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Every day, employees make decisions about whether they are willing to go the extra mile in ways that contribute to their organization’s success. These are important decisions because research shows that when employees are willing to go beyond their formal roles by helping out coworkers, volunteering to take on special assignments, introducing new ideas and work practices, attending non-mandatory meetings, putting in extra hours to complete important projects, and so forth, their companies are more efficient and effective. As a result, a critical task for successful managers is to motivate their employees to engage in these extra-role behaviors, which researchers refer to as “citizenship behaviors.”

Although the benefits of citizenship behavior for organizational performance are clear, the implications for employees are more equivocal. On the one hand, many employees perform acts of citizenship because they feel committed to and connected to their peers, supervisors, and organizations. Being a good organizational citizen can also be personally and professionally rewarding because it makes work more meaningful and invigorating and contributes to better performance evaluations. On the other hand, some studies have also shown that employees sometimes feel pressured to be good organizational citizens and may only do so in order to enhance their image. Moreover, going the extra mile can deplete employees’ resources, contributing to stress, work-family conflict, and citizenship fatigue. Recent research further suggests that employees who feel pressured to engage in citizenship may start feeling entitled to act out by engaging in deviant behaviors. Further, while employee citizenship is often associated with positive feelings, it can also impede employees’ ability to get their jobs done, which can undermine their well-being. READ MORE.

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