Psychological Safety

Measuring psychological safety

You won’t know whether you’ve correctly implemented Psychological Safety in your organisation unless you can measure the results of your efforts.

Questions such as “are you happy with your job?” are barely enough to tap into the real feelings of your employees. It’s easy for them to say they’re happier in their current position – but are they able to maintain solid, healthy relationships in the workplace?

How do they really feel about their position?

And how has that feeling changed ever since you’ve implemented Psychological Safety in your organisation?

A questionnaire and an interview are unlikely to answer those questions for you.

When your employees feel psychologically safe at work, you’re able to reduce turnover and value everyone’s time. In order to optimise your efforts, you need to know if “happy” means what it means, or if they’re just getting by and doing what they’re told.

Only a psychometric test assessment can help you find out exactly what they mean.

What Is a Psychometric Test Assessment?

Contrary to traditional opinion-based testing, psychometric testing can measure employees’ capability when it comes to problem-solving, interpersonal relationships, analytical skills, and other abilities.

We’re often used to measuring employees by their past education, points of view, and alleged skills. Although these are all important considerations, they’re shallow in comparison to accurate psychometric reports.

Psychometric testing goes beyond a team member’s education history and personality type. In fact, it can help foresee employees’ behavioural patterns, attitudes, and reasoning capabilities –  even before you hire them.

If you’d like to measure psychological safety in your organisation, it’s advisable to switch subjective guessing for an accurate analysis. Here’s an example of how it works in action:

At The Mental Health Coach, we start our assessment by determining where teams stand. We call this a “baseline assessment”, which is  a term we’ll explain in the upcoming section.

Next, we collect results from an anonymous team survey, which we condense into a comprehensive snapshot and action plan for boosting Psychological Safety.

Finally, we offer a range of suggestions on measures we can implement to build trust in your team. Of course, a dedicated consultant will provide support every step of the way.

How Do Psychometric Tests Support Psychological Safety?

It Provides a Baseline Measurement

In terms of Psychological Safety, where does your team currently stand? Again, even face-to-face interviews and applications are unable to provide an ideal answer. Research suggests that those documents are influenced by people’s preconceptions and biases, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to you. It’s not uncommon to let gut feelings make decisions on our behalf.

The goal of a psychometric test is to provide a measurable and objective notion of an employee’s competence for the job. Although first impressions and gut instincts will still be present, managers will no longer let their biases risk a wrong decision.

According to recruitment agency The Sterling Choice, “most psychometric tests are standard, with all candidates receiving the same, unbiased and objective questions that have been widely used against a wide demographic.”

For better results, you should measure job satisfaction regularly. This way, you’ll have a baseline measurement for every employee, which will allow you to calculate an average across employees. A baseline measurement will also help you track any changes in job satisfaction.

Psychological Safety

It Helps You Work Off Data, Not Guesses

The best thing about psychometric assessments is their ability to identify employee behaviour before they start working at a company. Knowing whether their work ethic is right for the company’s culture is essential to make adjustments or replacements, if needed.

These tests can also help managers examine the reasons behind an employee’s actions during certain circumstances. For example, why someone tends to get competitive or nervous when working in a team.

According to Australian recruiting agency Wellsgray Recruiting, “a candidate might be a star in the interview, but if their assessment reveals they don’t work well in a team, they may not be the best fit for the job.”

Now, the question becomes: What if employees decide to lie in a psychometric test? Do they still pass?

According to the University of New South Wales, that’s not possible. Thankfully, when creating psychometric tests, developers have also considered this possibility. After all, if people lie in their resumes and interviews, they sure are capable of lying in other tests.

That’s why psychometric tests contain what’s called “faking and inconsistency scales”, which are used to spot incompatible answers.

It’s Measured Using a Validated Tool

It’s valid to question the reliability of psychometric tools. How dependable are they, as far as measuring employee ability goes?

Mettl, a technology company that provides skill assessment tools and software, describes psychometric tools as follows:

“Psychometric tools  are automated, structured frameworks to ensure an unbiased evaluation of psychological characteristics, such as personality, creativity, intelligence, motivation, and values.”

Wherever an unbiased evaluation is key, it’s best to take humans’ inherent biases out of the way. This will allow impartial consideration from expert tools to take the lead. The data extracted from the evaluation can then be employed to understand employees’ personality traits and values – and how those may affect their job performance in the long term.

Speaking of personality, these validated tools are essential in uncovering underlying personality traits an employee may have failed to mention. Without the ability of assessing those “hidden” traits, be them positive or negative, managers could be missing improvement opportunities.

Provides an Increase in Job Satisfaction

When asked about their level of job satisfaction, employees may give untruthful answers. That’s understandable: they’re afraid they might lose their jobs if they say they’re dissatisfied. Yes, even if you tell them to be candid in their answers.

That doesn’t mean job satisfaction surveys are ineffective. Surveys will only be ineffective if they aren’t designed with psychometric testing built into them. Besides simply asking questions, a well-conducted survey will measure the factors that contribute to job satisfaction – factors such as work-life balance, relationships with colleagues, learning opportunities, and more.

With a proper survey comes an increase in employee commitment. That’s because you’ve taken an educated approach to measuring your employees’ psychological safety, rather than asking empty questions.

When measuring the results and reinforcing Psychological Safety principles in the organisation, real job satisfaction will follow.

Ditch the Guesswork With Psychometric Test Assessments

Some candidates may be highly qualified for a job on paper, but don’t be fooled: a single bad experience could cause their productivity to go down dramatically. If predicting such instances used to be a problem, psychometric assessments will be helpful.

While education and skills are invaluable, measuring your team’s Psychological Safety with reliable psychometric tools is the ultimate way to guarantee employee satisfaction. They’ll help you gain insights into employees’ behaviours, motivations, and even predict their future relationships with coworkers and superiors.

Although no test is 100% accurate, you won’t be relying on answers alone to measure employee capability and satisfaction. Besides, you’ll be reducing staff turnover, and creating data-driven hypotheses for the next workplace changes you’re planning to implement.

On a final note, a report is merely a piece of paper if you’re unable to implement your findings. Creating an action plan supported by your results will help you create a psychologically safe environment for your existing and future talent.

A Psychological Safety consultant can help you follow each step and make sure you’re offering the right solutions, at the right time.

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