An excerpt from The CEO Forum — December 2023
CEOs play a crucial role in developing an organization’s capacity to provide employees with psychological safety, which is critical to a willingness to take risks and contribute ideas. One way CEOs foster that needed safety is by creating a culture of consistently asking for feedback, starting with leadership. Modeling that behavior reduces stress on those who may feel uncomfortable sharing feedback unprompted and helps ensure important feedback is able to be received.
Another step CEOs are taking is putting developing leaders in new and challenging scenarios to help foster a culture of experimentation where all ideas are heard. Marc D. Miller, President and CEO of Universal Health Services, has seen that a leader’s cross-training and exposure to things outside of their daily responsibilities creates a sense of empathy when working with others.
CEOs also advise that, to create an open employee culture, failure should be embraced as a means of learning and growing. Humility on the part of leaders and CEOs in admitting mistakes, showing a willingness to learn, and seeking feedback are all important in strengthening trust with employees and unlocking the growth mindset CEOs want to see in their organizations.
“Nine times out of 10, things that they don’t think they are going to need to know, later on in their careers as we are trying to build them to be leaders moving up in the organization, they are thankful that they had these experiences.”
— Marc D. Miller, President and CEO, Universal Health Services – September 2023
Excerpted Interview with The CEO Forum, December 2023 →