On Creating Psychologically Safe Workplaces


Eleanor Manley headshot
Eleanor Manley

CEO and Co-Founder at Metta Space

Episode notes

In this episode, Eleanor Manley, Co-Founder of Metta Space, delves into the critical issue of workplace misconduct and violence, shedding light on the startling statistics and the profound impact it has on organizations and individuals. Eleanor shares valuable insights into the importance of creating psychologically safe workplaces, the role of technology in preventing and resolving workplace misconduct, and the need for data-driven strategies to address this pervasive problem.

What you will learn

  • Creating Psychologically Safe Workplaces: Eleanor emphasizes the significance of fostering psychologically safe environments where employees can confidently report misconduct.
  • Leveraging Technology for Prevention and Resolution: Eleanor explains how Metta Space employs technology, ensuring privacy and advocating for reduced resolution times in addressing workplace misconduct.
  • Empowering Employees and Normalizing Reporting: Eleanor underscores the importance of empowering employees to report misconduct while challenging the misconception that fewer reports signify a safe workplace and discussing the complexities of addressing misconduct.

Show notes

  • [00:00:00] Introduction to Workplace Violence and Harassment: Jenny introduces Eleanor Manley, CEO of Metta Space, discussing the complexities of defining workplace violence and harassment.
  • [00:01:46] Identifying and Addressing Workplace Misconduct: Jenny and Eleanor explore various forms of workplace misconduct, highlighting its impact and the challenges of identification.
  • [00:06:15] The Hidden Costs of Unreported Workplace Misconduct. Jenny and Eleanor discuss the financial consequences of unreported misconduct and the need for data-driven solutions.
  • [00:07:56] Understanding the Root Causes of Workplace Misconduct. They delve into reasons behind the persistence of misconduct, including zero-tolerance approaches and cultural factors.
  • [00:09:38] Legislation, Rights, and Resolution of Workplace Misconduct. Discussion on laws like POSH and the importance of swift internal resolution.
  • [00:12:21] Addressing Workplace Misconduct at the Highest Levels. Jenny and Eleanor discuss Eleanor's invitation to speak at NATO on International Women's Day. They focus on the importance of addressing workplace misconduct to retain and empower women in STEM fields, including the challenges faced by military organizations in reporting misconduct.
  • [00:13:47] The Crucial Role of Psychological Safety in Workplace Effectiveness. The role of psychological safety in workplace effectiveness and its impact on team productivity.
  • [00:15:22] Leveraging Technology for Safer Work Environments. Eleanor discusses Metta Space and technology's role in prevention, reporting, and resolution.
  • [00:20:16] Practical Steps for Creating Safe Work Environments. Jenny and Eleanor discuss practical steps that organizations and leaders can take to create safe work environments. Eleanor explains the importance of implementing clear goals and frameworks, breaking them down into pillars like prevention, reporting, and resolution. She also highlights the value of training to help employees empathize with different situations and understand the nuances of workplace misconduct.
  • [00:22:45] Empowering Employees to Speak Up and Measuring Resolution Effectiveness. The importance of empowering employees to speak up and viewing case reporting positively.
  • [00:24:27] Understanding the Distinction Between Breach of Code of Conduct and Breach of Law. Jenny and Eleanor discuss the distinction between a breach of a code of conduct and a breach of the law in the context of workplace misconduct. Eleanor explains that the majority of cases are breaches of a code of conduct, which may not necessarily require legal action. She emphasizes the importance of providing evidence gathering tools for individuals reporting misconduct to strengthen their case.
  • [00:26:29] Envisioning a Future of Safe and Empowered Workplaces. Eleanor's goal of normalizing safe workplaces with data-driven support.
  • [00:28:15] Strategies to Accelerate Resolution Time in Workplace Misconduct Cases. Strategies for organizations to reduce resolution time in misconduct cases.
  • [00:33:00] Quick-Fire Questions for Eleanor Manley:
    • What is your dream with a deadline? Normalize creating safe and empowered workplaces within all organizations through prevention, reporting, and resolution of workplace misconduct.
    • What do you appreciate most about your team? Open communication, having each other's backs, and speaking up when something feels true and right.
    • Greatest Challenge as a Leader: Lack of statistics on workplace misconduct and educating organizations about the need for data-driven approaches.
    • Metta Space’s Ideal Customer Profile: Organizations with more than 100 employees, especially those with limited HR resources.
    • Starting with Workplace Misconduct Policies: Have strong policies and employee handbooks but ensure they are living documents with constant reminders.
    • Intrinsic Motivation: Empowering more women in tech and creating safe workplaces where individuals can excel without facing misconduct.
    • Contributing Factors to Exodus from STEM: Poor managerial relationships are a significant reason for people leaving organizations.
    • Book That Shaped Your Thinking:  "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell, emphasizing trusting instincts and the power of intuition.

Relevant links

About our guest:

Eleanor Manley headshot
Eleanor Manley

CEO and Co-Founder

Eleanor Manley is the CEO of Metta Space, which helps companies prevent, report & resolve workplace misconduct. Specializing in NLP, she heads up AI, Analytics & RevOps. She has been a guest speaker at NATO and Bosch. Personally, Eleanor advocates for more women and marginalized groups to join tech, both with Metta Space’s mission and mentorship.