Change can be difficult for anyone, but a small shift in your company’s mindset can be the catalyst to progress across the board.
By Nichole Causton and Kelly Horton

In an age when employee retention is a continued focus for employers, the concept of Servant Leadership is gaining increased focus. For some, this is an intuitive focal point while others find this concept a new one. There are multiple philosophies on servant leadership; however, it is an approach that people have used for centuries. A servant leadership culture puts the employees first, shares power and cultivates an environment that helps individuals perform as highly as possible.

Not aiding an employee centric environment is the current legal structure, which can lend itself to managers being reticent to provide empathy or become overly involved in their employee’s lives. However, research has now shown that putting your employees needs above your own can greatly increase your company’s retention and thus its bottom line.

Gaining Maximum Value
So, how can managers successfully employ Servant Leadership in their business to gain maximum value? Following are a few key steps to get started:
1. Invest in your employees—This may sound elementary, but a simple thank you or an occasional reward goes a long way. Research has shown that when we give compliments or even a simple $10 gift card for a job that was well done, we are actually purchasing longevity and loyalty. Additionally, your employees will feel recognized and heard.
2. Join them on their job—Maybe your company has a large project pending or a major customer that will need a few more hours of your employee’s time. Offer to help them, work along side them, and seek to understand how you can help. The benefits of this are two-fold: a) you will learn more about your employees and b) your employees will see you as someone they can trust when their job may get difficult.
3. Share some small things about your life—Everyone has a fear of the unknown. Sometimes office gossip is centered around something that is not known about a person. Sharing small details about your life lets others see your humanity and relate. This also increases their buy-in and they find themselves wanting to help you.

If your organization is not presently a servant lead culture, maybe it is time to have the leaders come together and decide if it is a long-term goal. Gaining buy in from your peers will require you to focus on the benefits of a changed mindset. Maybe you start small and simply organize an employee recognition program. That could be the start of an entire shift once the Servant Leader benefits are recognized in a higher level of employee engagement. Following is a Servant Leader Checklist:
• Humble
• Integrity
• Result-Orientated
• Resolve Conflict
• Collaborative
• Trusting
• Coach
• Foresight
• Listening Skills
• Self-Aware

Change can be difficult for anyone, but a small shift in your company’s mindset can be the catalyst to progress across the board. It can all start with you. Spend some time with your employees working alongside them, share of yourself and be sure to acknowledge their hard work. All of the above will lend themselves to your being seen as a viable part of the team, not just their leader.

Nichole Causton is Founder of Rocket Recruiting Solutions (Destin, FL). With more than 15 years as an HR professional, her experience includes recruiting domestic and internationally for corporate and public sector. She is responsible for recruiting executive, professional and technical passive candidates for direct opportunities. In her role she focuses on working with clients to understand the candidate necessary skills and experience, position specific objectives and requirements of the position. Nichole specializes in talent management, staffing and learning and development. Besides being the founder of Rocket Recruiting Solutions, roles that she has held in the past include Executive of Human resources, Recruiter and Recruiting Manager. Prior to Rocket Recruiting, Nichole led a team of 17 recruiters onsite and virtually across the U.S. with Waste Connections, Inc. She can be reached at (850) 424-3898 or via e-mail at [email protected].

Kelly Horton is the Talent Partner at Rocket Recruiting Solutions. With more than 17 years of experience in recruiting and human resources, her professional experience enables her to identify each client’s unique needs for their opportunities. In her role with Rocket Recruiting Solutions, she specializes in a broad range of positions from executive/C Level to administrative and technical. Prior to Rocket Recruiting Solutions, Kelly worked for Waste Management. She can be reached at (629) 200-1444 or via e-mail at [email protected].
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