What Does The Science Say?
Google has taken some deep dives into what makes for a great team member and has also conducted research into the attributes of effective teams. In 2012, Google conducted a well-known study called Project Aristotle, which sought to understand the characteristics of high-performing teams, and the results were surprising. Teams with a culture of honesty, transparency, and high trust outperformed teams consisting of high-performing individuals, but where behaviours were based on low trust and an absence of psychological safety. This study resulted in a wave of research into psychological safety and organizations adopting trust as a foundational component to creating well-functioning teams. It also led Google to roll out mindful leadership programs developed to cultivate leaders who were more authentic at work, paving the way for their teams to do the same.
How to foster trust in the workplace for our teams?
Psychological safety involves having a culture where trust is the starting point. With this solid foundation, people recognize each other’s good work, and constructive feedback is welcomed, leading to a culture of feedback and continuous improvement. Moreover, curiosity replaces assumptions and judgement. Acceptance of diversity of cultures and orientations is part of the foundational trust that creates safe workspaces. Diversity is also about accepting different opinions and endeavouring to see the world through another’s lens. The implication here is that team meetings, where there is a flow of dialogue and an absence of judgement, yield enormous benefits in fostering a cohesive, productive, and satisfied team.
What dentalcorp Is Doing To Foster Change
dentalcorp recently hosted its annual Practice Managers conference focused on leadership that creates more care, trust, and resilience. The research is clear: people who enjoy a psychologically safe culture at work, not only build stronger teams but are psychologically and physically healthier and find their relationships outside of work thrive as well. Trust is core to the relationship we have with our patients, as well as the relationships we have in our teams.
About the Author
Nicola Deall is dentalcorp’s Chief People Officer and oversees the company’s human resources strategy. She’s a proven leader working with high-growth and large-scale businesses with expertise in organization development, HR consulting, people strategy, talent acquisition, systems implementation, and analytics. Nicola holds a Bachelor of Business from the University of Technology Sydney.