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The Importance of Psychological Safety in Home Care

Psychological safety sounds like a huge scary topic, but in fact it is quite simple. It is the act of having a safe and open environment for all your staff. The psychological impacts of this on your staff team are fantastic, as it allows them to become more open about their day-to-day tasks, and most importantly embrace accountability for their mistakes. Your team will start to have a positive and learning ethos with habits of supporting one-another. This is the type of environment that will encourage staff and carers to stay within your team longer consequently, reducing staff turnover. 

So overall it brings a huge positive impact on the team and in-turn the business, but how easy is it to achieve psychological safety? 

Every organisation has a different way of working, so implementing psychological safety will look different for every team. There are, however, a few basic principles that can be followed to support the integration of psychological safety within your team. 

Regular and open communication with all staff

This does not just have to be within supervisions or probation meetings but can be done in team building exercises or just general chatting! It makes the team feel part of something bigger and supported. ‘Honesty Hours’ is a tool that can be implemented in staff meetings as an opportunity for staff to talk about their mistakes in a safe environment and learn from one another. The idea is that every member of the team, including managers, will announce a mistake they have made and how they fixed it. 

Constructive feedback over critical feedback

Already the two words come with very different connotations and stigmas. The word constructive feedback relates more to a supported learning environment and correction of errors. While the word critical instantly takes you to a place of thinking you have done wrong and are ‘in trouble’. 

Reward not punish.

There is a strong pattern emerging in many businesses where people are being noticed for their mistakes and errors and not for their achievements. By rewarding positive tasks and achievements you are creating a happy ethos within your team and making individuals want to strive to become better. By highlighting the mistakes of others, it can make the team fear being in that position and less likely to be accountable for their own mistakes! Of course, bringing up mistakes can be a fantastic learning opportunity if done in the correct way. 

Here at Care & Carers we believe psychological safety is a key part of running a safe and effective home care service. Our carers have a fantastic team working ethic and learn from each other. We have created a community for our carers including various support networks especially during the uncertain times we are currently living in. Over the years we have seen firsthand the benefits of a safe space and will strive to continue this within all our teams.