Unwrapping Psychological Safety in the workplace


In the dynamic landscape of today’s professional world, the significance of fostering a psychologically safe workplace cannot be overstated, with more than 80% of HR leaders stating that psychological safety is going to become more important for organisations, rising to 89% in organisations with more than 500 employees.

However, for psychological safety to be enacted credibly, organisations need to align behind it and most importantly understand it. Our report reveals that psychological safety is a widely misunderstood concept that is often equated with having a comfortable and risk-free environment. But true psychological safety is as much about comfort as it is about discomfort with just 16% of HR leaders clear on its meaning.

This report explores the multifaceted dimensions of psychological safety, equipping HR leaders with the insights, tools and benchmarks needed to create workplaces where growth flourishes and organisational success is a collective journey by enabling employees to take well-calibrated risks.

The challenges and opportunities

  • Demystifying psychological safety and exploring why it is a widely misunderstood concept.
  • Uncovering the challenges of measuring and nurturing psychological safety – and highlighting what these imply in a hybrid working context.
  • Outlining the next steps for HR leaders in embracing the death of the comfort zone.

The imperative of embracing the death of the comfort zone

Our report, which surveyed more than 200 UK-based senior decision makers in HR roles reveals that there is a significant gap in understanding psychological safety, with contradictory and competing definitions making it difficult for HR leaders to define, measure and action the concept, ultimately affecting the bottom line of organisations.

Our report serves as a compass for HR leaders to navigate this concept, describing how organisations need to balance comfort and discomfort to help them take well-calibrated risks. It explores how our solution, Reveal-EX™, works in practice by providing organisations with real-world examples of how to nurture and embed psychological safety.

Download our full report for a detailed analysis of psychological safety in the workplace and learn how embracing the death of the comfort zone can help unlock organisational success.

Expert analysis from an industry specialist

This report, written by Dr Alexandra Dobra-Kiel, Innovation & Strategy Director at Behave, delivers an in-depth commentary and analysis of psychological safety in the workplace and adds expert context to the survey results.

 “Psychological safety, while a critical factor in our professional lives, is currently poorly defined by the wider business community. It is in some ways a misnomer, with the emphasis on ‘safety’ naturally leading to people equating the phrase to mean being ‘nice’ to each other. And its definition is fundamentally contradictory – how can it be safe to take risks? This inherently means that it’s hard to translate into concrete enablers for companies to nurture it.”

 “We need to embrace the true meaning of psychological safety; balancing comfort and discomfort. It is about people and businesses stretching their comfort zones to drive both personal and company growth. To assess and improve psychological safety, benchmarking and sharing best practices are essential, allowing HR professionals to better understand and embed this vital concept within their organisations.”

Download the report here

Dr Alexandra Dobra-Kiel - Innovation & Strategy Director

Author:Dr Alexandra Dobra-Kiel - Innovation & Strategy Director