OCB allows staff to build supportive and productive relationships.

3 ways to boost Organisational Citizenship Behaviour


Organisational Citizenship Behaviour (OCB) is an essential concept that all managers should learn about. Encouraging employees to engage with OCB should be high on your agenda.

What is OCB?

OCB includes everything employees do of their own free will, which either helps peers or helps the organisation, but which are not formally measured.

Employees who engage in OCB are those who are willing to go beyond the call of duty. They tend to do more than the basic requirement expected of them.

Although not essential to an employee’s job description, they serve to assist the overall functioning of an organisation.

Actions like volunteering on someone else’s project, asking a fellow employee about a private subject they have already brought up or taking part in work charity events are all examples of organisational citizenship behaviour.

You probably know a few of these individuals: many of them are easy to remember.

Why is OCB important?

Typically, OCB is used to measure what a good employee should look like.

A 2009 study, produced by the University of Arizona and Indiana University Bloomington, discovered that OCB was associated with a range of company-level outcomes. These included:

  • increased productivity and efficiency
  • reduced costs
  • higher customer satisfaction
  • lower unit-level turnover.

But isn’t OCB spontaneous?

Yes and no. OCBs are spontaneous acts but they are also contextual. In other words, OCBs occur when situations encourage employees to go the extra mile.

So don’t panic, an appropriate environment can raise the frequency of OCBs in your organisation.

How can I get my staff to engage in OCBs?

There are a number of things managers and leaders can do to encourage acts of OCB.

  1. Create an environment that actively encourages positive OCB. One way to generate favourable OCBs is to measure it through regular performance reports.
  2. Motivate your employees by offering non-monetary incentives for workers who behave appropriately.
  3. Educate your staff by promoting OCB through training. Especially by educating them on the importance of positive relationships and rapport within the workplace.

As it is underscored by non-monetary themes such as care and support, it is an excellent complement to more formal modes of reward.

OCB is an excellent concept managers should utilise when encouraging employees to give more.

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