Social Safety

The importance of social safety

A safe and inclusive work environment is important for everyone. It increases job satisfaction, engagement, and productivity while reducing stress, absenteeism, and turnover. An essential aspect of social safety is creating a culture of respect and appreciation. This can be achieved by setting clear expectations and encouraging open communication. However, realizing social safety in practice proves to be a challenge. In every organization, department, and team, the different types of people present play a role in creating and maintaining a socially safe work environment.

What is required?

The law sets a set of minimum standards regarding aggression, discrimination, sexual harassment, and bullying. These standards aim to ensure a basic level of safety in all organizations. However, is simply complying with the law enough for a safe and inclusive work environment? Aspects such as social safety, feeling welcomed and seen, and belonging are dynamic, subjective, and complex. It requires ongoing dialogue within the organization and effort from everyone to maintain high levels of social safety and inclusion.

Michelle Vaessen InContext

A shared responsibility

But how does an organization establish a shared standard? How do you determine as a team what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable behavior? How do you ensure that people adhere to this standard and hold each other accountable when they don’t? And how do you handle the gray areas and less clear forms of unsafe behavior? Those situations that are not necessarily within or outside the norm or are difficult to recognize?

Social safety is a responsibility of the entire organization, not just the leaders. Employees should be encouraged to take personal responsibility for their own behavior and to help each other in maintaining a safe work environment.

How we can help you

InContext assists organizations, leaders, teams, and individuals in overcoming the often experienced barrier of engaging in conversations about challenging topics and situations in a manner that is safe for all parties involved. We do this with appropriate lightness and enjoyment, without avoiding the real, serious conversation. We use creative work forms and exercises that develop skills and provide guidance to ensure a safe and inclusive work environment. Each piece of advice and exercise is carried out with consideration for the context and system in which the conversation partners find themselves. Our commitment is always to empower the organization to maintain a safe and pleasant work environment after our contribution.

If you want to learn more about social safety, gain insights into cultural change, or if you’d like us to brainstorm possibilities within your team or organization, download the free e-book or feel free to contact us. We are happy to assist you!


E-book - De 5 stappen van cultuurverandering

E-book Culture Change

We don’t unnecessarily complicate the process of changing organizational culture. In this inspiring e-book, you will find the necessary background information and a five-step approach to strengthen the culture within your organization.

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