Eliminating fear at work – one place at a time.

Psychological safety – why prioritise it?

Research, including insights from Project Aristotle at Google, has shown that psychological safety has a profound impact on team performance, innovation, and collaboration.
By prioritizing psychological safety, organizations have experienced enhanced team effectiveness, increased productivity, and higher employee engagement.

The benefits of
psychological safety are evident

Collaboration and Learning: When team members feel psychologically safe, they are more willing to share knowledge and collaborate, leading to higher team performance and adaptability.

Innovation and Creativity:
  When team members can express ideas without fear of judgment, they are more likely to contribute their unique perspectives and foster a culture of experimentation.

Growth and Development:
  When individuals feel safe to take risks, ask questions, and seek feedback, they are more likely to embrace challenges and pursue opportunities for development and growth.

Crisis Prevention:
  When employees feel safe to speak up, voice concerns, and share critical information without fear of negative consequences, potential issues can be identified and addressed.

Psychological safety – what is it?

“The sense of being able to show and employ one’s self without fear

of negative consequences to self-image, status or career”  William A Khan.

Eliminating fear and taking accountability

Learning zone
We do care and we are daring

Comfort zone

We don’t care and we aren’t sharing

Apathy zone

We don’t care and we aren’t daring

Anxiety zone

We do care and we are scared

Psychological safety – how is it enabled?

“We cannot change the human condition, but we can
change the conditions under which people work.”  James Reason, Professor of Psychology

Prof James Reason’s Swiss Cheese Model compares complex human systems to layers of Swiss cheese, where each layer is a defence against potential hazards.

But each layer has holes in the defence – things go wrong occasionally. Major problems occur when defence layers are all broken at the same time – when the holes hare aligned.

Organisational layers are like layers of Swiss cheese and our management systems help plug the holes, changing the conditions and enabling defences against things going wrong.

Safe Places To Work’s logo is based on this model. The three outer rings represent the organisational layers surrounding the circle in the middle that represents the individual. 

The principles of preventing accidents and enabling physical safety can be applied to eliminating fear and enabling psychological safety in organisations.


Assessing the gaps
at each layer 

Our workplace assessment assesses the level of to which psychological safety is enabled at each organisational layer, giving actionable insights for an improvement plan.

Organisational layers

The 4 layers: 1. Self 2. Team 3. Manager 4. Organisation


Individuals have a responsibility for self-development, self-direction, self-evaluation, self-awareness and self-care.


Teams have a collective responsibility for recognition, cooperation, equity, inclusion and collaboration.


Managers have direct responsibility for appreciation, empowerment, consistency, listening and support.


Organisations have the ultimate responsibility to ensure they act with integrity, trust, diversity, humanity and agility.

SAFER enablers

Research in psychology and neuroscience has identified enablers to psychological safety.
5 enablers are the basis of making SAFER.


The perception of value and respect colleagues hold within the organisation.



The degree of discretion colleagues have in decision-making and actions.



The level to which employees are treated equitably and justly within the organisation.



The ability to understand and share the feelings and perspectives of others.



The capacity to withstand or to recover from setbacks and adapt to change.


Safe Places To Work Accreditation

Our workplace assessment

Employee Survey

We conduct a 24-question survey that align the 5 enablers with the 4 layers of the organisation.

Insights Report

We identify dominant fear factors and produce a comprehensive report with recommendations for improvement.

Action Planning

We present our recommendations and  seek your commitment developing and communicating an improvement plan.

Workplace Accreditation

By investing in a SMART improvement plan you will be accredited as a Safe Place To Work, subject to an annual audit.

Sign up for a workplace assessment today