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  • Dermot Dennehy

The 5 commercial consequences for a department if it has low levels of psychological safety

Updated: Apr 17, 2023

High levels of psychological safety in a department refer to the belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns or mistakes. It is the sense of trust and mutual respect among team members that allows them to speak up and be vulnerable.

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The Ryanair Model:

A department with high psychological safety is more likely to foster creativity, learning, innovation and better performance. When team members feel safe to speak up and take risks, they are more likely to share their knowledge and experience, leading to a more effective team.

  1. High turnover and difficulty recruiting new talent: When employees don't feel safe in their work environment, they are more likely to seek employment elsewhere. This can lead to a high turnover rate, which can be costly for the organisation and can make it difficult to recruit new talent.

  2. Low productivity and high absenteeism: Employees who don't feel safe in their work environment may be less engaged, less motivated, and less productive. They may also be more prone to absenteeism due to stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues.

  3. Difficulty in retaining and developing key employees: When employees don't feel safe, they may not want to stay with the organisation long-term. This can make it difficult to retain key employees and develop them into leaders.

  4. Poor quality of work and high error rates: When employees are not feeling safe, they may not be able to focus on their work as much, and this can lead to poor quality of work and high error rates.

  5. Difficulty in building and maintaining positive relationships with clients and customers: Employees who don't feel safe may not be as engaged or motivated, and this can lead to poor customer service and negative relationships with clients and customers. This can lead to lost business and damage to the company's reputation.


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