When you hear the words, psychological safety, what comes to mind? What does it have to do with the transition to working onsite again? Why should you, as a manager, care about it?
If you ever felt anxious at work about asking questions, raising concerns, coming up with ideas, or making mistakes, you probably weren’t feeling psychologically safe. Maybe you felt embarrassed when expressing yourself, or worried about repercussions such as losing your standing or being sidelined, so you held back or didn’t fully engage.

Now, as people again adjust themselves to new routines, psychological safety at work takes on more significance. Gallup recently reported personal wellbeing in the U.S. workforce during the pandemic was the lowest since the organization began tracking it in 2009. People said in the initial months they were stressed and anxious on most days, and since then it’s been more volatile for them.

We are likely coming back to work different than we were before. Months of personal challenges and difficulties have taken their toll on people. Most everyone carries more anxiety than they did pre-pandemic. People will adapt better if they feel it’s psychologically safe enough for them to express how the transition to onsite work affects their wellbeing, and that you are listening and responding to their concerns.

People look to you for leadership and support. During these times it means taking an interest in their wellbeing and engaging in meaningful (and sometimes uncomfortable) conversations with them about it. Ask what people need to adjust themselves. Think about the transition experience you want them to have. Find out what matters to them, and then show you’re acting in their interests.

Your attitudes about your direct report and their transition will influence their sense of psychological safety. Your mindset will shape the quality of relationship you have with them in the days ahead. Your actions will set the tone for their experience of this change in routines.

How do you grow your mindset about psychological safety? How do you best attend to people’s wellbeing? How do you get support for doing all this while you yourself are coming back to onsite work again?

You’re invited to a structured conversation on Thursday, July 29 exclusively for Haas supervisors and managers about promoting psychological safety and personal wellbeing. With your peers, you’ll find out more about what you can do, and how best to do it. You’ll leave the event with a greater understanding about psychological safety and your attitudes about it, an action plan for generating more psychological safety at Haas, and support for promoting these conditions in our community.

Event details
When: Thursday, July 29 from 1-2:30pm via Zoom
Who: This event is exclusively for Haas supervisors and managers to provide a psychologically safe space for you to express yourself and your concerns
What: Structured conversations alternating between small and large groups to help identify issues and develop a personal action plan
Register: Registration Link
Questions: Contact haashr@berkeley.edu

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