Our Founder, Rachel Cashman, was invited in her similar previous CEO role to speak at the annual NHS Confederation Conference to launch “A Practical Guide to the Art of Psychological Safety in the Real World of Health and Care”.

The guide is one output of a programme, Psychologically Safe Leadership 2020/21, that Rachel was commissioned to design and deliver with NHS Horizons and Professor Amy Edmondson, Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard Business School. The programme was sponsored by Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK.

You can download a copy of the guide here: http://horizonsnhs.com/psychological-safety-2021/

You can watch the NHS Confederation event here:

Over 80 health, care and local government leaders participated, each with the ambition to develop psychological safety as an integral element of building capacity and capability to transform public services safely.

Findings from the Psychologically Safe Leadership 2020/21 conference showed that:

  • measurement is important because it provides the data that stimulates the conversation and enables change;
  • leaders need to learn how to respond rationally to bad news – those only willing to hear good news create fear around truth;
  • it is hard for people to talk openly as it feels like a risky business – people are braver when responding anonymously but sustainable change only occurs when everyone feels safe to be open and share with compassionate candour;
  • it is important to destigmatise failure and respond positively to it, never to dismiss an idea and remember to celebrate success.

Psychological safety at work allows people to feel safe to take interpersonal risk by speaking up, sharing ideas, innovating, challenging convention and asking questions, secure in the knowledge that their voice is valid and their contribution welcome. More than 20 years of research demonstrates that organisations with higher levels of psychological safety perform better on almost any metric. Here in the UK, health and care providers who are promoting psychological safety within their work cultures are seeing reductions in investigations and suspensions and improvements in ‘speaking up’ metrics in their annual staff surveys.

Rachel Cashman, Soircas CEO, said
“The NHS is currently facing a time of significant change, with a new Integrated Care Board leadership structure being embedded and an operational re-set underway after the Covid-19 crisis. The work we’ve done shows that, now more than ever, system-wide cultural change is also needed to put psychological safety at the heart of how health and care organisations work together. Addressing psychological safety in the workplace is the wellbeing equivalent of providing a hard hat and reinforced boots for workers on a construction site. It’s about providing your people with PPE for the mind.”
Contact us to find out more about The Fearless Facilitator Method™ and how we can support psychological safety and wellbeing within your team or organisation.