Fostering Psychological Safety in Teams: Evidence from an RCT

Research on Monday Seminar
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Maria Guadalupe
Monday 25 Sep 2023, 11:30 - 12:30
Polak Building
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Psychological safety (PsyS) is an important driver of teams’ performance and organizations are keen to foster it. However, there is little causal evidence on what drives it and how to increase it.

(with Silvia Castro and Florian Englmaier)

This paper implements a randomized control trial with over 1000 teams (over 7000 employees) in a global healthcare company to evaluate the impact of individualized attention of the manager to each team member team by encouraging managers to hold frequent 1-to-1 meetings and to focus them on mechanisms expected to increase PsyS.

We exogenously vary the content of those meetings: focusing on employees’ needs and aspirations as individuals, or on allowing employees’ to better execute tasks and remove blockers that may hinder their best work. We find that, despite this very non-invasive intervention, the behavior of managers changed as they increased the number of meetings. PsyS also increased as did the relationship to and perceptions of the manager, particularly in the treatment arm that focused on the employees’ individual needs.


 As usual, lunch will be provided. Please register by filling in the form if you would like to meet the speaker for a bilateral or join for lunch or dinner.

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