Recently, I stumbled upon the term organizational citizenship behavior. It turned out to be a concept I was thinking about a lot, but didn’t know what it was called (or that there was a name for it in the first place).

Organizational citizenship behavior is when a person commits to doing more than he or she is expected to, going beyond what his/her job description says. There are 5 common types:

  1. Altruism, the desire to help other people without expecting anything in return (e.g. reward in compensation).
  2. Courtesy, which means being polite and considerate towards others.
  3. Sportsmanship, which refers to being able to keep your composure when something negative happens or things don’t go as planned.
  4. Conscientiousness, a personality trait that describes people who are disciplined, organized and have high levels of self-control.
  5. Civic virtue, defined as the desire to speak positively about the company even when you’re not working (e.g. when you’re talking to your friends and family).

In my experience, even though these behaviors don’t carry immediate rewards, they help create better organizational culture, which in turn leads to higher job satisfaction and better results.