Focusing on Psychological Safety Can Slash Discontent

Psychological safety is particularly important for DEI efforts, and the positive effects are pronounced among women, people of color and LGBTQ+ employees.

HR Dive

January 10, 2024

1 Min Read

Psychological safety in the workplace, or the feeling of being able to speak up and take risks without fear of being blamed or criticized, can lead to higher motivation, happiness and retention, according to a Jan. 4 report from Boston Consulting Group.

Among employees reporting the lowest levels of psychological safety, 12% said they were likely to quit within a year. However, among those with high levels of psychological safety, only 3% were at risk of quitting.

In addition, the report found that empathetic leadership—which shows understanding and respect for team members’ perspectives, emotions and life situations—is a key driver of psychological safety and its benefits.

“Collective buy-in from the team is important, but leaders have an outsize impact when it comes to building psychological safety,” Nadjia Yousif, chief diversity officer at BCG, said in a statement.

“They set the tone by being role models and signaling what behaviors will be rewarded and what won’t be tolerated,” she said. “Psychological safety can flourish only if it’s driven from the top.”

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