In an age where disruption and transformation are spreading across industries, it is predicted that leadership style too will face judgment in the courtroom of progress. The conventional hierarchy pyramid- iceberg model is slowly being tipped over as traditional leadership models take water, and in its place are radical concepts that subvert the image of the conventional leader. There is no better way to learn a people-oriented leadership style than by actually immersing yourself in its details and seeing the benefits first hand. While the subject itself is vast, there are recurrent values and principles that find common mention in the manuals of great leaders, widely regarded as people leaders. In this blog, we are discussing one such great leadership style – which is ‘servant leadership.’ Servant leadership is an understanding and practice of leadership that places the needs of those being led above the self-interest of the leader. Servant leaders focus on the needs of others and how they can be met. So, how to drive a people-oriented culture in your organization?
Let’s look at the 4 ways to drive people-oriented culture in your organization by drawing the principles from the theory of servant leadership style.
4 Ways to drive people-oriented culture
1. Build an open and positive work culture
First, ask yourself this question – What type of environment am I creating in my workplace, amongst my team members?
The answer you are looking for should be trust and faith. Because your team strength and performance entirely depends on these 2 factors. This means as a leader, you need to motivate and push your employees to give their best. And also have the wherewithal to slow it down at the appropriate time to celebrate results and have fun. This balance prevents burnout, builds a great culture, and gets the desired results.
Servant-leadership holds that “The work exists for the person as much as the person exists for the work” The theory promotes a view that people should be encouraged to be who they are, in their professional as well as personal lives. Also, connect your people with meaning and purpose, and support them through dilemmas and confusions. Thereby, encouraging your people to learn and adapt constantly.
2. Promote employee focus
Servant leadership theory says, to drive people-oriented culture in your organization – you need to put the spotlight on your people! And always focus on the needs and emotions of your people and respond appropriately.
It’s only natural for change of any kind to trigger emotions like fear and uncertainty. So create opportunities or organize activities that fuel positive energy and build a sense of confidence in your employees. In other words, create an environment that will help your people move from feeling fearful of accepting challenges to change.
Moreover, servant leadership theory states that servant leaders always solve problems as a team. That is, encourage your team members to contribute to the decision-making process and take ownership, accountability for the same. When results-focused leaders bring a people-focused mentality to the table, they create the right environment for new ideas to thrive.
Most importantly, ensure that your peoples’ abilities are used, valued, and developed to the fullest. This means, draw out as many good ideas from your team as possible while prudently steering a process that creates workable solutions. Involve your team in every aspect of the work and also offer ideas, advice, and support to the suggestions they bring to the table. Enabling participation in their continual development is the key.
3. Share the power of decision-making
Effective servant-leadership is best evidenced by the cultivation of servant-leadership in others. By nurturing participatory environments and appreciating your people – you create an effective, motivated workforce and ultimately a more successful organization. The organizational structure resulting from servant-leadership has sometimes been referred to as an “inverted pyramid”, with employees, clients, and other stakeholders at the top, and leader(s) at the bottom.
4. Collaborate with others
People have a desire to feel connected to a purpose in their work and to their own contributions, and it is unlikely to be any different as the future of work emerges. So as leaders, you need to support this and encourage a wide range of viewpoints.
You need to put the right team of people together to execute a plan. Putting together a good team can require a heavy-handed focus on results. In other words, you need to foresee obstacles, find the right approach, and then make certain you have the right people to make it happen. For this, you need to know the strengths and weaknesses of your people. Then have a clear plan as to how to make them work. All you need to do is spearhead the creation of functional networks for collaboration by creating accessibility to the talent, when and where needed.
Remember, people are your greatest assets…
They are the soul of your organization. Take care of them and success will follow. We believe these points will help you establish and drive people-oriented culture in your organization. Share your thoughts with us by dropping us a comment!