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How to BOOST Employee Engagement Through Psychological Safety and DEI?

diversity equity inclusion. dei, psychological safety, inclusive leadership
DEI and Psychological safety

In my journey through the government and nonprofit sectors as a DEI consultant, I've witnessed firsthand the transformative power of investing in what I consider the number one asset of any organization: its people.

I have learned that the most vibrant and successful organizations are those that treat their employees not as capital, but as the very soul of their mission.

Today, I am here to share not an academic treatise, but a heartfelt essay that I hope will inspire action and ignite change in every organization seeking to thrive in an ever-evolving landscape.

The Silent Gap

Picture a vibrant garden, symbolizing an organization's mission, with each employee a unique flower contributing to its beauty. Yet, there is an invisible barrier between the flowers and the environment—a glass wall that keeps them from truly immersing in the garden's essence.

This barrier represents the growing rift or disconnection between employees and the organizational mission that should be their guiding star, a gap that's silently widening despite efforts to foster engagement.

For organizations, it's the haunting threat of unmet potential and the silent exodus of talent. For employees, it is the gnawing feeling of being adrift, disconnected from the mission of the environment where they spend their days.

A Beacon Of Trust And Safety

Google's landmark two-year study "The Aristotle Project" sheds light on a pivotal element that seems to be missing in many organizations today: psychological safety. The study found that the highest-performing teams share a common thread: a culture where psychological safety is paramount and every team member feels safe to voice their thoughts, concerns and visions without fearing backlash.

This is the cornerstone of an engaged workforce. When employees feel secure, valued and heard, their connection to the organizational mission strengthens, transforming them from mere participants to passionate advocates.

The DEI Lens: Crafting A Safe Haven

Through the lens of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), let's embark on a journey to break down the wall between employees and organizational mission, using the art of storytelling, empathy and actionable insights.

1. Psychological Safety

Create an oasis where every employee, regardless of their role or background, can speak their truth, where every voice is not just heard but valuedA space where "mistake" is not a dirty word but a stepping stone to innovation. This is the bedrock of trust, where diversity thrives and ideas flourish.

2. Equity And Equality In Action

Envision a field where every flower, irrespective of its kind, receives the same nurturing sunlight and rain. This equality fosters an environment with no favoritism, where everyone has the opportunity to grow and shine. Equity means ensuring every employee has the key to unlock their full potential, irrespective of their background, identity or role within the organization.

3. Breaking Down Bias

We all carry knowledge gaps and unseen biases, but it's our duty to confront and dismantle these barriers. A commitment to introspection and transformation paves the way for a truly inclusive culture. By challenging our biases, we pave the way for a culture where everyone feels seen, understood and valued.

4. The Art Of Storytelling

Encourage the sharing of personal narratives that resonate with the organization's core mission. This not only forges deeper connections but also transforms the organizational mission into a shared journey, anchoring the employees to the collective purpose and making every goal personal, every achievement a shared victory.

The Call To Reconnect

Now, I invite you to pause and reflect on your organization's mission. Does it echo in every corner of your workplace? Can you see its reflection in the eyes of your team? If not, follow these recommendations.

• Revitalize Your Mission: Let your mission be more than words on a wall. Let it be the heartbeat of every project, the lighthouse guiding every meeting and every day.

• Champion Your People: Recognize their worth and celebrate their diversity and potential. Provide them with the support and tools they need to not just succeed but to soar.

• Foster Open Dialogue: Bridge the gap. Create spaces and platforms for honest conversations, where every voice is heard and every story valued. It's in this type of environment where every employee feels intrinsically linked to the organizational mission.

• Lead With Compassion: Compassion is empathy plus action. Remember that behind every job title is a human being with hopes, dreams, challenges, a longing to belong and a yearning to make a difference. Lead not just with objectives but with understanding and a genuine commitment to their well-being.

Final Thoughts: Rekindling The Flame Of Purpose

Rekindling the connection between employees and the organizational mission is not a one-time campaign but a continuous journey. It is about creating an ecosystem where every individual feels valued and integral to the mission. It is about rekindling that flame of purpose, together. This requires courage and commitment from leadership, a true dedication to creating a workplace that's psychologically safe as well as empowering.

As we stand at this juncture, the choice is ours: We either let the barrier between employees and organizational mission stand, or we take the clear path forward to break it down. Let's take that first step together.


My name is Sahar Andrade, I help organizations increase their employee engagement by investing in Diversity/Inclusion practices as well as through Leadership Development Coaching.

I coach successful leaders that are stuck to reinvent their lives with courage, release their fears, get clarity on their purpose and pursue their dreams.

My teachings, my unique education and experience combined with singular approach to realizing change, form a proven system for long lasting positive transformation.

My methodology is based on human psychology, N.L.P. practices and research to break down issues, reverse engineer them, and deconstruct personal myths, while developing personal leadership skills development. It is a simple step by step program, modules, exercises, one on one and group coaching.

This is my TED TALK : Overcoming Negative Thoughts

I am the founder of “Sahar Consulting, LLC” and “Reinvent Yourself to Greatness


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