Organization Citizenship Behavior

“No employee in any organization is indispensable, every employee’s efforts to become indispensable brings foreword the citizenship”

In today’s competitive world we see the biggest challenge in front of a Leader would be managing and motivating people in an organization. People are one of the most important drivers of the business and no business leader can ignore this fact. People, who can be technology enablers, technology managers, sales enablers or sales managers, everyone needs to be motivated.

Another challenge faced by Leaders is to align the entire company to the business objectives. This is a major challenge posed to any Managing Director; HR Manager; Delivery Managers; as failing to align people in your company would essentially mean a Hay-wire execution which results in inability to meet business targets. This challenge of People Motivation and Alignment leads us to find out innovative techniques to achieve the same.

In my article below I run you through an innovative leadership technique which, out of my experience and interaction with business leaders from Fortune 100 companies has shown success.

Organization Citizenship Behavior or OCB is one human behavioral technique under research for improvisation in many institutions worldwide as well as tried and tested approach in many Fortune 500 companies. OCB is one way in which there is a direct involvement of the business leaders with the people in his company. There is an open communication channel and there is a clear understanding in every individual of their role in the organization.

You might wonder how come Citizenship is being talked about in respect of an organization. Essentially citizenship is considered in terms of States or Countries; however, there is a striking similarity between a state and an organization. Driven by a Leadership with values and distinct goals in mind, any state, works for the development of its citizens. In addition to providing rights to the citizen, it can motivate its citizens to contribute to there duties. Similarly, in an organization, driven by a strong leadership and distinct values one can help every individual to understand his or her roles importance in the organization and by fulfilling the basic rights of freedom of work it can drive them to go beyond there call of duty by making them the Citizens of the company.

What this leads to is, creation of a “Citizen” and not an “Employee”. Having a lot of employees in the company is not a great thing and not enough, what matters is how many citizens have been grown in the organization.

It’s a proven fact that any Citizen of the Company would perform much better than any employee. Every citizen would take decisions which are aligned with the company’s business objectives. The strategy and execution would work hand-in-hand delivering higher productivity, and increased business revenues.

I would categorize Citizenship behavior in an organization in two parts:
Self inculcated citizenship behavior
External Driven Citizenship behavior

Self inculcated citizenship behavior:

Such behavioral occurrences are due to an Individuals’ high understanding of the organization and personal belief in ideologies of the organization. The urge to get benefited on a long term basis for any individual drives them to co-operate as well as contribute. Thus drives a citizenship amongst themselves and peers to achieve long term goals and bring in long term discipline.

This behavior is not comfortably supported by an organization until the individual makes an extra effort to educate and influence others. The individual needs to communicate the same within a smaller group and hence find ambassadors to promote the same.

As an organization, starts seeing the benefits of this behavior, starts encouraging the cause and hence motivates the individual and the organization on a whole. This is the time when the individuals taking these initiatives creates a higher value for themselves in the organization and become indispensable.

External Driven Citizenship behavior:

In this kind of behavior, individuals are motivated by the management to inculcate an additional responsibility where they create enough awareness and need, to become a citizen of the organization rather than just being an employee.

Creating this culture in an organization requires additional efforts to educate all employees, to motivate them further and align them further with the company goals and objectives. To find ambassadors to promote this behavior, a strong sense of understanding is required along with a crafted communication message.

Organizations which are able to achieve such feats really have individuals working with them who are very passionate and committed. Such initiatives are then passed on from management to the employees and the employees finally become the ambassadors of the cause. This creates a lot of value for the managers. The ambassadors who practically implement such initiatives again draw enough attention from management and get recognition for the same.

Various ways which can lead to having lots of citizens in an organization can be as follows:

Leader Spending Time with Citizens
v Every Leader should spend enough time with its citizens to communicate the business goals of the organization.
v Spending time helps people understand, what is expected out of every individual, to achieve the business goals
v It gives freedom to the individuals to take creative decisions keeping in mind the business goals
v It again helps them to verify the decisions and check if they align well with the objectives
v As well as the leader should explain the importance of Contribution to the company as the next step to Learning

Citizens spending time to see the Bigger Picture
v Every citizen having understood there role in the organization should try to spend time in coming out of that frame and should try to understand the bigger picture.
v Post understanding the basic elements of there role the citizen should try to look at the importance of there role and how to improve and enhance productivity.
v Learning is a life long process, to emerge as a successful citizen there should be a focus on contributing to the company.

As an employee in an organization try to think
Am I Indispensable in this company?
If your answer is Yes try to do things which moves you closer to become a Citizen and
if your answer is No, you need to learn a lot more!

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