When running a business it is important to build a culture where employees feel their boss puts staff needs ahead of those of management.

According to a recent study, companies with this style of leader see better job performances from employees, a lower rate of staff turnover and even measurable improvements in customer satisfaction .

The study, published in the Academy of Management Journal, found when bosses build a corporate environment of trust, caring, cooperation, fairness and empathy, employees respond to this and feel more valued at their job.

In turn, they are more likely to give back to the company and its customers through greater loyalty and improved job performances.

Employees are better able to reach their full potential if they have a boss who is a “servant leader”. According to one of the authors of the study, leaders who bark commands at their staff are unlikely to see the same positive results as those who ask what they can do to help their greatest business assets.

A popular brand of deli stores in the US was used for the research, with those using servant leader models of management seeing 6 per cent higher job performance from staff. Workers were also found to be 50 per cent less likely to want to leave the company while customer service behaviour rose by 8 per cent.

Staff who came to admire the attitude of their boss created a better workplace and improved the level of teamwork among employees. They also had greater loyalty and dedication towards the company.

“It’s contagious. 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,” said Sandy Wayne, one of the authors of the research.