Audio Interview

The impact of Covid-19 on psychological safety in the workplace

Published on April 23, 2020   5 min

Other Talks in the Playlist: Interviews with business leaders and scholars

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Interviewer: Professor Edmondson, thank you very much for taking the time to record with us today. We are in the midst of a global pandemic, which has had a direct and devastating impact on the world economy with numerous businesses going through unprecedented turmoil. What would you say is the expected psychological impact of the coronavirus pandemic on employees at different levels of those businesses? Prof. Edmondson: I think the expected psychological impact is equally real, large and profound for people at different levels in businesses, and even in different sized businesses. First of all, at the front lines of many service industries, most noticeably in the hospitality industry where the business has gone to near-zero for most hotels and airlines and other aspects of hospitality, people are being laid off. The psychological impact for them is genuine fear for their livelihood, their ability to pay necessary living expenses for shelter and food. That is a qualitatively different kind of fear from that that those at the top of large organizations might experience right now, which is more of a deep worry about the future of the business, yet I think they can likely understand that their own future employment is not in jeopardy and as things get back in gear, their big focus will be on on scaling back up. So the uncertainty they face is uncomfortable, but not

The impact of Covid-19 on psychological safety in the workplace

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