OBJECTIVES : The paper explores the mediating effect of workplace social support on the relationship between organizational citizenship behaviour and employee mental health amongst public service employees in South Africa.
METHODS : A survey approach was utilized amongst a sample of 289 conveniently selected public service employees in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa.
RESULTS : The results confirm that a direct relationship exists between organizational citizenship behaviour and employee mental health. Further, the association is made significant only through the mediation effect of workplace social support.
DISCUSSION : The study focuses on the importance of intra-organizational behaviours such as organizational citizenship in promoting employee mental health aspects. Such a focus becomes essential, especially when the South African public service is noted to be in a state of flux and often affects employee work behaviours, including their health. The findings heighten focus on the importance of developing behaviours such as those that promote organizational citizenship coupled with efforts related to workplace social support. In essence, by serving others within the workplace and the entire organization, employees contribute to their mental health. The findings are a valuable precursor to interventions that assist not only the organization but also employees.