True Servant Leadership Places Followers First (And the Results Are Staggering)
Research once again shows that servant leaders nearly always have a positive and valuable relationship with their followers, which does wonders for the bottom line.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
The concept of 'servant leadership' is certainly not new, but it's perhaps also fair to say that it's a concept that many still struggle to adopt.
You may also like: Why Is Servant Leadership Crucial in an Agile Organization?
If any evidence were needed, a recent study from the University of Exeter Business School aims to provide it. It shows that tailoring training and recruitment to help managers with empathy, integrity, and trustworthiness has a profound impact on the productivity of the company.
Having analyzed around 130 previous studies, the research found that servant leaders are able to create a culture of trust and fairness at work, which in turn helps to make their teams more positive and loyal, both towards them and the organization. Such managers tend to be high in personal integrity and encourage their team to develop themselves.
"Our work shows that, as we expected, a 'servant leader' style of management, which is ethical, trustworthy, and has a real interest in the wellbeing and development of staff, brings about real positives within the workplace," the authors say. "Employees are more positive about their work and therefore also often feel empowered to become more creative. The result is a rise in productivity."
The analysis revealed that servant leaders nearly always have a positive and valuable relationship with their followers. Indeed, so strong are the results that the authors urge companies to put significant emphasis on servant leadership qualities in both their training and recruitment.
The results also reinforce the importance of developing organizational cultures that promote trust, fairness, and strong relationships between managers and their teams.
Of course, none of this should really be news to managers, and perhaps it is easier said than done, but the benefits should organizations be able to achieve it appear clear for all to see.
Published at DZone with permission of Adi Gaskell, DZone MVB. See the original article here.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.