The modern workplace is dynamic. The definition and the considerations directing in the definition of a good employee in the workplace are now based on the organizational citizenship behavior. Organizational citizenship behavior encompasses anything constructive and positive done by employees through their volition that supports co-workers and the company benefits. The company benefits look at the internal and the external environment (Chou & Garcia, 2011). The kinds of employees who are supportive of organizational citizenship receive recognition as among the few who would go the extra mile or go beyond and over the minimum efforts that the job requires. This tends to satisfy them.
For most of the academic professions including law and art, the three aspects of leadership, being a team player and a leader are key criteria that can measure organizational citizenship by varying employees. To this accord therefore, this article conducts detailed literature review in identifying how the three benefit the organization and the employee, the benefits to the society including an analysis of how employees should be equipped with these skills.
Organizational citizenship behavior increases customer satisfaction reduces costs and rates of turnover and absenteeism, efficiency and productivity. For the success of this workplace citizenship, employees require self and organizational motivation. The organization has a mandate to create a conducive workplace environment that is conducive, allows and is supportive of citizenship behavior. The workers in themselves should have trained on the citizenship and should be demonstrated through job applications, interviews and in the course of the working time in the workplace. The result is that the employee will benefit the organization, him or herself, and the society. The discussion now focuses on individual traits that should be employed by workers in their organizational inputs and outputs.
Social responsibility in itself regards to a framework that is ethical in nature that would suggest that either an organizational or an individual entity is obligated to act as beneficial to the society. The attention hereby becomes the community. It is about influencing the society positively. Each employee in the current generation has a duty in which he or she has to maintain a balance between the eco-systems and the economy (Chou & Garcia, 2011). Currently, there exists a trade-off between the welfare of the community including its environment and the economic development in the nature of material use. When the topic on social responsibility is brought up at this front, there is a need to ensure an equilibrium between these two. This does not only pertain the business organizations; it is inclusive of every person who may affect the environment.
Social responsibility is applicable and is key to most professions either in the social, scientific and artistic fronts. Taking a lawyer as an example, this could be explained further. A lawyer should be cautious of the happenings in his or her society. For instance, a lawyer should be ready to inform the community of their rights in case of illegal treatment of their environment. This could be in relation to environmental degradation (McWilliams, 2000). Lawyers have the responsibility to guide people on the procedures they should take in case of violation by business entities. To this accord, the lawyer has the mandate of advising his/her employers especially when there are cases of possible harming acts towards the society. This would then imply that the lawyer should be prepared to go the extra mile and adopting boycotts together with the society in order to deliver community benefits. Going by a more direct example, a lawyer in a manufacturing and production company in the United States, he/she would have the mandate of informing the organization on the United States Environmental Protection Agency regulations on the emission of pollutants that would affect the society.
An employee should be active in the decision-making processes in an organization. This would allow the operator to analyze the impacts of possible alternatives that the management has in the delivery of their service and products. With social responsibility, the decisions would be sensitive towards social needs, expectations and wants. When an employee is equipped with the social responsibility traits, he/she can be related to a society watchdog in the organization. In this approach, the organization benefits in that it acquires the loyalty of its customers as their public image is improved. This goes a long way in maintaining a competitive edge thus increased profitability in product and service delivery.
The nature of social responsibility can be cultivated in two fronts; student social responsibility and corporate social responsibility. In the student aspect, each student is responsible for his/her actions. People are morally bound by individual acts that are sensitive of the immediate person thus adverse effects are controlled. Employers are thus keen in considering a student’s school discipline records during the recruitment process. The corporate social responsibility is about the commitment of a business in acting ethically while causing economic development. They also improve the quality of life for the employees including their families, the local communities and the society.
The employee should be a team player. For the current century, regardless of work experience and educational background, an employee should be committed into working with the others as a team. Globally, it is accepted that organizational citizenship behavior has high regards for teamwork. The employee should work with the others; not only should they work as a group, they should be a team. Today’s economy is challenging and dynamic in nature. Organizations now want employees who will be team players and willing to learn from their experienced counterparts (Flin et. al, 2002). During hiring, most human resource managers ensure that they advise their clients on becoming key team players.
In this organizational citizenship behavior, the principal benefactors are the organization and the employee. The employee has more voice to make an impact, he/she feels free to make more recommendations while there is more openness in which various issues are laid on the table for discussion. Looking at the lawyer as an example, teamwork will go a long way in personal and professional development. One will understand various legal issues and academic requirements in the workplace. It is motivating. For an organization, they benefit with balance, well-advised decisions, increased productivity and profitability as well.
The organization and the employee have a role to play in the attainment of teamwork with the objective of organizational citizenship. To begin with, there should be a clear definition of roles. In the case of a lawyer, there should be specifications of what he/she can do in the organization. This should be inclusive of advising the management of how other tasks should be distributed. Under this, the rotational roles should be highlighted. A lawyer in a given firm should indicate who should be responsible in case of his/her absence at the workplace to avoid confusion. A team player should identify his/her list of roles. For instance, one should be an advocate for the customers in striving to meet their needs and expectations. Lastly, there is a need for being proactive. Reactivity should be avoided. A lawyer in any firm should consider the trends in the legal environment and inform the organization on actions that could be taken.
Leadership skills are essential in developing and encouraging citizenship at the workplace. An employee with leadership is perceived as a major asset for any organization. If deployed effectively, citizenship can be sustained at the organization. The leadership should be in three fronts; instrumental, supportive and transformational. For once, a lawyer would adopt and be prepared for instrumental leadership. He/she could facilitate clarity of roles and keep the subordinates informed on what they are expected to do. In addition, one could offer supportive leadership. This is about demonstrating concern for the wellbeing for other employees and reciprocation of it with altruistic behaviors. Transformational leadership campaigns for motivation. That supports and inspires employees and high-performance expectations.
For positive leadership traits, it is notable that an individual with such skills goes an extra mile in developing workplace citizenship in other employees. This is because it motivates to create proper working conditions for the employees (Sarros et. al, 2002). In looking at leadership, one can train at academic level and in the course of being employed. There are key skills that should be adopted. They include vision, focus and discipline, trust and values, shared success and shared failure, honesty, communication, confidence, inspiration, positivity, delegation, commitment, creativity, humility, intuition and humor.
The leadership path is never an easy one. It is met with stressful times, terrible times and good times. A good leader leads the team towards success. In order to achieve this, one should have a loyalty to the organization. A loyalty that is self-motivating to an extent that one goes the extra mile for the organization. Organizational citizenship management approach is quick to identify those that can lead. The act of making them leaders goes a long way into motivating them to become more loyal to the culture, vision and mission of the organization.
Taking a lawyer as an example once again, he/she should have a desire to lead to in an organization. This means that he/she equips with knowledge and seeks to understand the various organizational operations. This formed foundation for effective leadership. The benefits recorded here are directed to both the organization and the employee, as well. The employee is developed personally through the leadership position (Sarros et. al, 2002). On the other hand, the organization can boast of a leader as a valuable asset. Through citizenship at the workplace, the leader would direct subordinate employees, set clear the organizational vision, motivate workers and create an environment that promotes employee loyalty in the workplace. Therefore, during interviews, the employers would be critical to understanding the leadership skills that their potential employees are equipped.
According to the aforementioned facts, Citizenship behaviors come in various distinct forms and shapes. Traditionally, people had accepted it as an employee who goes beyond the minimum expectations. In the modern day, it is about that employee who is willing to offer a hand and takes initiative. It is a knowledgeable, cooperative and helpful colleague. It is about being an approachable senior manager, one who is ready to introduce new employees around the office and another staff. These skills are very essential. They can be natural, and their development is possible. Discussed above are the skills necessary in creating, maintaining and sustaining workplace citizenship. The article has focused on social responsibility, leadership and being a team player. All professionals including lawyers have to learn and adopt the skills in order to be competitive in the market.
Chou, S. and Garcia, D. (2011). Group Organizational Citizenship Behavior in the Stages of Group Development. International Journal of Business and Management, [online] 6(10), pp.1-15. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/ijbm.v6n10p3 [Accessed 14 Oct. 2014].
Flin, R., O’Connor, P. and Mearns, K. (2002). Crew resource management: improving team work in high-reliability industries. Team Performance Management, 8(3/4), pp.68--78.
McWilliams, A. and Siegel, D. (2000). Corporate social responsibility and financial performance: correlation or misspecification?. Strategic management journal, 21(5), pp.603--609.
Roberts, B. and Hogan, R. (2001). Personality psychology in the workplace. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, c.
Sarros, J., Tanewski, G., Winter, R., Santora, J. and Densten, I. (2002). Work alienation and organizational leadership. British Journal of Management, 13(4), pp.285--304.
Schermerhorn, J., Osborn, R. and Hunt, J. (2000). Organizational behavior. New York: Wiley.