Date of Award

Spring 2-25-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Cheryl-Marie Osborne

Second Advisor

Jeffrey Lee

Third Advisor

Lindsay Desai


Purpose: The purpose of this correlational study was to determine what relationship, if any, existed between employee engagement and psychological safety as measured by the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES) and the Academy of Brain-based Leadership’s S.A.F.E.T.Y.™ Assessment and Pulse Survey domains of security, autonomy, fairness, esteem, and trust.

Methodology: A quantitative, correlational methodology was used for this study. The post-hoc sample comprised of 61 high-performing sales professionals working in California. Participants completed the three assessments online via SurveyMonkey. The data were analyzed using a Spearman correlation.

Findings: This study resulted in multiple findings, including a statistically significant relationship between all five domains of the S.A.F.E.T.Y.™ Pulse Survey (security, autonomy, fairness, esteem, and trust) and employee engagement as measured by the UWES. Additionally, the study found a negative relationship between the domain of trust as measured by the S.A.F.E.T.Y.™ Assessment and employee engagement as measured by the UWES, whereas the other four domains of security, autonomy, fairness, and esteem did not show statistical significance. Furthermore, this study resulted in statistically significant findings for seven of the S.A.F.E.T.Y.™ Assessment questions and employee engagement as measured by the UWES.

Conclusions: From the results of this study, it was concluded organizations and sales leaders must foster the five brain-based psychological safety domains of security, autonomy, fairness, esteem, and trust to impact employee engagement. Additionally, organizations must address antiquated systems not designed to foster the five domains of brain-based psychological safety.

Recommendations: Additional research is recommended to study the intersection of employee engagement and brain-based psychological safety, including to expand the research population to encompass all and not just high-performing sales professionals, expand the research to other employee groups, include demographic data, expand the research to organizations selling products, add Edmondson’s (1999) psychological safety assessment, and include qualitative research.