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5 Strategies to Foster Healthy Competition in the Workplace

by Business Highers
competition in the workplace

Are you looking to spur a spirit of competition in your employees?

As an employer, you believe competition is good for business. It should drive motivation, innovation, and productivity.

Well, that’s not always the case. An overly competitive environment will hurt your business. In fact, one study found that 43 percent of employees will quit if there’s too much competition in their places of work.

Your goal should be to nurture healthy competition in the workplace, but that’s easier said than done. This guide will show you how to do it.

1. Hire Employees With a Trait of Competitiveness

People handle competition differently. Some embrace it and thrive in competitive environments, while others buckle under the pressure of competition.

There’s nothing wrong with this. One’s attitude toward competition doesn’t necessarily make them a bad professional. However, when you’re an employer, it’s your responsibility to set the tone and culture of your workplace. If you want it to be a competitive environment, that’s fine.

But, you must also hire people who’re best suited to that environment. An effective way to foster positive competition at work is to recruit employees who have a competitive attitude.

During interviews, ask potential recruits about their past experience working in competitive workplaces. How do they perform in a team environment?

When you build a team of employees who have demonstrated that they love to compete, you’ll have an easier time building a workplace with a culture of competition.

2. Train Your Employees

Putting together a team of competent employees is a good start, but it doesn’t mean they’ll all engage in healthy competition. In fact, putting too many competitive individuals together can quickly turn the office into a battle zone.

You’re the referee, and you must always be there to ensure things don’t get out of hand. An effective way to do so is to train your employees about workplace competition. You may hire an experienced workplace coach to help you train them.

Training will help raise their sense of awareness about the benefits of positive competition, as well as the dangers of unhealthy competition. Trained employees are in a better position to recognize unhealthy competition and respond appropriately.

3. Set Meaningful Goals

In any competition, there’s a goal. In a sports match, for example, the goal is to defeat an opponent and be the winner. In a school classroom, the goal is to be the top student – or to score the highest grade.

What’s your goal? Of course, you want to see greater productivity and more revenues, but having a group of competitive workers may not necessarily get you these results.

When that’s the case, you may start wondering whether your employees aren’t competitive enough. Well, the problem could be that you’re focusing on the wrong goals. You need to set goals that align with the nature of your organization.

For example, let’s say you run a research and development company. Your employees’ primary task is to innovate new products and solutions. Encouraging healthy rivalry among your employees can stimulate creativity and innovation.

In this context, you should judge your employees by the quality of their innovations, not by how much revenue the company is making. But if your goal is to increase revenues, your employees may feel their efforts aren’t bearing the desired fruit. This can hurt their competitive nature and demotivate them.

4. Design a Rewards Program

Rewarding employees encourage them to be more competitive, even when you aren’t keen on building a competitive workplace. Your employees will be more motivated to put in the hard and get a reward.

That being said, don’t create an employee rewards program for the sake of it or because other organizations are doing it. You need a program that will not only keep your employees interested but also help you achieve your goal of building a competitive workplace culture.

A good idea is to have team rewards instead of individual rewards. Team members will know that while they have to collaborate, they also have to compete with those in other teams. Ensure the rewards are attractive or valuable to your employees, such as paid time off or vacations.

Remember to collect feedback from your employees before designing the program. You’ll have ideas of the kind of rewards they’d like.

5. Organize Team Building Activities

Team building activities are a vital part of every modern organization – and for good reason. These activities improve team camaraderie, job satisfaction, and employee performance.

In a competitive workplace environment, team-building activities break the monotony of competition. You see, even elite athletes need time away from the pitch; time to cool down, relax, and bond with teammates.

When you organize regular team-building events, your employees will build strong bonds among themselves. They’ll learn to embrace the fact they’re on the same team pursuing a common goal. If unhealthy competition had started brewing between some employees, a whole weekend of team-building activities will calm those feelings.

Nurture Positive Competition in the Workplace

Competition in the workplace can be like a double-edged sword. Healthy competition will inspire your employees to do greater things while unhealthy competition will toxify the environment and make everyone miserable.

Thankfully, you can foster positive competition among your employees. You just need to arm yourself with these strategies.

What do you think about the competition at work? All things considered, is it a good thing? Share your thoughts with us below!

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