At Cubert we know we’re only as good as the people who make up our teams. With an array of team members spread across continents, working efficiently is paramount to the success of our operations.
We offer our employees a competitive salary, an extensive wellness package, an excellent work-life balance, and an environment designed to foster growth and learning. Each of these perks is meant to motivate our employees and help them maintain healthy and productive mindsets. And each of these perks is more or less commonplace in progressive workplaces. Or at least they should be, in our opinion.
“We want to make sure we’re offering the best experience possible to our employees,” explains Cubert Co-founder Marius Ronnov. “Because we expect them to offer the best experience possible for our consumers.”
“That takes more than a gym membership, it takes a culture.”
To help us craft a culture fitting to our company ethos, we looked at the 2015 study published in Google’s re:Work library. After interviewing 200+ employees, they concluded that psychological safety is paramount to any company that wants to create dynamic and effective teams.
Ronnov describes reading the study and having an “ah-ha” moment. “There were these intangibles like dependability, fulfilment, and meaning that we had already been thinking about ways to cultivate. But we hadn’t considered psychological safety as a specific dimension to the workplace that we could actively cultivate. It was the missing ingredient.”
The report claims that “psychological safety was far and away the most important of the five dynamics we found,” and explains how psychological safety is the secret sauce that brings successful teams together. Individuals who feel more comfortable sharing ideas and asking questions, without fear of embarrassment or judgement from their peers, tend to excel in their contributions to the team.
“So we immediately made it a priority to create a workspace where everyone felt safe to ask questions, share their thoughts, and take risks.”
Ronnov points to a follow-up article in the Harvard Business Review. In Laura Delizonna’s piece, Google’s Head of Industry, Paul Santagata, details actionable techniques to cultivate a psychologically safe workplace. Here’s our take on what he had to say:
1) Conflicts are opportunities to build better teams. Instead of playing blame games, we encourage team members to seek out mutually-beneficial ways to resolve conflict. When confronted with a problem, we choose to see it as an opportunity to tap into our collective curiosity and discover solutions together. “We encourage the fail fast, fail often approach,” Ronnov states. “It not only helps nurture creativity and curiosity, but it encourages our teams to take risks and make mistakes. Every stumble is a learning opportunity.”
2) Everybody’s human. That means everybody makes mistakes from time to time, but it also means everybody deserves to be treated the same way they’d want to be treated. Namely, as three-dimensional people with unique hopes, fears, aspirations, and feelings. Reminding team members of this simple fact, and of each other’s core similarities, is an effective way to de-escalate conflict. “At the end of the day, we all want
thesame things. To go home to friends and family who care about us, to feel good about our work, and to have security. We encourage team members to be mindful of that because it can be easy to forget if things happen to get heated.”
3) Active listening can accomplish more than anything, and honest feedback is a priceless commodity. That’s why we actively solicit feedback from our team members so that we understand what is and isn’t working. And we listen closely, which helps ensure effective company-wide communication while strengthening our culture of psychological safety. Everybody gets heard at Cubert. “There’s this phenomenal book,” Ronnov concludes. “It’s called Power Listening by Bernard T. Ferrari and I think it’s a must-read for anyone who manages or works as part of a team.”
We know smart business habits when we see them, that’s why we’re making psychological safety a priority in our workplace.
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