This is what happens when managers turn around and start being servants to their staff

A Butler serves drinks at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Adam Pretty/Getty Images

The latest management style is called Servant Leadership and is based on the principle that a boss puts the needs of his/her staff over their own.

This technique brings measureable improvements in customer satisfaction, higher job performance and lower employee turnover, according to a study by the University of Illinois and published in the Academy of Management Journal.

Employees feel valued when their bosses create a culture of trust, caring, cooperation, fairness and empathy.

Sandy Wayne, one of the authors of the research, says the best leadership style is far from, “Do this. Don’t do that.”

A servant leader sounds more like: “Is there anything I can do to help you?” Or “Let me help you ….” Or “What do you need to … ?”

The result is teamwork, loyalty and dedication.

“It’s contagious,” Professor Wayne said. “The employees see their leaders as role models and often mimic those qualities, creating a culture of servant leadership. This serving culture drives the effectiveness of the business as a whole.”

The study, based on surveys of managers, employees and customers, was conducted with 961 employees at 71 Jason’s Deli restaurants in ten US cities.

Stores with servant leaders experienced: 6% higher job performance; 8% more customer service behaviours; 50% less likely to leave the company.

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