Authentically Themselves: How Psychological Safety Allows Employees to Bring More and be More at Work

Workers hiding or suppressing elements of their identities underperform on the job, but a culture of psychological safety can turn things around for both workers and their organizations.
— By Donna Chan

Employers are already well aware that “presenteeism” sucks the lifeblood out of an organization. Yet within the same organization advocating for productivity and efficiency, it is possible to see diversity and inclusion policies that throw up boundaries for employees, preventing them from fully engaging with their work. Many of these policies were well-intentioned but focused on just one aspect of a worker’s self, sending the message that some pieces of identity were approved and allowed, while others were not welcome.

How can companies shift away from sending mixed messages about approved identities? It is not enough to acknowledge that many workers belong to multiple priority groups. Instead, companies should work on building (or improvin...

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