Lately, you may have heard the term ‘servant leadership’ being mentioned a lot when it comes to reading up on management best practices. As such, you may be wondering if it’s right for your team or business. This article is about how servant leadership can benefit your business or team. Below, we’ll go over what servant leadership means and how it can help your business overall.
What is Servant Leadership?
To start, let’s go over what exactly servant leadership is. As defined by an article published in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, a servant leader is someone who
“…shares power, puts the needs of others first, helps individuals develop and optimize performance, is willing to learn from others, and forsakes personal advancement and rewards. Servant leaders concentrate on performance planning, day-to-day coaching, and helping people achieve.”
In other words, servant leadership is where leaders (such as managers) invest in their followers and put the best interest of their team first. Another way to think of it is develop and align an employee’s sense of purpose with a company’s goals, according to an article by SHRM.
Common characteristics that are associated with servant leaders include the following: valuing people, listening, caring, collaborating, being empowering, having integrity, having foresight, leading by example, and encouraging trust.
By contrast, other forms of leadership may put more focus on results and rigid, strict ways to achieve the desired results. While that can work in some circumstances, such leadership methods can be less effective in environments where change is frequent and workload demands are high.
What are the Benefits to Servant Leadership?
Incorporating servant leadership into your management system can really help your business flourish – below we’ve listed several different ways of how servant leadership can help your team achieve more.
A Positive Workplace Environment
When your employees feel valued and that their growth and development is being supported by management, you’ll notice that your working environment will change for the better. Plus, in a positive workplace environment, burnout is less likely to be an issue so productivity is more likely to remain consistently high.
Better Collaboration Between Team Members
Servant leadership helps create a non-competitive environment where your employees feel enabled to collaborate between team members and find the best solutions for whatever tasks they’ve been faced with. Better teamwork between employees means better and more timely solutions and increased productivity!
Encourages Diversity in the Workplace
Since you’re supporting an inclusive workplace and the individual growth of each employee, you’ll find that each of your employees will develop different skill sets that will help your business adapt to any possible situations with ease. This will encourage diversity in the workplace.
Decisions Benefit Everyone
Rather than promote decisions to benefit just individuals at the top of a business, servant leadership principles promote a decision-making process that benefits all personnel at a company. As such, lower turnover rate is common for teams managed by servant leadership.
As we’ve mentioned, servant leadership helps promote a positive office environment as well as employee growth. As such, employees are more driven to provide the best customer service possible. In turn, you’ll see more satisfied customers who return to your business often.
Encourages Innovation and Creativity
The ultimate goal of any management methods is to help your business grow in a sustainable way. By having a people centered focus, servant leadership encourages innovation and creativity, which can help you discover new niches to be filled by your business model or new, efficient solutions to old problems.
Stability in Times of Change
Perhaps your current business operations has undergone a large overhaul recently – in such situations, it’s more important than ever to pay attention to the needs of your team and provide support to assist your team in their transition.
Encourages Other Employees to Show Leadership
Leadership skills are not something that only managers can demonstrate. In a supportive and positive environment, employees are more likely to help one another and take proactive action to prevent mishaps from occurring in the first place.
Commitment to Growth
Team leaders who use servant leadership are committed to helping their employees grow. Without employee growth and innovation, businesses often stagnate and even decline over time. In other words, by proactively encouraging employee development, you’re also ensuring your business grows alongside your employees.
Servant Leadership Can Benefit Your Business or Team
Servant leadership is characterized by leaders who invest in their people and prioritize the needs of their team. Integrating servant leadership into your management program can and will help your company thrive.
Author Bio: Pearl Tsui is a writer for Rank-It.ca, a site that provides helpful guides that inform consumers how to choose the most appropriate products for their needs. She’s also done various other writing pieces on a wide array of topics such as environmental pollution and mental health.