Psychological safety in the workplace means being able to talk about what isn’t working. As part of that openness, leadership has to welcome criticism as part being accountable. According to the Centre for Creative Leadership, psychological safety in the workplace helps organizations to prevent failure and fully the leverage its talents’ full strength.
“People need to feel comfortable speaking up, asking naïve questions, and disagreeing with the way things are in order to create ideas that make a real difference,” says David Altman, CEO of the Centre for Creative Leadership. “Psychological safety at work doesn’t mean that everybody is nice all the time. It means that you embrace the conflict and you speak up, knowing that your team has your back, and you have their backs.”
Most organizations cannot provide that level of psychological safety. Partly that’s because people don’t enjoy hurting each other’s feelings or taking away the opportunity to save face. Those are the findings of new research by an international team of management academics composed of Subra Tangirala at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, Elad N. Sherf at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Sofya Isaakyan of Erasmus University Rotterdam and Hannes Guenter of Maastricht University.
“When employees speak up publicly, we see that managers are often threatened by it. Managers have this tendency to react negatively to public voice because they feel that they lose control of the conversation and look inept in front of everyone,” said Tangirala. “This can have a very bad effect on organizations because employees who are not part of in-groups of the managers usually only have opportunities to reach the managers in public meetings.”
In other words, even though it is broadly known that teams and organization benefit when employees feel comfortable speaking up at work, it’s still safer to keep criticism, new ideas and concerns to private conversations with immediate supervisors in the vast majority of workplaces.
The need for businesses to be involved in their local communities in socially meaningful ways has never been more pronounced.
Today, Inner Beach a new retail shop and lifestyle brand inspired by beach and surf culture announced a partnership with the Lake Ontario Waterkeeper program. The program, operated by non-profit organization Swim Drink Fish Canada, has been working to connect people with water since 2001. The partnership will facilitate water testing of four beaches in the Port Credit area of Mississauga, Ontario.
“When I first thought about what I wanted Inner Beach to represent, I knew that prioritizing and protecting our local waters is something that we needed to be a part of. The water gives back to its community in multiple ways, and partnerships like these raise awareness and empower those in the community to get involved and understand the importance of protecting something we are so fortunate to have,” explained Diana Olsen, owner and founder of Inner Beach.
Reviews from other small businesses are key to determining who entrepreneurs choose as their next business service partner.
According to an UpCity survey, more than 50% of businesses looked at either average star ratings or number of reviews when evaluating potential service providers to partner with. When they were asked about the greatest challenge of searching for a service provider, finding a partner respondents could trust, or one with the right skills, was more challenging than sticking with the budget.
When choosing a service provider, small business owners cited these factors as most important:
- Star rating of reviews 33.2%
- Number of reviews 18.4%
- Awards & certifications 16.8%
- Portfolio images & videos 16.1%
- Company size 15.4%
“Virtual word-of-mouth has become table stakes in B2B partner selection. Businesses have limited budgets and when choosing an extension of their team to grow, trust and credibility are paramount,” said Heidi Sullivan, UpCity’s SVP of Product and Marketing. “That makes it more important than ever for B2B service providers to build their reputation online.”
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