In my recent post on LinkedIn, I shared the brightest example, from my personal experience, of how an associate is supported to reflect and express his or her opinion in a business context, even though that explicit support came at the end of the collaboration.
It wasn't always like that. I have never felt afraid to express my opinion, and I have not had any negative consequences because of the opinion I expressed. That is my experience. However, what I hear from the people around me, both privately and through business, led me to conduct a short survey to check the situation this moment, 10 years after leaving the corporate environment. The results are as follows:
I expected that I would be able to make an analysis by industry, organizational level, etc. I also had certain preconceptions that some industries would dominate in the category of high psychological safety, such as the IT industry. However, the results denied me.
If we look at the post reach, 7903 views and 185 votes. It can be assumed that a high percentage of professionals did not feel free to answer the question at all, and maybe the poll was simply not interesting to them.
The representation of industries in all three responses is almost equal, from agriculture, manufacturing, trade, all the way to IT and consulting.
Through a more detailed analysis, I found that things cannot be raised to the level of a company, so to say, "in company X, people feel a high / moderate / low level of psychological safety". Judging by the answers, each participant was focused on their microenvironment, ie. his team and his manager, and gave answers accordingly, so several survey participants from the same company gave completely different answers.
Two situations are striking:
When Company X's HR rated the level of psychological safety as high, survey participants, employees of the same company rated it as low or moderate.
When Company X's HR rated the level of psychological safety as low, survey participants, employees of the same company rated it as low.
If we look back to the overall results of the survey, the following can be concluded:
Even after more than 15 years of existence in our market, HR has failed to transform organizations from strict and directive to a constructive and supportive environment.
Corporate cultures, even on such a small sample and even when it seems the opposite, are not strong enough and grounded in all segments of organizations, but there are still compromises such as "we know he/she is a jerk, but he/she is great for business".
Leadership is tempting, but still, far to reach at the level of displayed behaviors.
These are my conclusions and not to be too subjectively strict, I would say that we are close to being halfway to everything that provides psychological security in the work environment and that there is still a lot of work ahead of us.
People development consultant