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Successful hybrid business? Enhance the ability to say

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In a 2021 Harvard Business Review article, three authors weave a link between the concept of psychological safety and hybrid work: The more our teams evolve in an environment that combines on-site and remote work, the greater the boundaries between personal life. And career becomes a legitimate topic of conversation. However, to dare if not to indulge, at least to share the personal limitations that pollute his work (and vice versa), the employee will have to observe concrete evidence of psychological integrity …

The concept of psychological safety

It is very close to what the ethics of care (caring and caring for others) can express through the idea of ​​being able to say: “Psychological well-being is a climate in which employees are allowed to express themselves and in which they feel comfortable: they can freely share their ideas, even in draft form, their concerns, questions and mistakes , without fear of being judged or of reprisals (the definition provided by Olivier Laborde in another Harvard Business Review article, also available online).

The right to make mistakes, which can be conceived from the perspective of psychological safety, begs the question: How do you inspire pastors to go in this direction, and how, if this resonates, translate this issue into management. And in work environments? In other words, can space be a source of psychological security?

Cultivate the art of conversation and its symbols in the company

Let’s start from the first step proposed in the article to build such a security. It consists of “defining a new collective frame of reference in the company, which calls for open discussions and the right to make mistakes. Employees need to be on the same page, with common goals and a common appreciation for what they go through and face. Leaders need to change the company culture, set expectations for failure and how is welcomed.” And continuity, “the second phase suggests inviting employees to express themselves and raise any perceived failures, to raise their doubts about certain practices or processes.”

I’ve always dreamed of creating Burdes Awards, staggered prizes that would allow the teams of the organization to apply to share the most beautiful “crash”, while of course explaining how not to repeat the error in question. If the “Wall of Fame” is often praised by companies that have changed their workspaces, and it is of course necessary to better recognize and promote careers in companies (in addition to collective successes), then the “Wall of Fa … ilures” would help To encourage speech, to symbolize a culture of confidence, a certain psychological security.

When you gauge the importance of visible management in many companies, I tell myself that being able to make such a “wall” tangible might make sense. Everyone can express themselves there, openly, and others interact, while managers regularly comment on these forms of freedom of expression. By expanding the circle of players, the company can, and some already do, including at their point of sale, display opinions posted on social networks, customer satisfaction metrics or team satisfaction metrics.

In short, it is then a question of sharing what is often hidden, bearing in mind that transparency is a virtue. and that the symbol that consists in making it tangible in workplaces is worth encouraging. Having a voice in class is honed and managed, and so can also be seen, touched, and felt in work environments. If this is true, as the great Dutch psychologist taught us Gert Hoftedwho was a professor at Maastricht Universitythat culture consists of rituals and symbols (as well as values ​​and heroes), we see all the benefits that can be derived from the judicious confluence of administrative practices that encourage the ability to say and the material support that it symbolizes.

Psychological safety is a condition for true cooperation

Moreover, if this is also true, as confirmed by another contribution published in Harvard Business Review from 2016spent by employees 50% More time in collaboration than 20 years ago, so “the failure of most companies is not due to a lack of talent, but rather to the absence of the leadership necessary to create a climate of cooperation and psychological safety in the workplace,” O. LABORDE once again puts it.

When we know that the two most obvious needs that companies express are precisely collaboration and conviviality, it all makes sense. So it is not just a matter of creating “more” collaborative spaces, it is in fact a matter of simultaneously creating the conditions for more psychological security, ensuring true collaboration.

As we can see, all this only works if the administrative rites support it. Workspaces only create possibilities: it is up to managers to be the managers of collaboration and guarantors of the psychological security we all need. Visual management shapes can make this tangible in a fun way, but without animation it will remain passive. They will be decoys, as are all theater groups.

It is therefore necessary to make the group of managers work on better terms of cooperation, on methods of freedom of expression, to allow room for constructive expression of criticisms, ideas, suggestions, observations, experiences … and to imagine physical media that would help to establish this dialogue, to put it into words and portraits, in workspaces, through totemic objects, playful artefacts, deciduous trees, etc.

Expand the circle of “cooperatives”

Finally, remember that transformation projects often rely on networks of “ambassadors”, those employees and/or managers who will be able to participate in interviews, training and workshops, and which, in fact, are generally chosen from among the most collaborative people. However, the already quoted article highlights the bias: the request for collaboration tends to focus on 3 to 5% of people Most inclined within organizations to cooperate.

The choice of the latter must therefore be well thought out, in order to mobilize each of the “good” profiles (the most willing), while also attracting less extroverted personalities, both in order not to over-consume a scarce “resource”, and to ensure that the circle of “co-aspirants” widens . Basically, the latter may have sometimes lived in another era: the era of the “deaf” company, little open to dialogue and transparency. In other words, not feeling and experiencing, that basic psychological safety, will comfort them in a silent and, therefore, not very cooperative situation… And so the circuit closes.

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