How to Positively Use Competition in the Workplace
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How to Positively Use Competition in the Workplace


If you’re looking for fun ways to increase the productivity of your workforce, whilst creating deeper bonds in your various departments, a good idea to try is encouraging friendly competitiveness between departments. Some industries and sectors are a lot more suitable to competition than others, with sales being the prime example. If you feel that your business isn’t in an industry where competition is easy, you may want to set goals for your workforce to ‘beat’. Either way, you need to ensure that any competition in the workplace is used in a positive way in order to keep up the morale of your employees.

Set individual goals

Competition to increase production should be designed to encourage colleagues to push each other to increase their output. This way, whilst they’re competing with each other to exceed their individual goals, they’ll be helping and encouraging others to do the same. When done in the right way, your employees should not only have increased departmental output, but also created a deeper working trust amongst themselves and a trusting, open environment.

Team goals

As suggested above, successful competition at work should foster teamwork, rather than animosity between colleagues. That being said, you may wish to foster healthy rivalry between different departments. This will only increase a sense of teamwork, as teams work to achieve a common goal. Not only this, but you will be encouraging workers to learn the value of good communication and helping others, which are essential skills in roles such as customer service.

Personal improvement

Competition in the workplace has the possible advantage of encouraging a commitment to self-improvement. Any financial benefits or bonuses you set aside as a reward will have employees trying to exceed their potential, but some workers will produce long-term improvement as a result of workplace competition. Signs of this improvement include more organised work habits, arriving earlier, using visualisation and being more vocal in meetings, as well as an improvement on the quality of work produced.

Be careful with competition

Be careful to ensure that your workplace competition remains positive. When done in the wrong way, competition can foster unhealthy rivalry and resentment amongst your workforce, especially if you consistently have one individual or team winning. This divide can threaten healthy internal communication in the workplace. Additionally, it may place undue stress on some workers, having a detrimental effect on their work. A ‘win at all costs’ attitude in the workplace may also bring out the worst in some of your employees, that you will have to manage.