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A Psychologically Safe Workplace

Creating a Psychologically Safe Workplace.

You can bet your bottom dollar that if there’s a market for something, then that something is also available in app format. According to, in Q2 2022 there were roughly 2.2m available apps for IOS and back in 2009 Apple even trademarked that buzz-worthy phrase “There’s an app for that.”

A little bit like Awareness Days we didn’t even know we needed, (Sausage Roll Day anyone?) apps have seamlessly slid into our lives and some of us can barely even remember how we managed to get through the day without them. The thought of not being able to level up on Candy Crush whilst waiting for an appointment or getting up without first scrutinising our sleep tracker for signs of snoring is alien to most of us.

And yet, not all apps are created equal and the market is an overcrowded space; this is certainly true of wellbeing apps. Since the pandemic, there has been a huge surge in apps offering lifestyle tips and advice for diet, exercise, mindfulness, meditation and everything in between but how many of these will still be in existence a few years from now remains to be seen. We don’t know yet who the winners and losers will be as the market tests the waters, but it’s safe to say that what follows will result in mergers, acquisitions and vendor consolidation.

Manager-Led Wellbeing

There are many workplace digital wellbeing solutions out there, but to maintain engagement, it’s important to look at the offering as a whole.  The recent release of the WHO guidelines on Mental Health at Work recommends that training managers to support their workers’ mental health is key, including improving managers’ knowledge, attitudes and behaviours for mental health to enable people to feel comfortable asking for help where necessary.Research has shown that since the pandemic, the role of line managers has become even more crucial for employees’ health, wellbeing and engagement.  According to the CIPD’s Guidance for Employees and Managers, the messages for employers are clear: a) employee engagement is important for performance, but is likely to be unsustainable unless it goes hand in hand with employee wellbeing; and b) manager behaviour is pivotal to both engagement and wellbeing. Managers, therefore, represent a vital lever for creating a workforce which is both engaged and thriving.

A new corporate era is dawning where we are moving away from traditional, transactional management towards a more emotional style of leadership.  Employees now expect to be able to bring their authentic selves to work and yet many managers are ill-equipped to deal with this new EQ-driven, inclusive leadership style so there is a significant amount of upskilling required.

Big Picture Thinking

Isolated initiatives such as four-day working weeks, mental health days and apps are not enough to combat the rising tide of mental health issues and declines in wellbeing which have been exacerbated by the pandemic. According to a recent WHO report there has been a massive 25% increase in the prevalence of anxiety and depression worldwide and employees need and expect sustainable and mentally healthy workplaces which can only be achieved by driving cultural change from the top down.

T-Cup’s multi-faceted approach to workplace health and wellbeing is reflected in its integrated offering with the WellCup app constituting only part of the solution. While the interactive wellbeing companion delivers personal coaching, accountability, self-reflection and community challenges, it also acts as an enabler to initiate conversations and destigmatise mental health issues between managers and teams in the form of TeamUp sessions. TeamUps can form part of pre-existing sessions between managers and their teams and are designed to embed wellbeing into the organisation’s fabric.

Periodic company-wide CheckUps collect aggregated and anonymised data across multiple demographics providing real-time insight into high or low-scoring areas and facilitate individuals with targeted guidance and advice in the form of tip-sheets, infographics and video content.  Crucially, this data provides a snapshot of the organisation’s health and allows for the implementation of relevant wellbeing initiatives.

The graphic below illustrates how this three-pronged approach drives engagement.

Creating a Psychologically Safe Environment

Promoting a mentally healthy workplace starts with conversations. While the tech is an enabler, the onus is on leadership to create meaningful cultural change by modelling the right wellbeing behaviours to create a psychologically safe work environment.

When there is little or no psychological safety, employees are unlikely to speak up and share their ideas for fear of being ridiculed or penalised and this translates into low satisfaction, poor decision-making and mental health issues. The costs to the organisation are huge; absenteeism, attrition, low engagement, low skill acquisition, low innovation and low productivity.

Promoting a sense of purpose and commitment and ensuring that teams feel valued contributes to feelings of happiness and job satisfaction and the organisation benefits from employer brand excellence, talent acquisition, and the highest levels of performance and innovation.  Put simply, everyone wins when we talk about wellbeing.

Contact us to find out how T-Cup can help drive employee engagement and performance in your business.

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