Some healthy competition can be really beneficial in your workplace. It can bring energy, engagement and make your staff more productive. But if it’s taken too far, it can create resentment and stress, or even diminish the confidence of your employees. Here’s how to encourage some healthy competition without causing any of the negativity it could possibly bring.
Make it fun
Even if your employees are competing for some really sought-after prizes, keep your competition lighthearted and fun. If it starts to become too cutthroat, you’ll create divisiveness and resentment in your staff. Remember that everyone should have the same endgame in mind—profits and sustainable growth for the company.
Pay close attention
Keep an eye on what the competition yields. Are revenues increasing? Customer service inquiries successfully handled? Sales increasing? Great! But also pay attention to what’s happening to the relationships between your employees. Are friends and colleagues suddenly becoming bitter adversaries? If so, it might be time to temper down the competition or even end it all together.
Play in teams
It’s best to structure the competition in teams, not individuals. Teams encourage collaboration and cooperation, so people can work together and learn to value one another’s strengths. They can learn from each other instead of attacking one another.
Work for “personal bests”
Encouraging your employees to compete against their own personal numbers and goals can be really motivating. You can measure their rates of improvement as they try to raise their revenue numbers or improve their efficiency each month. In the end, reward the team or the individual that shows the greatest improvement.
Keep the end in sight
Remember that the quality of your company’s product or service is ultimately the end goal. Don’t get so caught up in boosting your numbers that you’re creating a shoddy, inferior product. Eventually, that will backfire—your reputation will suffer and you’ll lose even your most loyal customers.
Reward with a prize
The type of prize you offer will depend on your workplace, what you can afford and what motivates your staff. Some might appreciate something as straightforward as an extra day of paid leave. Others might be satisfied with something as simple as a trophy or a silly party. In some companies, sales people or customer service representatives might want something more exclusive—a cash bonus or an exotic trip. Whatever it is, make sure it’s something that’s feasible for your company to provide, yet keeps your company motivated.