One of the most important characteristics of servant leaders is that they understand the value of getting their hands dirty to support and lead their team effectively. These are the leaders who are not above participating in any task to get the job done. Being involved and supportive of your team helps to create a work environment where your team is engaged and feels inspired to innovate. Here are four tips to help you lead and inspire your team to create a culture of engagement, innovation, and inclusiveness.
Assess the Workplace Culture
One of the main reasons aspiring servant leaders fall short of creating an efficient workplace is not assessing and acknowledging the starting point. It is easy to entertain grand perceptions of a team’s performance and how organizational culture helps and hinders this. However, an objective assessment is necessary to see where your team or company truly stands. You must ground yourself in reality and understand both where you are and where you want to go to create a roadmap between these two points.
Sometimes there are clear signs that a company needs this assessment. Reduction in employee morale and productivity or increased turnover can all be signs. Another common factor is employee complaints. If the same complaints keep resurfacing, it is time to consider what cultural factors are driving this.
Inc. suggests that servant leaders can become involved in this step by creating surveys and scheduling more one-on-one time for performance assessments that can be used to generate ideas. This can also help to increase engagement and build stronger relationships over a period of time.
Try to Find Your Center
Harvard Business Review conducted a study to determine what characteristics make leaders truly inspirational. The study made some surprising findings. For starters, responders said that less than half of leaders inspired them or unlocked any motivation in the workforce. Even fewer said their leaders made good role models.
When asked what traits defined good leaders, one stood out above the rest. This trait was “centeredness.” It involves a state of self-awareness that allows leaders to remain calm under even the most stressful situations. Centeredness also reportedly helps leaders to practice active listening, show empathy and remain fully present.
Because this is a trait that can benefit all team members, leaders can make this a group effort. On-site meditation classes, mental health services and even yoga classes can assist with this. Almost every team member plays a leadership role at some point of the work process, so everyone can benefit by tactics that help create a level head.
Get to Know Your Team
In the words of Forbes, when it comes to inspiring employees, leaders need to know more than the recipe; they also need to know the ingredients. Many leaders acknowledge that employees are the building blocks of the organization and its culture; however, they may take a more collective approach to assessing team members.
The larger the workforce, the more likely this becomes. Forbes encourages leaders to rise above this tendency by getting to know the inner makings of each team member. What motivates them? What are their hobbies? What are their values? By understanding the ingredients, servant leaders put themselves in a better position to create a recipe for success and best support those they serve.
When leaders take a hands-on approach to becoming involved in workforce management and day-to-day tasks, they create more opportunities for creating community. This helps to provide the contact point they need to better understand how each team member thinks and what further resources they may need to level up their performance and achieve their personal and professional goals.
Help Create Purposeful Work
When you understand what drives your team members, you are in a better position to create work with a purpose. Ascribing a strong value to each aspect of the work process caters to the underlying values professionals may hold on to. It also helps to nurture the feeling of doing work that makes a difference.
One way that servant leaders can achieve this is by tying individual objectives back to company goals. For example, a contact center may take over an account with poor customer service reviews. To raise customer ratings, agents may need to earn five-star ratings from customers in a post-call survey when they creep forward from two stars to three starts with a prescribed time, rather than focus on the gap from five-stars, encourage them to continue on their improvement trend and push toward five stars.. This is far more motivating for your team than being told the work they do is not enough or has little effect on the overall organizational goals. Next work together to create a plan to continue this momentum. Lastly, create rewards for positive milestones achieved and you will create energy within your team.
Employee engagement plays an integral role in productivity levels at every company. When servant leaders play an active role in encouraging a culture where team members hold themselves and colleagues accountable for high-performance standards, the results can be phenomenal.
At Etech, we put these principles into practice every day to maintain a workforce that is as excited about happy customers as our clients are. For more information about our contact center services, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This blog was earlier published on LinkedIn.