Episode 395: Fostering psychological safety in the warehousing industry

In today’s episode of The New Warehouse Podcast, we have a special guest, Rob Van Stratum, a managing partner and APICS master instructor at Supply Chain Education CZ. Rob is an expert in the field of supply chain management and will shed light on the fascinating concept of psychological safety within the warehousing industry. Get ready to explore this intriguing topic that can transform how teams operate in the workplace. But before we dive into the episode, let’s learn more about Rob and his journey in the supply chain space.

Rob Van Stratum has had a diverse career spanning academia and consulting in the supply chain field. With decades of experience, Rob has taught general, supply chain, and change management to students from various backgrounds. As an APICS instructor, Rob has helped countless individuals enhance their knowledge and skills in supply chain management. Please tune in to hear directly from Rob as he shares his expertise on psychological safety and its impact on the warehousing industry.

Understanding Psychological Safety in Warehousing Teams

According to Rob, psychological safety refers to an individual’s perception of the consequences of taking an interpersonal risk. It involves feeling safe to ask questions, take risks, and make mistakes without fearing negative repercussions. Rob explains that teams with psychological safety are more likely to foster open communication, collaboration, and continuous learning.

According to Rob, signs that employees are feeling psychologically safe include:

  1. Asking questions and seeking clarification: When employees feel safe, they are more likely to ask questions and seek clarification without fear of being judged or criticized. They feel comfortable admitting what they don’t know and are open to learning from others.
  2. Taking risks and sharing ideas: Psychologically safe employees are willing to take calculated risks and share their ideas and suggestions. They believe you will value and consider their input, even if you do not implement their ideas.
  3. Admitting mistakes and seeking feedback: Employees who feel psychologically safe are likelier to admit their mistakes and seek feedback from others. They understand that mistakes are opportunities for growth and learning, and they trust that their colleagues will provide constructive feedback rather than blame or punish them.
  4. Speaking up and challenging the status quo: Psychologically safe employees feel comfortable speaking up and challenging the status quo when they believe there is a better way of doing things. They speak out their opinions and offer dissenting viewpoints without fear, knowing their contributions will receive respect.
  5. Collaboration and teamwork: Employees who feel psychologically safe are more likely to collaborate and work as a team. They trust their colleagues and are willing to share resources, knowledge, and support to achieve common goals.
  6. Open and honest communication: Psychologically safe environments foster open and honest communication. Employees feel comfortable expressing their thoughts, concerns, and emotions without fear of retribution or judgment.
  7. Engagement and innovation: Employees who feel psychologically safe are more engaged and motivated. They are willing to take the initiative, explore new ideas, and contribute to the organization’s innovation and improvement efforts.

When leaders and organizations can create an environment that fosters psychological safety, they promote employee well-being, collaboration, creativity, and productivity.

The Value of APICS CLTD Certification in Distribution and Transportation

Rob and Kevin delve into the value of APICS certifications in the distribution and transportation space. Rob emphasizes that the value of any certification is directly proportional to the number of people who hold it. APICS certifications, including Certification in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD), Certification Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), and Certification in Planning and Inventory Management (CPIM), are widely recognized and respected within the industry. Being CLTD certified provides professionals with a comprehensive overview of essential supply chain concepts and demonstrates their commitment to continuous learning and professional growth.

Creating a Culture of Psychological Safety in the Warehouse

The discussion with Rob also focuses on how leaders can foster a culture of psychological safety within their warehouse teams. Rob highlights the importance of dependability, structure, and clarity in creating a psychologically safe environment. He suggests that leaders should encourage open dialogue, provide constructive feedback, and ensure team members understand their roles and responsibilities. By nurturing psychological safety, leaders can empower their teams to take risks, learn from mistakes, and contribute to the overall success of warehouse operations.

Key Takeaways

  • Psychological safety is crucial for creating an environment where team members feel comfortable taking risks, asking questions, and making mistakes.
  • APICS CLTD certification offers significant value in the distribution and transportation space, providing professionals with a comprehensive understanding of supply chain concepts.
  • Leaders can foster a psychologically safe environment by promoting open communication, providing constructive feedback, and establishing clear roles and responsibilities.
The New Warehouse Podcast

EP 395: Fostering Psychological Safety in the Warehousing Industry