Workplace psychological safety – whose business is it?


In an ideal world, all humans would be brought up to recognise how important their mind health is and the critical need for making self-care a non-negotiable priority in our daily lives. This would enable us to recognise when our mood is starting to be triggered and do something about it instead of becoming overwhelmed.

Talking about our moods should be natural and normal. Instead we self stigmatise and assume how others will react – friends, family and employers.

But we don’t live in an ideal world – so what can employers do to meet their obligations for the psychological health of their greatest asset – their people?

Consider rolling out bespoke proactive training designed for all workplaces enabling managers to ensure a psychologically safe environment and all front line staff to have the tools to take control and responsibility of their own mind health and resilience.

This is a ‘no brainer’. The costs of implementing this training against the potential costs of employment tribunals, absenteeism, presentism, loss of talent, disruption of teams, negative impact on brand etc is minuscule. Delivered over a few hours virtually or one day in person. The flexibility of I-Act fits all organisations.

As an Approved I-Act Instructor, I deliver both versions Managing for people managing teams and Understanding for non-managers.

Both courses deliver over 50 tools which can be used in different ways on self and those around them. With over 90 referral organisations covering each niche area, the 168pg manual – available in hard and electronic versions – enables onward learning and referral.

Accredited by the Royal College of Psychiatrists for three years, with HSE input, the learning delivered empowers people and organisations to thrive.

In each programme I deliver, I take a before and after poll to capture mindset change on the importance of prioritising self-care – there is always a significant shift from ‘self care is important” to ‘self care is critical’.

The image above captures members of a leading University – the first in the UK to gain ISO45003 accreditation for psychological safety – who took the virtual Understanding and Promoting Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing course yesterday.

Here’s what some said:

“It’s an informative course – I never realised how important mental health and wellbeing was. I will definitely be taking more care of myself going forwards”

“The course has helped me understand the best approaches to help someone who might new struggling and how to improve my own wellbeing”

“I will definitely practice more mindfulness exercises as I tend to become overwhelmed. We practiced a breathing exercise during this course and it really helped me calm down”

“It was interesting to think about scenarios where someone may come to you for help and what you’d say to them”

“I really liked the example statements to say to someone if you’re not comfortable speaking about their issues. I always just assumed I have to listen regardless, or I am being rude. Now I better understand that being in a positive mental state yourself is just as important when entering these difficult conversations.”

“The course was great and interactive as well as informative and resourceful. We have been shown where and how to use the manual for our own advantage after completion of the course”. 

“Going forward, I will take time to breathe and reset during the day, for example at the end of a task eg. University. This will help me unwind and feel better eased into the next part of my day, regardless of how much pressure I was under in the previous task.” 

How do you ensure your organisation and teams are psychologically safe? Why not consider…..

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