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4 Ways to Promote Healthy Competition at Work

August 23, 2016

Competition amongst colleagues in a workplace is common, however it’s important to ensure that such competitive spirit is healthy. Managers should encourage healthy competition among staffers to create a positive workplace culture.

Setting up a healthy competition among coworkers, where everyone is encouraged to give their best at work, with one objective and fair supervision by the senior leader would only motivate employees to perform better, enhance productivity and improve morale.

Conversely, an unhealthy competition at work could lead to creation of toxic workplaces, wherein everyone just seeks their own advancement, instead of collaborating and working cohesively as a team.

See also: HR Alert: Watch Out for Office Romance Brewing at Work

Backstabbing, demeaning, undermining coworkers’ potentials, and “me first” mentality are some evident signs of a toxic workplace. Managers who fail to encourage healthy competition among colleagues, make the company in turn suffer because of the schism.

Unhealthy competition among employees to scale higher ranks in their career and achieve position of repute can often lead to combat times at work to include – gathering supporters, forming unions, groupism, act of cheating or even holding sweet-talk with the managers to ace the competition.

However, such means do not always lead to positive outcomes and expected results. This one-on-one competition between members in a team could lead to hard feelings wherein one employee turns out to be a winner and other is a loser. Overall, an unhealthy workplace environment is created.

This situation of tiff creates rift between employees to lower self-confidence, dampen employee morale, performance efforts and productivity. Things get further difficult, when the employee who has lost the competition focuses on his defeat and finds it difficult to move on.

Therefore, such kind of unhealthy competition at workplace should be avoided completely. It is important for HR managers to ensure a conducive environment at workplace is maintained for everyone to cohabit and perform optimally.

Here are some ways, managers can promote healthy competition at work:

The Team and Company Vision is Bigger than All. Valuing each person’s contribution and accomplishment is important. However, managers should always stand by the ethos of team’s success as the main goal to accomplish through employees’ consistent efforts.

“Team first” is a critical mindset to be infused in the minds of every employee in the team. Blending inn to foster a solid teamwork would only drive employees to put their best step forward, without striking down on other colleagues. This will also help each other to move forward together in sync and achieve the company’s vision.

Consistent Improvement. A healthy competition doesn’t merely focus on who wins and who is lost. Instead, it really values every inch of improvement made by the employees.

Creating a workplace environment that promotes on-going coaching, improvement and self-awareness would foster healthy competition among employees, where everyone is driven inertly to enhance their capabilities in executing their job roles and compete healthily with other co-workers.

Personal Goals are Valuable. Every member of a team has both personal and professional goals in their lives. Buying a house, cars, travelling around the world and having financial freedom are some common dreams nurtured by employees that drive them to work and perform their best every single day.

Solely competing with an objective to achieve highest sales or other targets are permissible, however employees should bear in mind that everyone else is also working to transform their dreams to reality. Working as a team, will only help each member learn from other, and achieve their personal and professional goals successfully.

Make Everything Playful and Fun. A competition is not always serious. Managers should set up playful sportive events and encourage other physical activities to boost significance of solidarity among employees.

Examples such as simply playing soccer together would inspire employees to have a fair, healthy competitive spirit among employees and to imply the same principles in their workings.

HR managers and employers alike should be able to create healthy competition at work. While these strategies and approaches are less-expensive, they result in higher motivation levels and employee engagement at work to grow together as team.  

Next read: Having a Healthy and Supportive Relationship with Colleagues

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