How To Encourage a Healthy Competition at The Workplace

There is no secret that we live in a world where the idea of competition plays a crucial role. Thus, whether we talk about sport, work or school, we need to deal with individual requirements everywhere and make efforts to stay in the game, to enjoy the results. Up to a certain point, encouraging competition is good because it can make individuals deliver their best and strive to win. However, as in almost any situation, exaggeration is not good, so a competition pushed to the extreme is no exception to this rule.

Therefore, when is it good to encourage competition at the workplace, and to make it a benefit for the entire organization? When there is a deviation from the ultimate goal of the competition, and the attention falls on the means and not the end goal, so that those involved think less about what they’re working for and more about the competitors, it’s good to understand that things are not in the desired direction. The aim of workplace competition must be to keep employees active and motivated, to win at an individual level, but to bring also benefits to the organization that they belong.

The Balance Between Competition and Collaboration

A healthy competition is one that manages to unearth staff skills, inspires employees, and cultivates among them the desire to grow, to learn, to move to a higher level and achieve things for the common and individual benefit. Those employees who are striving to move forward and take steps in their careers, growing in line with the organizational performance targets are the ones who will bring value to the company where they work. However, not everyone is comfortable in such an environment, so there will always be employees who will perceive competition as a stress-generating race.

When there is no balance between competition and collaboration, things can slip down to a negative slope. Sometimes members of the same team can get to compete and do anything to get better and faster results than their colleagues, focusing more on quantity than on quality. Such situations can lead to conflicts within the organization or within the same team, and the result would be a hostile work environment, a place where employees would be reluctantly and from where they would want to escape to relieve the pressure factor.

Struggling to Achieve Goals

To avoid situations where employees hate each other and use inappropriate methods to put obstacles to their colleagues, leaders should promote among people the image of the company as a whole and the role of each team. When employees understand that they are not fighting each other, but for themselves as a group, for the purpose of the team and the organization as a whole, and that there are no losers in this process, then we can speak of a healthy competition. Team leaders need to set goals, and every success must be celebrated and rewarded, to highlight the significant contribution made to the entire organization.

In turn, individual goals are important, but overall success depends on the success of every employee, and comparing the results of employees with those of fellow colleagues is not a beneficial practice, because instead of encouraging them, this would cause even more frustration. What we need to encourage is the steady improvement of results, so any small success must be appreciated to achieve that level of performance that the organization has set. Competition attracts success, but only when collaboration is promoted as a mean through which you gain a collective success.


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