A Guide to Being a Servant Leader
The most successful leaders focus on developing their team and enabling their people to be great. This means giving your employees learning and development opportunities and removing obstacles that get in the way of them providing great service for their colleagues and customers.
When you become a servant leader and focus on removing obstacles and developing your team to be extraordinary, your employees will give you their discretionary energy, motivation and engagement, which translates into better service both internally and externally.
Servant leaders believe that their talent would rather be awesome than ordinary. They understand that their primary role is to help their team excel with their customers, and that they won’t get there by micromanaging or being a bosshole. Read more about How to Identify a Bosshole here.
Here are a few guidelines you can follow to become a Servant Leader:
1.Focus on developing your employees. Give your employees opportunities to learn and grow within your organization. This will give them skills and competencies to excel with their colleagues and customers. It will also show them that you believe in them and their future at the organization, which will motivate them to give you their energy in return.
2.Recognize and reward your employees. When you recognize your employees for a job well done, it reinforces a culture of appreciation. Other employees will see their peers being recognized and will strive to do better to meet and exceed the expectations of their leaders and colleagues.
3.Provide direction and guidance. It is important that you provide clear guidelines, expectations and direction for your employees so they know what is expected of them. When they struggle with a project, be sure to give them opportunities to learn and improve by offering a helping hand, advice and guidance in how to best execute the task.
4.Get to know employees beyond the job. When you get to know your beyond just their role in your organization, you will know what motivates them to excel, and you will be able to better personalize their experience and the recognition you give them for a job well done.
5.Be flexible with policies. Give employees the opportunity to make good decisions within the scope of your company values. It’s good to examine policies and procedures that are outdated and unnecessary. For example, is a strict dress code holding your organization back from having a more casual culture? Could you offer flex time or work from home accommodations for employees who care for children or aging parents?
6.Communicate openly and effectively with your employees. When you make communication a priority in your organization your employees will feel valued and feel like their voice is being heard. When you let them know what is going on in the organization they will be more dedicated to its future growth.
Servant leaders experience much higher levels of engagement and energy from their employees. Plus, they are twice as likely to stay with an organization when they feel their leaders develop and recognize them.
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