Psychological safety leads to higher employee retention, engagement


Psychological safety at workplace is a crucial need for corporate India as it leads to higher employee retention and engagement, says a report. It refers to employees believing that they can take risks without being shamed by other members.

According to leading job site Indeed’s report on Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DI&B) at Indian Workplaces, 45 per cent of all employers surveyed believe that psychological safety is a strong performance indicator and 47 per cent believe it is a crucial need.

Also read: What does it take to build a progressive workplace?

This study was carried out by Valuevox on behalf of Indeed across 15 sectors and 16 cities, involving 1,200 employers and 1,500 employees of small, medium, and large businesses.

According to Rohan Sylvester, Talent Strategy Advisor, Indeed, amidst various global uncertainties, organizations are looking to build high-performing teams.

“In the last couple of years, employees have faced various stressors related to work such as burnout, mental health issues, overwork etc. Therefore, prioritizing employees will be at the forefront for organizations to enhance psychological safety at work which can further lead to strong business growth,” Sylvester said.

Sylvester further said that “our data shows that 23 per cent of organizations are planning to initiate formal policies around DI&B in the next 12-18 months. It will be critical for employers to focus on this in order to thrive in the new normal.”

The major reasons for employees feeling psychologically unsafe at work are mental health issues, unaddressed/unsatisfactorily addressed grievances and fear of losing their anonymity while providing feedback.

As per the study, biases also play a role in determining psychological safety at work. The most common biases employees face are gender and sexual orientation (59 per cent), their religion, caste and ethnicity (32 per cent), their physical, mental, and emotional disabilities (18 per cent), and the language they speak (18 per cent), it said.

In order to create a psychologically safe environment, 45 per cent of employees express that being their authentic selves at work, expressing ideas, opinions, and criticisms freely without fear of judgment, contributes to psychological safety.

Around 33 per cent also noticed that work-life balance makes them feel psychologically safe at their workplaces.

Cognitive diversity is also something that employees feel is important to organizations as it ensures that they have plural ways of thinking and solving problems. A majority (83 per cent) of employees feel that organizations can benefit from having people with different ideas, thoughts, and perspectives, the report said.

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