*I wrote this a while back during my graduate studies and thought it would be pretty applicable to life today. When we value people, it creates a culture of joy. When people feel cared for, the burden of work doesn’t seem so crazy and there is a natural environment shift. I love it!
An Example from Synovus Financial Corporation
The Synovus Financial Corporation has provided a wonderful and even godly example to a host of companies and individuals for well over 100 years. With employee and customer centric ideals, they have proven that when leadership takes good care of the employees within the company, the employees in turn take great care of the company.
How SFC took care of their people
Servant-leadership is the chief component of the Synovus Financial Corporation, with a steady production of satisfied employees over the past 12 decades. The company places heavy emphasis upon management working from the bottom of the hierarchy, as they are confident this provides a stronger foundation and support for the company as a whole (Hess & Cameron, 2006). Performance is necessary and expected at a high level within Synovus, yet they have held to the standard that people always come first, because people hold greater value than monetary gain (Hess & Cameron, 2006).
Another key ingredient to how Synovus takes care of their people is through forming a culture around the Golden Rule by doing the right thing regardless of the popularity of the decision. When the leadership is embracing this truth and upholding these core values, the fellow employees prove ready to act in a similar manner. The foundation of Synovus’ leadership is that “the boss is there to serve the organization and its people” (Hess & Cameron, 2006, p.15).
Finally, a practical way employees in Synovus benefit from this style of organizational behavior is through their attention to the four broad categories of health, wealth, well-being, and time (Hess & Cameron, 2006). When an employee knows his health care is being taken care of, along with an adequate salary to provide for his/her family, surrounded by a healthy working environment, and having the time to accomplish goals at hand, high levels of productivity are much more attainable.
Role SFC leaders played in shaping culture
The very core of the Synovus Financial Corporation is as such, “At Synovus , people take precedence over profits and performance” (Hess & Cameron, 2006, p. 20). This emphasis motivates people to put forth their best effort at their respective workplaces, and can shape the essence of their corporations. This truth is expressed by Mattal and Dorfman (2012), who state, “An emphasis on service motivation, as demonstrated by empowering and developing people with empathy and humility, differentiates servant leadership from other leadership frameworks” (p.555).
These examples set by SFC helps build higher value in the actual person rather than placing such a high emphasis on profitable margins and expectations. If organizations can create a healthier working environment, with content and well taken care of employees, productivity and higher profit should be the anticipated outcome. This style of organizational leadership with servant-minded decision makers can influence culture for the good, by helping organizations take on the leadership mindset established by Jesus Christ himself.
Biblical connections to values displayed by SFC
The biblical concept of servant-leadership is the essential aspects of disciple making, equipping whole-hearted workers, and helping people reach their fullest potential. Jesus was the ultimate servant-leader, and it is evident the Synovus Financial Corporation has followed his example. As seen in Matthew 20:28 (NKJV), stating, “…just as the Son of Man did not come tobe served, but toserve, and togive His life a ransom for many.” The simple fact that Synovus places such value upon people, rather than an over-arching emphasis on profit displays the very heart of God Himself who loved the people of this world enough to give his only Begotten Son for their salvation.
Current business/organizational literature
Although Synovus has made servant leadership a trademark of their organization, the foundation of this concept is rooted in New Testament Scripture, as noted above. Yet this style of business operations has indeed effected multiple companies within the marketplace such as Southwest Airlines, Men’s Warehouse, and Herman Miller who seek to deliver high level of profit while establishing an enjoyable working environment (Shirin, 2015).
Another company who has played a major role in employee satisfaction and leadership development is Google. Multiple employees all agreed that the bottom-up leadership style, along with the talents, diversities, and innovations of individuals within the company are the most important factors of the company’s success (2013).
Through the careful analysis of the Synovus Financial Corporation one can conclude this style of leadership to be effective in producing highly quality teams who bring about the greatest source of profit for the company. To note the conclusions of Hess and Cameron, who state “Synovus is an example of a Company that believes that fundamental values of human decency can go hand in hand with making profits” (Hess & Cameron, 2006, p. 25).
Google grows on people. (2013). Strategic Direction, 29(9), 16-18. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.liberty.edu/10.1108/SD-08-2013-0052
Hess, Ed. & Cameron, K. (2006). Leading With Values: Positivity, Virtue, and High Performance. Cambridge, UK Cambridge ISBN: 978-0-521-68603-7.
Mital, R. & Dorfman, P. (2012). Servant leadership across cultures. Journal of World Business, 47(4) Retrieved from http://rx9vh3hy4r.search.serialssolutions.com/?ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&ctx_enc=info%3Aofi%2Fenc%3AUTF-8&rfr_id=info%3Asid%2Fsummon.serialssolutions.com&rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&rft.genre=article&rft.atitle=Servant+Leadership+across+Cultures&rft.jtitle=Journal+of+World+Business&rft.au=Mittal%2C+Rakesh&rft.au=Dorfman%2C+Peter+W&rft.date=2012-10-01&rft.issn=1090-9516&rft.volume=47&rft.issue=4&rft.spage=555&rft.epage=570&rft_id=info:doi/10.1016%2Fj.jwb.2012.01.009¶mdict=en-US
Shirin, A. V. (2015). Is servant leadership inherently christian?Journal of Religion and Business Ethics, 3(1) Retrieved from http://ezproxy.liberty.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu/docview/1798316804?accountid=12085