Emotional safety in the workplace refers to a situation in which employees are able to share their thoughts and feelings with fellow employees, employers, and other people in the work environment.
An emotionally safe workplace encourages employees to speak openly without worrying about what other people may say. They can talk about their insecurities, views about certain topics, ideas, etc.
How Emotional Safety Can Affect Overall Workplace Safety
Creating an emotional safety culture is essential for every organization. Moreover, workplaces are made up of people with different personalities. Some are outgoing while others are reserved. As such, employers need to create a work environment that favours everyone in the company.
Working in an environment where people can freely express themselves creates a healthy workplace that is equally safe. Additionally, it improves psychological safety since employees tend to worry less about current or future failures in the workplace. Also, an employee’s ability to process and manage their emotions when faced with adversity or stress determines workplace safety.
Plus, employee emotion can predict safety in the workplace. For example, working with an emotionally unstable employee can impact the safety of other employees, especially if the employee in question has violent behaviour. By creating an emotionally safe workplace, such employees can find better ways of dealing with negative emotions.
Improving Emotional Safety in the Workplace
Emotionally safe employees tend to be more engaged in their work. The ability to openly show your emotions at work is a skill that takes time to cultivate. Employers can improve emotional safety in the workplace through the following ways:
Create a No-blame Workplace
A work environment that is full of blame games can easily discourage employees from sharing their emotions. It can also limit people in the company from sharing innovative ideas that may be good for the company.
Encourage Employees to Safely Challenge Themselves
Encourage employees to take interpersonal risks to boost their confidence in the workplace. Also, do not negatively criticize them if they fail.
Promote Diversity in the Workplace
A good workplace should be inclusive. At no time should an employee or a group of employees feels like they are being excluded. This will make them emotionally unsafe and can also affect workplace productivity.
When employees trust their co-workers and employers, they are likely to share their feelings, ideas, and thoughts. Employers can increase trust among employees by employing effective team-building strategies.
Recognize Employee Efforts
Employees are motivated when their efforts are appreciated by others. This not only creates reassurance but also makes them emotionally safe.
Physical Safety in the Workplace
Workplace safety involves eliminating hazards and controlling risks in the work environment. This is done to safeguard employees from harm. Employees who feel safe are more committed to their work. They are also less likely to experience work-related stress and other mental health problems.
Employers can increase physical safety through proper employee training, implementing safety protocols, using safety signs, etc.
Advanced Consulting & Training – Focusing on Your Team
Both emotional and physical safety can impact employee performance. Moreover, emotional safety is just as important as physical safety. Employees need to feel that they belong and will never be judged for expressing their feelings or thoughts.
Emotional safety can help employees cultivate trust among themselves and their employers. This increases productivity and can also motivate people to share creative ideas.
At Advanced Consulting & Training, we offer management development courses to help you develop skills that you can apply to improve emotional safety in the workplace. This specialty training includes Dimensions of Effective Leadership, Coping with Stress, Communication Strategies, more!
If you’re interested in working with our team in Ottawa, contact us!