Ways to create healthy competition in the workplace

People tend to have mixed feelings about whether workplace competition is beneficial. There is no doubt, though, that there are a variety of ways to create healthy competition, such as team building sports like paintball or incentive programmes to boost productivity.

The business world will always be a very competitive place, with companies all striving to be an authority in their industry. So, in this sense, competition is encouraged, but when it comes to competitiveness between employees, it seems that opinions vary. To get the best of both worlds — where employees are motivated by competition instead of causing stress or affecting morale — it’s essential to create healthy competition.

In this post, we’ll take a look at a few of the ways you can give your employees a competitive edge, without hampering their ability to work efficiently.

No losers!

The more conventional styles of competition such as point systems, leaderboards tend to mean that an individual or group will end up at the bottom of the pile. Getting last place at school sports day felt bad enough, but in the workplace, it can make you feel undervalued and expendable as an employee.

The most vital thing you need to do is to keep competition friendly and conflict-free. Any competition that causes employees stress or added pressure is unproductive and makes your place of work less enjoyable to be in. You don’t necessarily have to encourage competitive work-based tasks, but instead explore out-of-cubicle options, such as quizzes.

Competitive team building

Team building is essential to create a stronger unit of employees who work well together and can use their individual strengths to come together as one. Injecting some competition into your team building activities will help your employees to bond in a new environment, rather than working against each other to be the highest performing worker.

Take paintballing, for example. This sport combines team tactics, authentic combat scenarios… and the opportunity to pummel your co-workers with a paintball or ten. The aspect of winning and losing tends to be forgotten, allowing players to immerse themselves in a battlefield environment where the enemy is someone they’ll see in the next cubicle on Monday morning.

You should always encourage leisure activities as a way for your employees to unwind and bond outside of the office. You can opt for something unique like paintball, a more conventional sport such as football, or something that’s not sport-related to suit everyone’s needs. Letting your employees decide on the type of activity they’d like to do will help you to avoid that dreaded ‘forced fun’ nature of many team building events.  

Set periodic goals

Competitiveness in the workplace doesn’t necessarily have to take place between employees. By assigning goals every quarter or six months, you allow people to compete with themselves. If you have noticed a specific area in which certain employees should improve, or you want to see better results from them, put a target in place to give them something specific to achieve.

As an incentive to complete their goals, you should offer an incentive for doing so. Whether it’s a financial incentive, a prize of some sort, or anything else you think your workers will be motivated to gain. Aside from increasing productivity, assigning goals points out areas that you think people are underachieving in a positive way.

Allow your employees to bring ideas to the table

Creativity is essential for many different aspects of life, be it personal or professional. In the workplace, you should not only see your employees as workers, but also as creative individuals. Create a platform, such as monthly meetings, where people can bring ideas to the table about how current operations are ran or brand new ideas that could potentially take your company to a new level.

Demonstrating that you have confidence in your employees to be creative and come up with ideas that will be seriously considered will do no end of good. Not only does this boost the motivation of your workforce but it creates healthy competition between them to be the person that thinks of the next big idea.