Nearly half of managers polled in a recent survey agreed that co-worker competition has increased in the past decade. This coincides with millennial employees becoming the dominant population segment at most companies. In a LinkedIn report, 27 percent of millennials said workplace friendships boosted their performance and made them more competitive and ambitious.
Competition can push employees to expand their horizons, and work harder and more creatively. Handled in a strategic way, it boosts all participants’ enthusiasm, engagement and productivity.
The Benefits of Competition
Competition creates an environment where employees push each other to exceed their normal productivity limits. In addition, it boosts:
- Self-improvement: Competition spurs a commitment to growth and self-advancement. While bonuses and incentive awards are a plus, those who see the bigger picture take competition as an opportunity to better themselves in the process of winning. They may change their work habits and behaviors becoming more organized and deliver more timely, higher-quality results.
- Teamwork: Competition can foster a sense of collaboration, as employees are placed in groups where they need to cooperate in order to succeed.
Making it Work
Build competition in a positive way. Be sure to carefully structure and oversee the process.
- Each individual working toward their personal best is the healthiest form of competition. Collaborative groups should support each person’s personal quest to excel. You may want to post a chart showing each employee’s current production rate. Together, the team brainstorms ideas that work for each individual, implementing strategic results that are then tracked on the chart. The whole team celebrates each person’s progress.
- Be specific in setting goals. Clearly communicate amounts, details and time frames. Be sure goals are realistic and attainable.
- Offer appropriate rewards. Acknowledge all employees’ contributions with an emphasis on the winners. Consider offering smaller prizes to all who participate and work hard to contribute to goals. Add a larger prize for the winning team. By letting everyone know that their efforts were appreciated, morale and motivation will grow.
The Talent Bridge team of recruitment and HR Advisory experts can help as you build an effective workplace competition strategy. We’re specialists who understand your business and how to tailor processes so they’ll succeed in your specific work environment. Contact us today so we can tell you more.