In the wake of the pandemic, certain management styles no longer cut it in the eyes of employees. Overly controlling and forceful leaders aren’t just viewed as unpleasant; they’re considered an active hindrance by many professionals that want to thrive in their careers.
Savvy companies understand that meeting employee expectations in this department matters, particularly when the labor market is tight. As a result, servant leadership is on the rise in Michigan, helping area employers stand out from competitors and secure and retain the top performers they need to thrive.
Here’s a look at what servant leadership involves, the benefits it provides, and how you can embrace the servant leadership style in your workplace.
What Is Servant Leadership?
While traditional leadership styles mainly focus on the success of the company, servant leaders adopt an employee-centric view of management. Usually, the strategy involves facilitating growth while being supportive, ensuring employees feel empowered while caring for their well-being.
Empathy plays a big role in servant leadership, as well. Managers actively strive to put themselves in their employees’ shoes, ensuring they know the impact of challenges they face or why they have a particular perspective.
The Benefits of Servant Leadership
Inherently, servant leadership is a very nurturing approach. The concept focuses on how a manager can make things better for their employees, not how workers can serve the company. Often, this leads to very welcoming, inclusive environments.
When servant leadership becomes part of the culture, morale generally rises. Employees feel that management isn’t just working with them but actively supporting them, creating a positive workplace. Plus, innovation may thrive under servant leadership, primarily because workers feel safe enough to take smart risks. Together, this makes the optimal conditions for higher productivity and quality improvements, all while cultivating a workplace that employees genuinely enjoy.
Servant leadership can also make nearly any task more meaningful. Often, servant leaders are more common in values-driven organizations. Plus, managers are more likely to help employees see how their contributions impact broader goals, which leads to higher job satisfaction.
How to Embrace Servant Leadership
Adopting servant leadership principles and incorporating them into your own management style or workplace isn’t as difficult as it may seem. Mainly, it’s about embracing key concepts like employee empowerment while promoting wellness.
Along the way, make tools available that help employees learn and grow, all while doing your part to remove obstacles that hinder their success. Additionally, coaching takes precedent over direct instruction with servant leadership. Similarly, supportive autonomy is typically part of the equation, ensuring employees can take ownership of tasks while knowing that they can receive guidance if it’s needed.
Active listening is also critical in servant leadership. Ultimately, you can meet your workforce’s needs if you don’t understand the challenges they’re facing or their perspective. Through active listening, you can learn a lot about how best to support their success, giving you critical insights that let you become a stronger leader.
If you’d like to learn more about servant leadership, the team at The Advance Group wants to hear from you. Contact us today.