Psychological safety refers to an environment of rewarded vulnerability in which employees feel 1) Included, 2) Safe to learn, 3) Safe to contribute, and 4) Safe to challenge the status quo—all without being embarrassed, marginalized, or punished in some way.
The engagement and retention of the individual is directly linked to the level of psychological safety they feel in each of the 4 stages. In conducting a stay interview, ask each of the following two-part questions. Then listen intently and take notes.
Stage 1: Inclusion Safety Question: Do you feel included, accepted, and a sense of belonging at work? Are you rewarded for bringing your whole self to work? Please explain.
Stage 2: Learner Safety Question: Do you feel safe to learn and grow at work? Are you rewarded for asking questions, giving and receiving feedback, experimenting, and even making mistakes? Please explain.
Stage 3: Contributor Safety Question: Do you feel safe to use your knowledge, skills, and experience to make a meaningful contribution at work? Is your contribution rewarded with an appropriate level of autonomy, guidance, and support? Please explain.
Stage 4: Challenger Safety Question: Do you feel safe to challenge the status quo? Are you rewarded for candor, constructive dissent, and intellectual bravery? Please explain.