As employers start to move employees back into the workplace, they will need to make employees feel safe and secure, not only physically but emotionally. The term psychological safety has become a popular term recently, but what does it actually mean?

It is “a condition in which you feel (1) included, (2) safe to learn, (3) safe to contribute, and (4) safe to challenge the status quo- all without fear of being embarrassed, marginalized or punished in some way.”(Timothy R Clark, 2019)

An article in Inc Magazine outlines how your company needs to focus on communicating and educating the safety processes and procedures to employees by starting with the “why” behind the changes. The author talks about having open and transparent communications to allow for employees to voice their concerns and fears as they reenter the workplace.

What the article didn’t address was Emotional Intelligence and the impact it has on creating psychological safety. Leaders who have historically demonstrated a high level of Emotional Intelligence, more specifically empathy and social awareness, will have an advantage in quickly creating psychological safety for employees. Employees will know that leaders care about them, and you, the leader, will be able to recognize and understand the emotions of others and appropriately address them.

Read more about how what types of communications you should be having with employees as your employees return to the workplace.