How to Foster Healthy Competition Between Employees
Most people have some kind of competitive streak. It’s often an advantage, inspiring them to do better, dream bigger, work harder and learn more. They want to be the best at what they do. For these employees, fostering a healthy sense of competition is the best—and sometimes the only way—to get them performing at the top of their game.
Of course, competition taken too far can become nasty. While most people will simply try to do better, some will try to drag others down to help themselves get further ahead.
So how do you foster a healthy sense of competition between employees while keeping it from getting out of hand?
Start by celebrating your employees’ achievements. Giving your employees some kind of reward when they do a particularly good job or come up with a brilliant idea that helps move your company forward serves two purposes: it makes your employees feel like you actually appreciate them and it helps create a healthy sense of competition.
Employees can’t be competitive with each other if they don’t have a realistic idea how other employees are performing. Making it clear who your top performers are—and what they’re doing that makes them so great—so your other employees have something to aim for, and you might be surprised how they rise to the occasion. At the very least, you’ll make your top performers feel special.
Competition doesn’t have to be limited to work. Often a great way to get employees competing with each other without high stress or tension is to create small competitions that don’t actually impact how they do their job or how they feel about it.
One of the best ways to do this is by challenging employees to do something outside of the workplace: get healthy; fundraise for charity, volunteer in the community. The challenge can be pretty much anything you can think of, as long as you know it’s something your employees will actually get into and care about.
These challenges—like seeing which employee can raise the most money for a charity of your choice—are a great way to foster a sense of community while also creating an atmosphere of competition. It encourages your employees to stay friendly in spite of competing with one another, which is how you create a comfortable work environment for everyone.
Your employees might have some great ideas of their own. If you’re not sure what the best way to foster a sense of competition among your employees is, why don’t you try asking them? You might just be surprised what they come up with. You might discover that several of your employees want to try a writing challenge, or a fitness challenge, or a financial health challenge—and you’ll never really know what they want until you ask.
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