SUMMARY: When developing psychologically safe leadership strategies, assessment is only the first step. Taking action on your results helps you create an action plan for continual improvement. Free resources and strategies are provided.

After completing the assessment, develop a simple action plan to implement or improve specific strategies. Micro-changes that are easily integrated with existing leadership responsibilities can be more effective and sustainable than trying to implement many changes at once. Start with those easy for you and/or those that can have the greatest positive impact.

The actual questions on the assessments for each of the leader and employees are provided for you, to review in advance, below.

Communication & Collaboration

Communication & Collaboration involves the clear exchange of information and transparent discussion of what a worker needs to do their job successfully. This involves collaborative efforts to support each worker’s success at work. Learn More

Social Intelligence

Social Intelligence involves acting as a role model and facilitator of psychologically safe interactions between and among all workplace stakeholders, including those who are marginalized or vulnerable. Learn More

Problem Solving & Conflict Management

Problem Solving and Conflict Management involves supporting and requiring consistent, respectful, and effective discussion and resolution of issues. Those who fail to do so are held accountable as needed. Learn More

Security and Safety

Security and Safety involves supporting a safe environment through proactive, prompt and effective responses to any threats to psychological or physical safety. Learn More

Fairness & Integrity

Fairness & Integrity involves leadership which is honest, transparent and consistent, where there is fairness and equity in decision-making, and a humble understanding of personal limitations and biases. Learn More

  • Identify specific strategies you wish to incorporate in your leadership approach.

    Review each of the strategies provided in your assessment results and choose 1-3 strategies to begin working on. You may wish to prioritize based on strategies that:

    • You are already aware of and can improve upon
    • Are most relevant to reaching your desired outcomes
    • Will help you improve or address significant issues
    • Have the implicit support and/or authorization from senior leadership if relevant
    • Are realistic in terms of time and resources available to you
    • Leverage your existing skills and abilities
    • Will have the greatest positive impact on the psychological safety of your employees
  • Discuss with your senior leader(s) for support and permission, as relevant.

    • If you need to obtain permission to implement any of the strategies you have identified, seek approval after you have prepared the following summary, which can also be placed into your own Action Workbook:
      • The strategies you have selected
      • The link to the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace
      • Intended benefits/outcomes for your team
      • Intended benefits/outcomes for the organization and its goals
      • Organizational support or training you may require
      • Necessary resources that will be incurred in terms of your time and any other expenses
    • Once you have received approval, follow up with an email to confirm your plans and any limitations or restrictions you have been given
  • If relevant to your strategies, discuss with employees to ensure the intended approach will support their work success.
    • Share your intended action plan with your employees. Tell them that you are seeking to add leadership strategies that better support them and ask them:
      • How might implementing this strategy benefit you or your co-workers?
      • What could be any potential risks or challenges associated with this approach?
      • What else would make this even more effective at supporting our success as a team?
    • Take a stance of curiosity rather than critical analysis – i.e., ask questions to draw out more complete answers but resist offering your own opinion or criticism of what they are offering. Remember that there is often a perceived risk in speaking out to your leader about what they could/should do differently and it is important to create a sense of safety if you wish to engage in open dialogue. This is an essential element of being a psychologically safe leader. You can critically analyze the answers with a trusted advisor or peer after the conversation is over.
    • If you encounter cynicism, skepticism, or negativity from your employees think about what might be underlying these attitudes. It could be:
      • A workplace incident that colours perception – e.g., poor labour relations, merger, etc.
      • Changes in team dynamic
      • Current conflict
      • Current changes that are difficult for employees
      • Personal health issues that cloud judgment or observations
      • A previous leader who was not psychologically safe
      • Work overload
      • Lack of clarity about demands leading to fear or anxiety about job retention
    • For more help check out with team discussions check out:
      • Facilitating Team Discussions - strategies that may be helpful to engage team members in productive conversations while managing negative or problematic responses.
      • On the Agenda - a series of videos, presentation slides and supporting materials that can help trainers, team leaders, managers or others to pave the way for discussions and action aimed at developing a psychologically healthy and safe workplace.
      • Team Building Activities - developed by experts, these can help build resilience and emotional intelligence by improving the ability of leaders and team members to respond effectively to workplace stressors, resolve issues, and support each other through challenging times.
  • Create an action plan that is realistic and attainable.
  • Access resources to assist in executing the action plan.
    • Click on the icons below for the domain(s) that include the strategies you wish to implement. From the dropdown menu, choose the relevant strategy/statement. You will be directed to information or given a link to a free resource that can help you with developing your action plan.
  • Monitor outcomes and reassess annually for continual improvement.
    • Using your Action Planning Workbook, track the outcomes from implementation of these strategies.
    • Make modifications or changes as necessary to improve outcomes.
    • Once the selected strategies become part of your regular leadership approach, an updated assessment can identify additional positive strategies to be considered.