Construction Professionals Skillnet’s Liz Carroll on the importance of psychological safety

by | Nov 9, 2022

The safety process can often be seen as a necessary evil, while the paperwork can make it seem like a tick box exercise rather than something of value to each and every person in the sector.

Construction Safety Week is a time when construction companies can take the opportunity to take a step back from focusing on safety compliance and look at ways of engaging with everyone in the sector to remind ourselves why Safety and Wellbeing is so important.

How can you generate engagement and motivation – not only for safety – but in every area of the business? In 2022, the Construction Professionals Skillnet provided free workshops for those responsible for health and safety to support them in looking at ways of engaging employees and working with them to create an impactful programme for Safety Week.

One of the messages conveyed during this programme is the concept of psychological safety. And while psychological safety is also a key element of wellbeing in the workplace, it is also important for engagement and motivation.

Timothy R Clarke in his book ‘The Four Stages Of Psychological Safety’ described a model of four “stages” of psychological safety that teams can move through.

These stages are:

Inclusion Safety
Members feel safe to belong to the team
Learner Safety
Members are able to learn through asking questions
Contributor Safety
Members feel safe to contribute their own ideas
Challenger Safety
Members can question others’ ideas or suggest significant changes

Some things that you can do to help create psychological safety are:

• Avoid blame and be solution focused

• Show you are valuing opinions

• Openly discuss how to work best as a team and what gets in the way

• Involve the team in decision making

• Build and sustain trust

Another area covered was how to generate ideas for Safety Week. This is again a way to engage all employees, get buy in and improve motivation. To get you started CIF have a number of supports and suggestions on their website www.cif.ie

The Construction Professionals Skillnet provides funded training and development solutions specifically for the construction sector. We aim to support the development and growth of construction businesses by working with them to identify and address their skills and development needs and the provision of suitable solutions.

We would love to work with you to create suitable solutions for your company. Contact Liz at [email protected] for further information.

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