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Employee Wellbeing and Psychological Safety First

Recently, I attended the Lean Startup Conference in San Francisco, and it was fantastic! Meeting so many great people and presenters over three days was truly enriching. My goal was to learn from others, understand their journeys, and gain insights from successful individuals. Needless to say, I networked, built relationships, and absorbed valuable content.

On day one, the theme of psychological safety, as defined by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, caught my attention. It was a recurring topic discussed in two separate presentations, resonating deeply with Emotie's core values.

The psychological safety of employees is paramount and should always be a priority in managing workplace dynamics. We find ourselves in a concerning position with high stress levels, dissatisfaction, and burnout rates. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a concept long established, is now experiencing a resurgence with extensions to support changes in workplace environments and employee wellbeing.

When we conceived the idea of revolutionising performance management by integrating an emotive element. This element addresses an individual’s engagement, overall feelings, and perceptions regarding performance, team dynamics, and organisational culture.

So, why do we face a workplace crisis with low satisfaction levels and rising burnout rates, despite the diverse perspectives among management? The irony is striking! What lessons can we learn from this, and how can we approach things differently?

Engaging in Conscious Conversations

We are deeply committed to addressing this irony by fostering open, unbiased conversations rooted in reliable data. It starts with asking the right questions to gather insights that empower managers to engage in meaningful check-in discussions. This data delves into understanding the complete individual, considering their wellbeing, engagement, and performance. It's emotive data that encourages conscious conversations.

Managers Must Acknowledge Employee Trust Levels

Psychological safety demands that managers assess the trust their employees have in them. We know that the primary reason people leave organisations is often due to their managers. Therefore, it's crucial for organisations and managers to own this challenge and strive to change behaviours. Managers must be mindful of their actions and behaviours, acknowledging that some employees may lack trust. Ignoring this reality is not an option; instead, it should prompt introspection and efforts to engage every individual fully.

Incorporating Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Into Your People Agenda

While some may view Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as outdated, the real question is whether organisations truly support the psychological safety of their employees. Does it play a significant role in shaping the people agenda? Revisiting this fundamental framework is vital if we aim to address concerning research findings on employee wellbeing.

We mustn't dismiss the importance of returning to the basics of the hierarchy of needs. It goes beyond being just a model or theory; it underscores the criticality of employee wellbeing in the workplace. Organisations must foster trustworthy communication channels between managers and employees to address mental health and promote wellbeing effectively. After all, how can we support employees' feelings and experiences if we don't facilitate conscious conversations built on trust?


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