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In the past few years, we’ve seen increased attention on employee wellbeing and mental health — and for good reason. When the pandemic hit, many of our assumptions about work life went out the window. Suddenly, childcare and health care challenges were regular topics for HR and operating teams alike; many organizations were forced to embrace remote work almost overnight; and words like “trust”, “process” and “communication” took on entirely new meanings. This new reality also led to renewed concerns about things like “Zoom fatigue”, work-life balance, and employee burnout. Many employees found themselves working longer hours and taking fewer vacations out of fear of losing their jobs. In short, our collective mental health has suffered.

Add to this the latest wave of economic instability, the situation becomes ripe for unhealthy (and in some cases, toxic) work environments — ones in which employees fear that stepping out of line, whatever that may mean on their teams, in their roles, or for their managers, could negatively impact their careers. A lot of that fear can be attributed to a lack of psychological safety.

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