When you are trying to motivate your employees and promote innovation in your business, a bit of healthy competition can go a long way. When people are in competition with their coworkers, they will work harder to come out on top. However, competition can also be a very bad thing if it is not handled in the right way. If you pit people against one another, it can lead to a lot of resentment and bad blood between employees, and that’s never going to be good for productivity.
You have to remember that your priorities are motivating your team and promoting effective teamwork, and if you introduce competition in the wrong ways, it can have the opposite effect. Instead of pulling together as a team, people will actively work against one another because they want to be the best. There is a fine line between healthy and unhealthy competition and a lot of business owners find themselves on the wrong side of that line. If you want to introduce some healthy competition into your workplace, these are some of the best ways to do it.
Promote Positive Conflict Management
Before you start putting people in competition with one another, you need to promote healthy conflict management skills in the office. If people deal with conflict in an unhealthy way, it will lead to clashes in the office, which is not what you want. But if people understand how to put across their ideas in a respectful way and have a healthy debate about their differences, they will be able to come to a compromise that is beneficial for the business. When people understand how to handle conflict properly, introducing competition will help to push innovation and the company will benefit from that, which is why promoting positive conflict management is the first step that you need to take.
Reward Your Best Employees
If you offer a reward to your best employees, that gives people an incentive to work hard and it creates some healthy competition in the workplace. An employee of the month scheme is a great way to do that. You can get some great plaques from companies like EDCO awards and present them to your top performers each month. You can also offer extra rewards like a bonus, a parking space, or an extra day off to the people that win each month. It’s a great way to introduce competition and give people something to work towards. However, you do have to be careful how you implement it. You need to have a clear set of criteria that you use to pick the winner and this needs to be made clear to your employees. It’s a good idea to spread out the winners as well so the same few people aren’t winning every month. If this happens, the rest of your employees will feel that you’re just playing favorites and they don’t have a chance of winning, which will cause resentment in your team.
Set Dynamic Goals
You don’t just want your employees to be in competition with one another, you want them to be in competition with themselves, and that’s where goals come in. Setting goals is always a great way to improve productivity but if you want to introduce that element of competition, you need to make those goals dynamic. If somebody has hit their targets consistently for a few months, you should raise the bar. This generates competition amongst the team as people see that their coworkers are reaching for higher targets, and it also creates personal competition which is a great way to push people to work harder. By creating dynamic goals for your employees, you challenge them to keep working on their performance and improving it, rather than coasting along and doing the bare minimum.
Team Building Exercises
You don’t just have to think about work related competition, you can foster a competitive atmosphere through some team building events as well. If you set up some office sports teams or do competitive events and games outside of work, you will see the benefits back in the office. It’s a great way to encourage team bonding, which is very important, and it helps people to get into that competitive mindset in a fun atmosphere. Hosting these kinds of events is also a good way to give something back to your employees and help them blow off some steam, so it will improve productivity in that way as well.
Competition can really help to drive your business forward, but you have to be careful how you introduce it because it can easily backfire.
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