Human Rights Day in South Africa serves as a reminder of the importance of each individual’s rights to equity and dignity.

Mediclinic continues to be committed to entrenching programmes that promote understanding of diversity and inclusion, ultimately giving us the opportunity to better connect and collaborate to improve our clients’ quality of life. It starts with how we see each other as humans first. How we treat each other with empathy will reflect in how we treat and show empathy to our clients.

Psychological safety refers to an environment where each individual feels comfortable taking interpersonal risks, such as speaking up, asking questions, and sharing ideas, without fear of negative consequences to themselves or their career. When people feel safe, they are more likely to contribute their unique perspectives and ideas, leading to better problem solving and decision-making.

I believe that if we open our minds and broaden our outlook, each of us can experience a greater level of satisfaction in our work, which also translates to satisfaction in other areas of our lives. If we all feel secure expressing ourselves, sharing ideas, and voicing concerns without fear of retribution, we can achieve a greater level of fulfilment.

I encourage us to always do an internal audit to evaluate if our environments offer safe spaces to those we work with and identify which areas may need refinement to be able to offer greater support and security to those around us. To reflect on the outside, first one must reflect on the inside. Consider what makes you feel safe – and allow others to experience that empathy or understanding from you.

When individuals trust each other and feel safe expressing themselves, they are more likely to communicate openly, share knowledge, and work together effectively to achieve common goals. To achieve our personal goals to the fullest, we require encouragement, mentorship and a nurturing environment to extend ourselves. However, if we fail to create this growth space, we are, in fact, harming those around us by limiting their development

It is vital that we prioritise employee wellbeing within the workplace and encourage programmes such as mindfulness training or mental health resources that are freely available online.

I will leave you with this quote from Esther Derby: “Psychological safety does not mean that you feel comfortable all the time. Psychological safety means you feel comfortable talking about what makes you uncomfortable.”

Let us celebrate the most basic of human rights – the freedom to safely grow and develop in a positive environment together!