, and caramel chocolate s’mores, the group talked about everything from the importance of proper dosing when it comes to edibles to how they find inspiration in their craft through cannabis. Check out the recap video below and excuse us while we daydream for a minute…last_img

first_imgWith demand rising for organic produce and the industry growing to meet the need, the Georgia Organics Conference is a pivotal event for educating organic growers in Georgia and throughout the South.Organic agriculture has increased in the U.S. by about 10 percent per year over the last 15 years, according to Juan Carlos Diaz-Perez, a University of Georgia scientist in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. It is likely that the increase in consumer demand for certified-organic produce has led some of Georgia’s larger growers to dedicate part of their land to growing certified-organic crops, said Julia Gaskin, UGA sustainable agriculture coordinator.The Georgia Organics Conference, set for Feb. 8-9, 2019 at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center, is an important event for farmers and others interested in organic agriculture, according to Diaz-Perez.“It has a regional impact beyond the Georgia borders,” he said.Along with UGA research entomologist Jason Schmidt, Diaz-Perez, who specializes in vegetables and plasticulture, will present at the conference and share some of his research from the two certified-organic acres on the UGA Tifton campus.“I will be showing my organic research plot at the (UGA-Tifton) Hort Hill farm. I’ll also talk about research on high-tunnel production for vegetables like tomato, lettuce and spinach, as well as organic fertilization and utilization of cover crops,” he said.Event sessions, workshops and field trips to farms in south Georgia will be offered for conference attendees during the two-day event. Gaskin, along with UGA postdoctoral research associate Kate Cassity-Duffey and organic farmer Daniel Parson, will discuss nitrogen fertility management in organic production systems.“Nitrogen is the nutrient needed most by crops and it can be complicated to provide enough for good yields without overapplication, which can cause environmental problems and crops to be more susceptible to pest attacks,” Gaskin said. “We will also talk about how to integrate organic fertilizers, cover crops and other soil-building techniques into your nitrogen management plan.”Vanessa Shonkwiler, a public service assistant in UGA’s Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, will share marketing tips on how farmers can expand their brands and stories.For a full list of speakers or to register for the Georgia Organics Conference, visit conference.georgiaorganics.org.Full scholarships are available for Georgia Organics members. To become a member, see georgiaorganics.org/become-a-member-today/membership, and to apply for a scholarship, see conference.georgiaorganics.org/scholarships.Students interested in volunteering for one day at the conference can receive a free pass to the conference for the second day. Those interested can email [email protected] for more information. Class credits may also be available.last_img

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