Transforming Management to Servant Leadership Part 1

Posted by Marketing on 10 15, 2020

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, business leaders have been under immense pressure when it comes to company leadership and changing organizational culture. Not only have they had to stay focused on keeping their customers and employees safe, but they have also been under immense pressure to keep their businesses afloat.

In addition to these pressures, leaders must also consider public thought and remember that governments and communities have great expectations for them. Not to mention that leaders must also keep their stakeholders' values in mind. To achieve effective and transformative management despite the challenges, leaders must take the first step toward pivoting their company to servant leadership. 

Companies can create tremendous value from job satisfaction

Rather than standing still wondering about the what-ifs, it can be particularly helpful for leaders to improve in one essential area: job satisfaction. 

There is such a strong connection between happiness at work and an employee's overall life satisfaction. Besides this, mental health is another key factor in an employee's overall well-being and life satisfaction. 

According to recent studies, when employers work on job satisfaction to make employees happy, they benefit from a boost in profitability and enhanced organizational health. 

One of the top factors in an employee's job satisfaction is their relationship with the management team. Unfortunately, many companies are significantly lacking in this aspect of job satisfaction. Research has shown that the majority of workers believe their managers are far from ideal. In fact, many people consider their direct supervisor to be the most stressful aspect of their job. 

Employees who have good relationships with management reported a higher level of job satisfaction and performed better at work than those with less than ideal relationships with their bosses. Given this idea, it may be time for managers to evaluate their leadership styles, as this might be unknowingly slowing them down.

Start by changing organizational culture 

Although it may sound intimidating, changing organizational culture is a great place to begin cultivating better relationships with your team. It can be especially beneficial for many managers to act as critical change agents and embrace servant leadership in the workplace.

Taking on the role of a servant leader, managers would let employees know through their actions that they are there for their team. By being genuine and approaching everyone in the workplace with more compassion and curiosity, leaders can improve job satisfaction by motivating employees and creating a desirable environment to work in.

Take your company leadership to a new level

It goes without saying, but managers play a critical role in their employees' workplace happiness and job satisfaction. With burnout on the rise, many important factors come into play when evaluating and improving job satisfaction among teams, including work organization and psychological safety.

If approached correctly, factors like these have an impact on empowering workers. Good organization, for example, provides employees with clear, obtainable goals that they can work toward. This will help put them in a customer-centric mindset and empower them to work their best. As a result, employees may see an increase in positive feedback from customers and colleagues. The type of motivation that comes from a well-organized and empowering workplace can instill a sense of trust and confidence, which will garner positive results.

Job satisfaction leads to great outcomes

Similarly, cultivating a safe and open environment can also motivate employees to work to their full potential. When leaders foster this environment, employees feel more comfortable at work, leading to increased collaboration and improved relationships with management. They will be more likely to speak up when an issue arises and collaborate with team members and leadership on an innovative solution. This can help employees feel a sense of achievement as their actions may result in more loyal customers, lower absenteeism, and higher customer satisfaction levels.

As job satisfaction goes up, so does customer satisfaction, profitability, and overall culture. Business leaders should do everything they can to act as a servant leader for their employees. They should make it a goal to transform the company leadership to foster a welcoming and open environment as they set goals and support the team.

Why is it so hard to find servant leaders nowadays?

Although servant leadership is taught in many MBA programs, very few managers fully commit to what it actually means to be a servant leader. Take promotions, for example. Those who most often get promotions tend to be current high performers or perceived as someone who could be a strong leader. What most managers do not know is that neither of these traits correlates well with servant leadership.

Gallup research indicates that only one in ten people have the necessary traits of a great manager, such as the ability to build relationships that foster trust, open dialogue, and transparency. Many companies unknowingly look for the opposite when they search for someone to place in a management position. In fact, leaders most often achieve their positions by being self-centered, arrogant, manipulative, and prone to risks.

This sends the wrong message to managers and anyone else in a leadership position. Even if a manager wants to support their team members and increase job satisfaction, it may be difficult for them to do so when they see that most leaders get ahead by using an authoritative leadership style. It can also be difficult for these leaders to follow their gut and maintain a servant leader mentality when most of the successful leaders they see are using an authoritative or micromanagement leadership style.

Why should company leadership transition to servant leadership?

Leaders should constantly ask themselves, “How do I make my team members’ lives physically, cognitively, and emotionally easier?” Maintaining this mindset is one of the best things a manager can do since the servant leader mentality is known to enhance team performance and satisfaction.  

Research and studies have shown that employee job satisfaction correlates directly with many aspects of a company’s performance, including shareholder value. In addition, when leaders have a servant leader mentality, they see great results all around. Likewise, managers who are happier tend to find more purpose and meaning in their roles when they begin helping others.

Here, at Infinity Consulting Solutions (ICS), we value leadership’s importance in transforming a company. So, we dedicate ourselves to bringing expert insights and recommendations to our clients for creating a good company culture through leadership that fuels transformation. If you want access to these and more, get in touch with us today.

Thank you for reading part one of our two-part series on transforming management to servant leadership! Stay tuned for part two on our ICS blog in the coming days, where we’ll share more tips on incorporating servant leadership into your management style and company leadership.

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