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Introduction to Psychological Safety for HR

A guide to building psychological safety at work.

  • Despite psychological safety being a point of popular discussion, common misconceptions around it often result in stakeholders failing to see the value of building psychological safety at work.
  • There are significant risks for organizations with low psychological safety, which negatively impact internal and external stakeholders and can have long-lasting consequences.

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  • Get on-demand project support
  • Get advice, coaching, and insight at key project milestones
  • Go through a Guided Implementation to help you get through your project

Our Advice

Critical Insight

Psychological safety is not a checklist item or quick fix. It is an ongoing effort that requires commitment from key stakeholders and strong alignment between the organization’s norms, leadership behaviors, and day-to-day processes.

Impact and Result

  • Embed and reinforce the organization’s commitment to psychological safety through everyday practices to help the organization progress through each stage of psychological safety.
  • Build commitment and shared accountability for psychological safety by outlining responsibilities for key stakeholders across the organization.
  • Establish and communicate best practices for modeling psychologically safe norms and behaviors at work for all employees.
  • Create an environment where employees feel included and safe to learn, contribute, and challenge by reinforcing psychologically safe best practices.

Introduction to Psychological Safety for HR Research & Tools

1. Introduction

Define psychological safety at work and explore the related benefits and risks.

2. Framework

Identify the four stages of psychological safety and best practices for reinforcing each stage.

3. Fundamentals

Outline key stakeholder responsibilities and establish best practices for modeling psychologically safe norms and behaviors.

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About McLean & Company

McLean & Company is an HR research and advisory firm providing practical solutions to human resources challenges via executable research, tools, diagnostics, and advisory services that have a clear and measurable impact on your business.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your HR problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Speak With An Analyst

Get the help you need in this 3-phase advisory process. You'll receive 7 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation 1: Review key psychological safety concepts
  • Call 1: Discuss the importance of psychological safety, including the definition, common misconceptions, related benefits and risks, and industry considerations.

Guided Implementation 2: Explore the stages of psychological safety
  • Call 1: Review the four stages of psychological safety and recommendations for embedding and reinforcing psychological safety across the organization.
  • Call 2: Discuss reflection insights to identify the organization’s current level of psychological safety.
  • Call 3: Explore McLean & Company resources to build psychological safety at each stage.

Guided Implementation 3: Identify stakeholder responsibilities and best practices for building psychological safety at work
  • Call 1: Outline key stakeholder responsibilities and clarify HR’s role in building psychological safety at work.
  • Call 2: Review best practices for modeling psychologically safe norms and behaviors for all employees.
  • Call 3: Identify next steps for building psychological safety at work.

Contributors

  • Sarah Albo, Owner & Certified Workplace Mediator and Trainer, Novel HR
  • Rafael Chuizi, I/O Psychologist, Assistant Professor, Organizational Behavior and HR Management, University of Toronto Mississauga
  • Paul Gisby, Owner and Principal Producer, Talking Leaders
  • Rebecca Morgan, Management Consultant & Coach, Morgan Seminar Group
  • Ruthann Weeks, People and Culture Strategist, Harmony in the Workplace