In this episode of the Oven-Ready HR podcast, enei’s Sandi Wassmer tells Chris Taylor about what psychological safety at work means and outlines the link between EDI and employee wellbeing.
What does feeling safe at work really mean? Being accepted for our ‘whole selves’ is a central theme of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI). It allows us to be more productive, creative and happier. We can also reveal our vulnerabilities and fears making us more rounded, understood and accessible to our colleagues.
Sandi Wassmer is the chief executive of the Employer’s Network for Equality and Inclusion (enei). Enei supports employers of all shapes and sizes from the Bank of England and Balfour Beatty to Primark and Pfizer.
Isn’t EDI just a box ticking exercise? [02:44]
Organisations have to start somewhere. They are at different stages in their evolution and if enei can support organisations move from just compliance with the Equality Act to using it creatively to boost their business, Wassmer thinks that’s great.
Is there a link between EDI and employee wellbeing [07:02]
Being able to bring your ‘whole self’ to work because you are working in a psychologically safe space is critical to emotional wellbeing.
What can organisations do to foster a sense of psychological safety [09:20]
It’s not about having policies and procedures. If EDI is important to the leadership, then it will be part of that organisations’ culture.
What is culture fit? [17:04]
Wassmer prefers to use the term ‘cultural contribution’ which is grounded in diversity of thought and approach. She considers the term ‘fit’ as an almost historical term.
What drives Sandi’s zeal for equality? [20:40]
In 2008, Wassmer lost her sight and suddenly the world was a very different place. With such a major change came a period of grief and anger that slowly moved to acceptance. This has led her to discover what she describes as the “person I always was inside”. She describes this as her “integrated self” – the same person inside and out.