servant leadership servant leadership

The Servant Leader-driven organization: Flipping the org chart; getting employees to think like owners

Servant Leadership is a management philosophy and practice that has continued to gain popularity in recent years. It is an approach that can be profoundly transformative and beneficial but one that requires an organization-wide commitment and focus to be implemented successfully.

At their core, Servant Leader-inspired organizations are those that strive to meet the legitimate needs—physical, financial and emotional—of their employees. Physical needs are the things that people need to perform their job or function. Financial needs are monetary, such as one’s salary and retirement plan. Emotional needs are more complex. These include self-realization, validation and recognition for who we are. They also include aspects such as candor and clear expectations, which are important in establishing trust and in building productive work relationships.

Ultimately, Servant Leadership is a humility-based approach to leadership that within the structure of an organization is focused on the following question: How can I serve you to help you become the best employee that you can be?

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Removing barriers to employee growth

Implementing the Servant Leadership model requires removing barriers to employee growth by flipping the organization chart and “serving up.” In this sense, Servant Leader-driven organizations are guided by a “bottom up” rather than a “top down” mindset; there’s an emphasis on getting results by supporting and enabling the next level of management or those on the front lines or the production floor.

However, before effecting a bottom-up mindset or flipping the org chart to help employees become the best that they can be, leaders need to begin the process with employee engagement. Only when employees are fully engaged with their organization’s vision and trust has been established will they follow their leaders on the Servant Leadership journey.

Company leaders can begin the employee engagement process by using candor and setting clear expectations for performance. To establish engagement with real traction, though, they need to go deeper by understanding their employees’ driving motivations (“what makes them tick?”) to meet their emotional needs. Related to this, they need to understand their employees’ “rules for engagement” or how to speak their language in using preferred communication practices that cultivate greater understanding and contribute to more fully realized engagement.

Gaining traction: Motivating individuals first, then groups

By understanding each employee’s motivational drivers and preferred communication practices, organization leaders put themselves in a position to motivate entire groups—because they’ve first made the effort to understand and communicate with employees at an individual level.

So how can leaders understand their employees’ driving motivations and preferred communication practices to bring about engagement? The About Me Card has been created to help organizations of all kinds achieve these goals. It’s been designed as a “gap tool” to help leaders identify and close the gap between where they presently are in understanding and communicating with their employees and where they want to be.

The About Me Card enables leaders to close this gap by allowing them to understand employees’ driving motivations and preferred communication practices. As a result, it functions as an instrumental tool in giving leaders the ability to remove barriers to achieving a true Servant Leader-inspired organization—one that is bottom-up driven in which employees are fully engaged and think like owners.

Ready to close the gap and increase engagement?

Closing this gap can be a daunting task … if one goes it alone. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be a solo act. With the About Me Card gap tool, many organizations today are succeeding by realizing greater understanding and improved communication with their employees. As a result, they are experiencing the surge of energy and improved morale and productivity that occur when direct reports believe in their leaders and embrace the mission.

If you believe that your organization’s productivity and growth are being compromised by a lack of employee engagement … if you believe that your current leadership approach is less than what it should be … then it may be time to ask yourself one simple question: When is enough enough?

If you’re truly ready to reverse course, contact us today. Let us show you how employee engagement and Servant Leadership together can create a positive energy that can take your organization to new levels of success!