How To Promote Healthy Competition In The Workplace
Competition means battling with another for the same thing. Incubating this in your workplace can add lots of advantages to your business. If you’re thinking that this will be tricky, then you are right which is why this should be undertaken carefully and we are here to help you out.
Wherever there is competition, increased drive and passion for improvement and innovation can never be far off. The increase being referred to here will be satisfactory when healthy competition begins to thrive in your company, and in a short time too. This is the case also at the workplace. We can only caution you to ensure the kind of competition pushed is healthy for the sake of your employees and organization.
Results of Unhealthy Competition in the Workplace
Frustration: If the competition in your company is hostile and harsh, you will find yourself with more frustrated employees than inspired. The more people lose their confidence and are forced to keep going, the more they are left behind.
Beaten Spirits: If healthy competition fosters growth, unhealthy competition breaks the spirits of the employees. It fosters stagnancy. Many people respond to failures differently. While some will keep pushing at the obstacle, another group decide not to try at all since their efforts have no chance of reaping fruits, overturning the entire reason for the competition in the first place which is to foster productivity.
Resignation: Unhealthy competition can be very toxic and some employees cannot thrive in this kind of environment. Some of them will prefer to leave the organization to preserve their mental health than continue in that pain.
On the other hand, if you play your cards well, here are some effects of healthy competition in the workplace.
- Good sportsmanship: This refers to the attitude of players to a game. One of which is the ability to separate the person from the competition. When you promote healthy competition, your workplace will not become toxic, swallowing the good and turning employees inhumane, caring only about themselves, their benefits, recognition, and promotions and not the company’s overall growth.
- Better Relationship Among Employees: Where there is healthy competition, the workers have a better understanding of themselves. They support, encourage and celebrate each other’s winnings and comfort those that fall. This will reduce your workload.
Your aim as a manager or leader in a company should be how to inspire loyalty from your employee. If you can do this, they become one with your vision, understand the company goals, and begin to work as partners of the company and not just workers. Some workers take great pride in their work, blowing their trumpet everywhere they are while some cannot. Promoting healthy relationships is one step to achieving this loyalty and pride.
- Increased Productivity: Of course, this happens. Productivity can’t help but improve in this kind of environment where employees are growing steadily. Being the best means improvement because not minding what Mr Stephen has done, comes the desire to do even better…the innovations don’t end. This desire pushes the worker to keep trying. By doing this, they stretch their abilities beyond themselves to discover versions they did not know they could attain.
- More Fun: Doing what you like while having fun is a great motivation for every worker. In short, many motivational speakers discourage people from working where they are not happy. These workers go to work happy, they are expectant of what they can achieve.
How to Promote Healthy Competition
- Give Awards/ Rewards: Ever since you were little, you can attest to the fact that you always tried better if there was a reward attached to a result. People would be doing things the normal way until they heard that there is an award attached to something then, suddenly interest begins to develop to at least ask about the reward or consider the job behind it.
Awards like The Most Productive, Favourite Team Player, and Most Influential Male/Female can inspire workers to do better. Imagine an annual award night for your company themed: The Einsteins (or any other great name that fits your industry). This award ceremony’s aim in an advertising company would be to recognise the best thinkers and solution givers of different departments. Workers would jump to their feet to be a part of this event annually!
Let’s go further then, imagine you decided that the award ceremony could include an invitation to significant other members of the workers? Who wouldn’t want to be recognized for a good performance in front of their loved ones?
Another example is to hang the portrait of the most productive worker in strategic positions of the company, the lobby, hallway to the CEO’s office, and the website for a time. Perhaps monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly. This kind of recognition is heartwarming and will make your workers stretch themselves to appear on that wall, and also inspire loyalty.
- Acknowledge Job Well Done: You might be saying something along the lines of, “Duh” or “of course” but you will be surprised at the number of good performances and tasks that get swept under the carpet without recognition. Employers take this for granted since they are already being paid to do that job.
An acknowledgement as simple as a thank you from the superiors, and supervisor can make an employee’s day. Asking the worker to stand to a round of applause can get you extra work that week from all your employees, not only the good worker. Then going as far as to feature the person in your magazine can have explosive results.
I’ll tell you why this happens. People that have been recipients of public recognition, put extra effort to always be counted worthy of it. First of all, they want to maintain that level of greatness. Second, they do not want their achievements to be said to have been by chance or “mere luck” but by the hard work, they put into it.
- Allow Creativity: Do not be an employer that sits on the neck of their employees. Indeed, you could be more knowledgeable and better experienced than they, but it does not make you omniscient. Your employees need to know that you trust them to do their work. Give them free reins to achieve the goals set out for them.
Micromanaging means controlling a person down to minute detail. Humans have natural competition in them. Seeing the progress of a colleague or peer, they surely wish for the same though, not many will act upon it. When you allow creativity and expressions, it inspires the person watching another to want to be the best of themselves.
Another detail is that humans want to feel good about themselves, they want to attain self-fulfilment. When you allow creativity in your workplace, workers begin to compete more with themselves. Their opponent and obstacle to greatness become their limitations and low visionary. They want to prove that they can do more and with the extra practice they put into it, with the help of the managers, and superiors, they can consistently and regularly beat themselves, break their records, achieve more than they planned and it all shows in your company growth.
By now, you know that the growth of your employee is the growth of your organization too.
- Discipline Disobedience/Defaulters: Another crucial part of promoting healthy competition is the process of meting out suitable punishments to offenders. Every company has its rules and regulations and failure to discipline correctly will hinder you in the long run.
Worse is when you are partial in distributing punishments. There should be a scale to measure and respond to offenders. Do not go over the top or below the counter when this time comes. Note that other employees are watching though it looks like they are not. Offences of the same type should not be punished differently, it sets off discontentment in the organization.
You can also take a stand against offences more prone in your line of work. Stand against prejudice, bias, colour, tribe, race etc. When your workers find they already have a champion in you, it reduces the need to defend themselves all the time, thereby reducing the unhealthy competition that would have otherwise been.
- Sanction Rebels: Organizations have a particular line of hierarchy that helps them keep order. When an employee tries to go against this, resisting management and superiority, that person should be sanctioned immediately. We know we said to allow creativity and freedom of expression, which is true but even this must have checks and balances or abuse will not be far. This kind of attitude is unhealthy and if left unchecked, your company will soon become a battleground. Instil obedience into your workers.
- Promote Teamwork: Yes, we left the best for the last. The more your employees see themselves as one, a team, the more productive they will be. Teams work better together, they offer help when the other needs it and there’s no better way to promote competition than through this.
You could sponsor, and encourage group outings in the company, for fun and learning. Pick entertaining games, go on vacations, and fix team dinners or lunches. Your budget for this need not be extravagant at the start. A simple team dinner or order can inspire oneness and team spirit. The more they understand one another, the easier it is to work together.
These meetings also have a way of bridging relationships that might have otherwise been hurt along the line in the efforts of the competition. It reminds everyone of the supreme goal which is the organization’s goal and how every one of them is a part of its achievements.
With all these said, you are ready to begin encouraging healthy competition in your organization.