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Fostering Psychological Safety to Create a More Engaged Team

Updated: Jun 28

Psychological safety is a phenomenon that has been extensively studied by Amy Edmondson. Psychological safety in a nutshell is creating a safe environment where employees can feel comfortable sharing ideas, and mistakes that in turn improve processes, products and services.

 

Inspired by the work of Deming, Ed Catmull, in his book "Creativity Inc"  explores the culture at Pixar, talks about empowering employees at all levels to take agency over their work, resulting in increased quality, productivity, and lastly, better stories.

 

Ed talked about a visit Edward Deming made to post WWII Japan, where Deming noticed that the manufacturers were having an issue with product quality, but only the senior manager had the authority to stop the assembly line. Deming challenged this hierarchical approach and advocated for empowering anyone on the line to halt production if the quality of the product was subpar. This shift resulted in remarkable outcomes, as individuals felt ownership over their work and became part of the solution.


Woman Coaching a team mate

Coaching:

 

To further enhance employee growth and development, it is crucial to implement a coaching plan with your team.  By providing guidance and support, employees can learn how to use feedback to improve their performance and grow alongside the team.







A woman presenting a report.

Implementing Talent Development Strategies:

 

To successfully implement a talent development plan, consider the following:

 

  • Train leaders to coach their team. Encourage regular 1:1 meeting between manager and their team members to foster communication and growth.  

  • Understand employee roles and ensure that teams have a clear understanding of how their role fits into the

mission of the organization.  


  • Mentoring. I’m a big advocate of mentoring and believe it has big benefits of skill development, support and knowledge sharing.



Creating an environment of psychological safety and investing in talent development are critical for the success and growth of any organization. By implementing coaching plans, promoting collaboration, and offering various development opportunities, companies can foster employee engagement and enhance overall productivity.



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