History has numerous instances where leaders have risen rapidly in the ranks just by simply caring and serving their people. How does this happen, one might ask? Practice servant leadership. The principles and practices of servant leadership have held true through the years and are found beneficial regardless of the industry. Servant leadership is the need of the hour for organizations as they are constantly faced with operational challenges, meeting revenue goals, customer relationships, keeping employees happy, etc.
Servant leadership, opposed to the traditional concept of “Power Model Leadership” where the leader of the organization is virtually non-present in the day to day operations, has proven to produce remarkable results. Servant leadership is a philosophy which focuses on growth, welfare, and motivation of the employees, and giving back to the communities associated with the organization.
Primary Goal: Be Present and Serve Your Employees
One of the fastest ways to become a servant leader is to be present. The leader needs to be visible in the day to day operations so employees feel like they belong and are important to the company. If the employees never see their leader, the feeling of “I am just another number in their books” quickly begins to creep in, which leads to poor employee moral and performance begins to suffer.
The leader must be entirely focused on serving their employees by demonstrating that every employee really does matter. Serving employees means to ensure that all activities conducted at work result in employee growth, skill enhancement, and are completed in a proper manner. Servant leaders must support, encourage, and enable employees to unleash their hidden talents and capabilities.
The employees who feel encouraged and supported from their leaders are going to be the top performers, as compared to the employees who work in fear of their boss. Practicing servant leadership will ensure the focus will be on the growth of the individuals in the organization which will promote teamwork, empathy, co-operation, trust, and employee involvement. A true servant leader relinquishes power and puts the needs and concerns of his/her employees as their top priority.
Judging Yourself as Servant Leader
One of the toughest tasks the leader must do to ensure they are practicing servant leadership is to self-evaluate themselves. Some leaders may have a hard time doing this and being honest with these answers because they think they don’t need to ask these questions. Below are several questions the leader must consider to help get the ball rolling in their effort to become a true servant leader:
- Do I sit in interviews during the recruitment process?
- Do I attend training classes that occur for my employees?
- Do I take part in orientation programs?
- What is my level of participation in activities on the operations floor?
- What is my role in coaching, motivating, and inspecting the activities on the operations floor?
- Last but not the least, am I helping my employees solve their problems and concerns?
Happy employees will ultimately result in happy customers as they can provide superior attention and care to the customers. Servant leaders focus on creating happy employees by keeping the needs of the employees ahead of any personal interests.