Hybrid workplaces may be more effective if a less obvious feature is taken into account. Managers will need to rethink and extend one of the best-established indicators of team performance, psychological safety, in order to sort out future work arrangements and deal with workers' inevitable fears about those arrangements.
Psychological Safety in the Workplace
Organizations' ability to make better decisions, maintain healthy group dynamics and interpersonal relationships, foster more creative thinking, and execute their plans more effectively is strongly correlated with employees' sense of psychological safety, the conviction that speaking up will not result in retaliation or humiliation.
There are many ways that have shown how difficult it is to maintain psychological safety even in the most straightforward and factual situations, such as ensuring that operating room staff speak up to avoid wrong-side surgery, or that CEOs are corrected before sharing inaccurate data in public .
Working in a WFH or hybrid environment complicates matters when it comes to maintaining one's psychological well-being.
Psychological safety has long been defined as allowing employees to express their views openly and respectfully about their job. A major issue is that, when the line between work and personal life becomes increasingly permeable, managers must make personnel choices that include the personal situations of their employees, which falls beyond their purview.
Whether it comes to deciding when to work from home, one employee may be motivated by the want to spend more time with a recently bereaved parent or by the need to assist a child who is having difficulty in school. Covid's revelations of hidden health difficulties and other non-work passions may also have an impact, as in the example of a young professional who also trained as an Olympic-level athlete in his spare time. When it comes to work-life balance, we keep hearing from workers who are single or don't have children who feel like they're being singled out, penalised, or excluded from the conversation. As a result of the sensitive nature of work-life balance difficulties, it can be difficult to have psychologically safe dialogues about these topics. Legally and ethically speaking, this makes them more vulnerable to prejudice, making them both more personal and riskier.
Our current course of action will not suffice.
Discussions on "work" and "non-work" have traditionally been separated, allowing supervisors to avoid bringing up the latter.
Since last year, many managers have found it more necessary for collaborative (manager and employee) choices on how to arrange and plan hybrid work to take into account previously off-limits themes like child care, health risks, or obstacles experienced by spouses or other family members.
There is no realistic or long-term way to separate work and home life after we get back to work, no matter how tempting it may be to assume we can do so. When it comes to complex scheduling and coordination difficulties, organisations that don't change their strategy will find themselves struggling with inadequate or even erroneous information.
It's important to keep in mind that hybrid working arrangements present a parallel increase in managerial complexity; managers must deal with the same workflow coordination challenges they've previously dealt with, but with the additional challenge of coordinating among people who can't be counted on to be present at predictable times.
The goal of an employee-focused workplace is to foster an atmosphere where employees feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas with one another and generating new solutions to problems. Companies are ru...
Internships are no longer just about doing menial tasks. With the right program, you can help young people develop their skills and set the stage for getting smart young people to work for your company.
Internship projects can help interns improve their communication and organisational skills and give them work experience that they can use in future jobs. Employers might give interns responsibilities that bene...
Digital recruitment is the process of finding, attracting, evaluating, and hiring candidates utilising the internet and modern technology.
It's not enough to just post job openings on social media
It uses a ...
The process of hiring smart and talented people is tricky, but webinars and other tools that are easy to use, accessible, and effective take the trade to the next level. It's hard and expensive to find and hire...