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Care about the people at your workplace

Psychological safety is a shared understanding that a group is safe for personal risk-taking and everyone can be themselves without being ridiculed, says Kirsi Yli-Kaitala from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health in our magazine.

Psychological safety is often put to the test in the workplace. According to Humap’s Olli Viljanen, we are constantly the subject of an evaluation at the workplace, which means there might easily be a need to keep up the act. If you never ask anything and don’t say your ideas or thought out loud, you will be saved from being judged by others.

In order for genuine discussion and new ideas to emerge, it is important to be able to be yourself and take risks without fear of negative consequences. Moreover, open interaction between employees is even more important than individuals’ ability in team performance. Thus, psychological safety is also a factor in the productivity of the organisation to a greater extent.

Transparency in preparation also feeds psychological safety.

Supporting open discussion and dialogue is a common cause. We must also have the courage to report mistakes and to think together about how to avoid them. Occupational safety needs to highlight and discuss situations openly. What could have happened, why did this incident occur, and how can potential accidents related to the incident be prevented?

Transparency in preparation also feeds psychological safety. If management dares to bring up unfinished issues, it will be easier for all work community members to bring their ideas to a joint discussion.

Psychological safety also means caring for others.

In a changing work life, job descriptions also change all the time. No one should be thrown directly into new tasks without ensuring that everyone has the capability and tools to carry out the tasks assigned. The employee needs to have a feeling that ”I know this and will succeed in this.”

Psychological safety also means caring for others. We dare to act bolder when we know that the work community is there for us. The feeling of safety is influenced by leadership and supervisor work, but equally important is the mutual appreciation and trust of the entire work community.


Rauno Hanhela

Chairman of the Editorial Board

Rauno Hanhela


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