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May 16, 2023 34 mins

“It takes time to build that psychological safety, but I think it's a more important area than ever before in the modern workplace,” explains Dennis Garcia, Assistant General Counsel of Microsoft. Today, Dennis and Kim Yapchai, former SVP, Chief Environmental, Social, and Governance Officer at Tenneco Inc., discuss their career advice for developing in-house talent.

Trust is something that needs to be earned over time, and creating a psychologically safe work environment is no different. With job turnover particularly high, it is especially important to find innovative ways to retain and nurture top talent within your organization. To develop your in-house talent, as a leader, it is important to be up front and open with your employees. This authenticity will help develop trust between leaders and teammates alike. Mentor the talent you have and give people opportunities to grow their skills. When employees feel understood, appreciated, and supported, they are less likely to look for outside career advancement. 

Nowadays, employees, particularly those of the Gen Z and Millennial generations, are more likely to be attracted to jobs where they feel aligned with the company’s values. By being authentic and up front from the very start, leaders can foster relationships with those employees who are the right fit for the work culture they are looking to create. Instead of trying to fight over the top talent in the pool, look in-house and put time into helping your current employees flourish. 


  • “If people don't feel safe enough to speak up and be heard, the company loses out. You lose out on new ideas, on diversity of thought, and people letting you know when things are going wrong.” (9:25-9:43 Kim) 

  • “It takes time to build that psychological safety, but I think it's a more important area than ever before in the modern workplace.” (10:47-10:57 | Dennis)

  • “It is harder when you don't see people face to face in the office, you have to find other ways to connect.” (16:02-16:08 | Kim)

  • “Build the network and your brand before you need it.” (25:39-25:42 | Kim)

  • “When you reach out to people and you try to build those relationships, it's not all about how they can help you. It's how can you help them.” (29:10-29:18 | Kim) 



Connect with Kim Yapchai:

Connect with Dennis Garcia:

Buy a copy of Fearless Organization by Amy Edmondson:

Connect with Chris Batz:



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