5 Tips to Promote Psychological Safety at Work — Sarah Scala Consulting

Sarah A Scala
2 min readAug 4, 2021

I have been facilitating workshops for clients on Psychological Safety at Work. One new client is in the healthcare field and requested this program to support continued Learning and Development for 100+ people!

Amy Edmondson, a Harvard Professor of Leadership, Teaming, and Organizational Learning, coined the term Psychological Safety as “a shared belief held by members of a team that the team is safe for interpersonal risk taking.” Source: Edmondson, A. C. (2018). The fearless organization. John Wiley & Sons

Psychological Safety is increasingly important to provide a safe, diverse, and inclusive workplace. There’s been a huge focus recently on mental health, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Psychological safety directly impacts this.

Costs of an unsafe workplace include: higher turnover, reduced productivity, more sick days, decreased innovation, and physical safety or death. Leaders often set the tone and context, so they have a large role in ensuring psychological safety for their teams.

5 Ways to Support Psychological Safety include:

  1. Establish norms for how failure or mistakes are handled as a team so that everyone is on the same page.
  2. Recognize people for speaking up. Messengers need to be recognized and encouraged to share so they will continue to report issues, errors or mistakes.
  3. Encourage everyone on your team to speak up in meetings. This can include calling on each person by name, one by one, to ensure they feel safe and included.
  4. Encourage risk taking and celebrate mistakes or failures as learning opportunities.
  5. Acknowledge of your own “fallibility” — everyone makes mistakes. To share this with your team will allow them to be comfortable sharing their mistakes, concerns, and errors, as well as their innovative ideas.

What are way that you support psychological safety at work? Comment below.

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About the Author:
Sarah Scala is a senior talent management leader and executive coach with 20+ years of experience providing organization development, change management, and leadership development solutions for diverse global and local industries. She is a collaborative consultant, coach, and educator supporting performance transformation of executives, leaders, and teams. Sarah is a methodical, results-driven leader recognized for helping clients reach their highest potential, increase revenue, reduce turnover, elevate business profitability, build competencies, and improve performance.

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Originally published at https://www.sarahscala.com on August 4, 2021.



Sarah A Scala

Sarah Scala is a certified woman and LGBTQ Business Enterprise, provides organization and leadership development, executive coaching, and LGBTQ+ coaching.