When employees go beyond their formal roles—helping out coworkers, volunteering for special assignments, introducing ideas, and putting in extra hours on projects, research shows that their companies are more effective overall (Tweet it!). So how can managers encourage employees to take on “good citizenship behaviors?”
Writing in The Harvard Business Review, Mark C. Bolino of the University of Oklahoma’s Price College of Business and Anthony C. Klotz of Oregon State University’s College of Business, note that it is important that managers help employees find customized ways to go beyond the call of duty in order to help make work more meaningful and fulfilling—not because they feel pressured. Managers should let their employees know what types of cooperative behaviors are most important for their group, while recognizing that asking employees to engage in too much service beyond their own work priorities can be counterproductive. Employees should also feel free to tell their managers what types of citizenship behavior are most consistent with their strengths, motives, and passions.
By realizing that not all work group cooperation looks alike, and allowing employees to tailor their citizenship to fit their talents, managers can enhance employee well-being and group productivity. But managers alone are not the answer. In the end, employees will likely be cooperative citizens when colleagues are appreciative and generous in return.
What kind of good citizenship behaviors do you engage in at work? How do you encourage others to be good workplace citizens? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
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