Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate a moderated mediation model of innovative work behaviour enhancement. Perceived firm (organizational and market) performance was assumed to moderate the relationships between leader-member exchange (LMX) and organizational citizenship behaviour (OCB), on the one hand, and employability, on the other hand. In a preciously validated human resources management (HRM) model, employability appeared to be a full mediator in the relationship between LMX and OCB, and innovative work behaviour, being the outcome measure. Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected from a sample of 487 pairs of employees and their immediate supervisors working in 151 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to confirm the factor structure of the baseline model variables, including LMX, OCB, employability, and innovative work behaviour. The moderating effect of firm performance was tested using multi-group SEM. Findings – Results indicated that firm performance had a substantial influence on the baseline model's relationships. More specifically, firm performance appeared to moderate partially a mediation model wherein LMX was assumed to be associated with innovative work behaviour, through employability, being the mediator. Moreover, firm performance also appeared to moderate conclusively a model with employability as a mediator in the relationship between OCB and innovative work behaviour. Originality/value – To the best of our knowledge, this is the very first study that investigates a mediation model of innovative work behaviour enhancement moderated by firm performance. It appears that high- vs low-performance firms present very different organizational environments for an employee to work in. Obviously, these situational factors affect workers’ employability. This study adds particular knowledge to the scholarly literature in this field since not much is known about the science and practice of HRM within SMEs.