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    Message of the Week 01 - 05 March 2021

    Week 10
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    How safe are your teams, psychologically?

    In 2012, Google embarked on Project Aristotle a five-year study to work out why some of their teams stumbled while others thrived. They looked at what qualities needed to be present for teams to be engaged and function productively. One of the key findings was that team members said they needed to feel safe enough in their work environment to be vulnerable and take risks in front of team mates.

    This dynamic is called ‘psychological safety’ and it’s a term that you’ll find popping up everywhere. A psychologically safe environment is one that is inclusive and in which people feel safe to share their concerns and challenges with their colleagues.

    It’s not surprising that when we feel safe, our brains more easily come up with creative, resourceful and analytical ideas.  

    A recent article that appeared in Bizcommunity features a quiz to assess how psychologically safe an individual feels in their workplace. While it’s helpful to take the
    quiz yourself, you can also use some of the questions to assess whether you are doing everything possible to create a psychologically safe work environment for your team.

    Ask yourself:

    • Does everyone on the team understand what is expected of them?
    • Do we value outcomes over outputs or inputs or do people only perform when they feel they ‘look good’?
    • If a person makes a mistake, is it held against them?
    • When something goes wrong, does the team work together to find the cause and fix it?
    • Do all members of the team feel comfortable to raise tough issues or problems
    • Do members of the team feel safe to take risks or ask their colleagues for help?

    By creating teams where everyone feels safe, we can develop their skills and talents and increase innovation and productivity.

    Michelle Frenzel - HR Manager - KYOCERA Document Solutions South Africa

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