Why People Do Organizational Citizenship Behaviors (OCB)

OCB or Organizational Citizenship Behaviors refers to the voluntary employee behaviors that go above and beyond the call of duty, contributing to organizational effectiveness. OCBs are the actions and behaviors that are not required by employers. These actions and behaviors may not be particular to the job, but they benefit the team, and encourage better organization efficiency and make the work environment run smoother.
Here are five motives that explain why an individual participates in OCB.
Values Expression Motivation focuses on an act that is motivated by the concern for a particular group because of a person’s values. For example, some individuals express the values of kindness, generosity, and compassion even when they aren’t asked. They may go out of their way to help their co-workers who are having work problems or other issues.
Career Related Motivation focuses on people who are motivated to participate in OCBs to attain career-related benefits. Some career-related reasons that encourages OCBs are training opportunities, expansion of contacts and exposure to decision makers, which they see as enhancing their opportunities to advance and grow.
Learning and understanding focuses on people engaging in OCB who want opportunities to study new things, gain unique perspectives, and utilize unique skills/abilities. This type of OCB helps the employee understand what their goals are through education, training and understanding.
Social focuses on the idea that interactions with other employees can fulfill interpersonal needs. This type of OCB can be seen in the form of an employee being comfortable initiating interactions between immediate, nearby co-workers. They socialize more than others in the organization.
Ego Enhancement focuses on the idea that employees will engage in activities that enhance their positive self-image. Engaging in activities like serving on committees contribute to feelings of importance especially if it is noted. This type of OCB demonstrates that if one can provide opportunities to help others solve problems, their ego is enhanced.