Psychological Safety – we all have the right to feel safe at work – but are businesses and the Government taking it seriously enough?
‘Psychological Safety’ is so much more than the new business ‘buzz word’, warns Yorkshire-based award-winning Psychological Safety and LGBTQ+ Inclusion Consultant and Trainer. Gina Battye, 41 from Huddersfield says; “we all have the right to feel safe at work” and this month Gina is asking employees to ‘Rate Their Workplace’ as she continues to gather data on how psychologically safe UK workplaces really are…
Highlighting the importance of Psychological Safety is at the top of Gina’s agenda for 2023, as she embarks on her mission to lobby the UK Government to introduce Psychological Safety into workplace legislation, which would bring about huge change and protection for employees. Gina explains; “I was shocked to find that there is no legislation in the UK that promotes and enhances psychological safety in the workplace. Yet, there is legislation for physical and mental safety in the workplace. I knew that this needed to change and as an influencer, change-leader and action-taker, I knew I was the one to do it.”
“Psychological safety underpins an inclusive culture. An open and inclusive workplace enables people to be themselves at work and perform at their best. In essence, when we create the culture where everyone can bring their whole self to work, we will unleash the full potential of everyone that works in the organisation.”
With an early career in education as an FE teacher in the workplace, and having worked with some of the most dangerous ex-offenders in Northern England, Gina has in-depth and direct experience working with physical, mental and psychological safety. Being part of the LGBTQ+ community, Gina knows first-hand the unique pressures and challenges that being LGBTQ+ in the workplace can bring and she has first hand experience of what it is like to not feel safe at work, as she endured homophobic bullying in the workplace early in her career. From this experience, Gina set out on her mission to create environments where people thrive; through unleashing untapped potential and ensuring everyone feels safe – physically, mentally and psychologically. She now has almost 25 years experience working with multinational corporations; including; AstraZeneca, Ministry of Defence, NHS, Barclays, Experian, Vodafone, HBOS Plc, to name a few… as well as with TV, film and media companies around the world.
Gina continues; “I truly believe updating legislation is the only way to bring global change to outdated HR practices. In all organisations I have worked with, the majority of employees didn’t feel safe to bring their whole self to work. This has an impact not just on the individual’s health and wellbeing, but also with their communication, creativity, innovation, team dynamics, decision making, not to mention the impact on teams and the business! I realised that organisations aren’t able to effectively measure levels of psychological safety in the workplace, so I decided to design and build a robust tool that will provide an accurate picture of how psychologically safe their workplace is, as assessed by their employees.”
In order to collect the data needed to lobby Government, Gina is conducting research and has also developed a powerful Psychological Safety Diagnostic Tool, called Lux, which measures psychological safety in workplaces, after seeking advice from researchers at the University of Cambridge. Gina said; “Having the Diagnostic Tool is a game-changer for organisations. This is being used alongside my blueprint for Psychological Safety, The 5 Pillars of Psychological Safety. It is great to see them being implemented worldwide to create fully inclusive workplaces. There is nothing like this out there!”
Gina’s blueprint is available for leaders and managers, through the ‘Psychological Safety Toolkit’, which is being printed and bound by Yorkshire-based Hart & Clough Print Group. This toolkit outlines Gina’s 5 Pillars of Psychological Safety and provides practical guidance on how to create a psychologically safe work environment. It is available for companies to buy as part of her psychological safety courses.
This month, as part of her research, Gina is encouraging all employees to ‘Rate Their Workplace’ as she continues to gather data on ‘How Psychologically Safe Workplaces Are.’ If you’d like to take part and share your experiences with Gina, she is conducting a global survey: Your answers will remain anonymous. More information on her website and LinkedIn.
Gina concludes; “All data will be collated from organisations worldwide to build up a picture of the levels of psychological safety in workplaces. We want to see if there are any trends by geographical location, industry and sector. This information will have a HUGE global impact on equality, diversity, inclusion and belonging.”
“Once I have all the data I need, I will be lobbying the UK Government to introduce psychological safety into workplace legislation. After that, I will be working on global workplace legislation!”