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Psychological safety is crucial for India Inc in 2023 and beyond: Indeed

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Indeed released the findings of a report on Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DI&B) atIndian Workplaces, which examines the need for psychological safety in Indian organizations. Psychological safety refers to employees believing that they can take risks without being shamed by other members. 45% of all employers surveyed believe that psychological safety is a strong performance indicator and 47% believe it is a crucial need since it leads to higher employee retention and engagement.

The major reasons for employees feeling psychologically unsafe at work are due to mental health issues (47%), unaddressed/unsatisfactorily addressed grievances (43%) and fear of losing their anonymity while providing feedback (28%).

Rohan Sylvester, Talent Strategy Advisor, Indeed said, “Amidst various global uncertainties, organizations are looking to build high performing teams that can sustain waves in the market. In the last couple of years, employees have faced various stressors related to work such as burnout, mental health issues, overwork etc. Therefore, prioritizing employees will be at the forefront for organizations to enhance psychological safety at work which can further lead to strong business growth. Initiating strong programs around DI&B are instrumental in laying the foundation for psychological safety in organizations. Our data shows that 23% of organizations are planning to initiate formal policies around DI&B in the next 12-18 months. It will be critical for employers to focus on this in order to thrive in the new normal.”

Impact of psychologically unsafe workplaces

Employees facing fear due to various reasons could adversely affect psychological safety. Fear of burnout (34%) and fear of failure (25%) are dominant among employees in psychologically unsafe workplaces. Biases also play a role in determining psychological safety at work. The most common biases employees face are gender and sexual orientation (59%), their religion, caste and ethnicity (32%), their physical, mental, and emotional disabilities (18%), and the language they speak (18%).

In order to create a psychologically safe environment, 45% of employees express that being their authentic selves at work, expressing ideas, opinions, and criticisms freely without the fear of judgment, contributes to psychological safety. 33% also noticed that work-life balance makes them feel psychologically safe at their workplaces.

From an employer perspective, 53% of them agree that a psychologically safe work culture is both achievable and sustainable. However, 32% of employers feel that while it is achievable, it cannot be sustained.

Employee trends and perspectives in the last year

Most employees’ responses (38%) suggest that burnout has been the most prevalent trend shift, followed by disengagement (33%) and other mental health related aspects such as depression (27%) and anxiety (24%). Employees feel that the leadership team plays a role in psychological safety at work. Leaders can positively influence employees to be motivated at their job (rated 4.48 on a 5-point scale), provide a sense of security at work (4.41), and improve relationships with other peers or colleagues (3.66).

Cognitive diversity is also something that employees feel is important to organizations as it ensures that they have plural ways of thinking and solving problems. A majority (83%) of employees feel that organizations can benefit from having people with different ideas, thoughts, and perspectives.

Overall, hiring for men appears to be 17% higher than women, and 56% higher than LGBTIQ+ candidates. 49% employers report hiring for minorities and 13% for people with disabilities. Aerospace (52% higher), E-Commerce (48% higher) & Retail ( 35% higher) have more preference for hiring men than women. Whereas Media & Entertainment (5% higher), Educational Services (5% higher) and Travel & Hospitality (5% higher) industry have marginally higher preference for women.

Methodology:

This study of the link between Psychological Safety and DI&B in Indian organizations was carried out by Valuevox on behalf of Indeed across 15 sectors and 16 cities, and across 1,200 employers and 1,500 employees of small, medium, and large businesses. In order to comprehend the needs of the modern workforce, we require a clear understanding of the associated terms – Psychological Safety and Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging.

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