There is no doubt that technological advancements in the last couple of decades greatly affected everyone’s lives. Suddenly, the world’s knowledge is at our fingertips – a simple Google search provides us with an answer to any question. Getting in touch with our loved ones worldwide is as easy as tapping an icon on our phone. Thousands of books, songs, movies, and TV shows are readily available to fill up our free time whenever we want.
However, there are also downsides to technology. Maybe you find yourself unable to hold your focus for long. Maybe you’re easily distracted or not as productive as you once were. You dive into your tasks, and your phone goes off; a new message, a new exciting headline, or perhaps an item you want to buy is finally on sale.
Being indistractable is getting more and more difficult by the day, especially in the workplace.
Why is psychological safety important?
The convenience of smartphones helped us connect better, but it also introduced a symptom of being “always on.” The expectation is that if you receive a message, you need to reply to it. Even if you don’t respond to a message right away because you are busy, it nags at the back of your mind, preventing you from concentrating on what you’re doing.
Psychological safety in the workplace is the road to a more relaxed, stress-free work environment. Excessive use of technology and the employees’ requirement to be always available leads to fast burnout and a drop in productivity. A dysfunctional company culture that floods employees with messages, calls, and notifications cannot result in high efficiency.
Psychological safety is crucial both for the organization’s overall performance and the employee’s mental wellbeing.
How to Achieve Psychological Safety
In team meetings, emphasize the importance of being offline. If your employees need to focus on a challenging task, or don’t want to be disturbed while working, encourage them to switch off their communication devices.
When choosing a communication system for your office, go for one that has a robust Do Not Disturb feature. Even better if that feature turns on automatically after working hours.
At the same time, make sure that your employees know they can always speak up if they have a complaint, a remark, a new idea, or anything to say. You need to strike a balance between being offline and unreachable and having proper outlets through which employees can provide feedback.
Be a Model Leader
Practice what you preach. If you unplug from communications technology every once in a while, it will give your employees the confidence to do the same. Once again, don’t go overboard. You are not trying to silence your employees – the goal is to let their minds take a break from all the technological beeps and pings so they can do their jobs to the best of their ability.
Discover the best way to promote a culture of psychological safety at work, as well as how to consistently connect with your leadership team and predictably turn them into highly engaged employees.