In the workplace, we may stray away from promoting competition due to their potential to lead to a negative workplace culture; however, we may also be missing out on key opportunities. Not only can a bit of healthy opposition actually be the motivator that you need, but it can take your team to the next level. Consider these ways that healthy competition can improve your company culture and elevate your workplace.
Embrace your best self
Many of us strive to do our best at work, but we may not always be embracing our best selves. Too often, after spending years in a job, especially when we have lost the opportunity to learn, we may find ourselves feeling complacent. Our staff may be lacking this energy, but with a bit of healthy competition, you can give your staff the jumpstart they need. If you want your employees to truly excel and embrace the thrive experience to engage the best versions of themselves, a competitive activity may be exactly what you need. This activity can help boost your company’s level of energy and subsequently its culture.
Motivate your staff
If your staff has enough energy but lacks a drive or motivation, healthy competition may help you achieve what you need. This activity can help inspire your team to push itself and invigorate the work. If they have lost their internal motivation, this can serve as an external motivator. There is something invigorating about a win, and each team can use this to drive their work. Regardless of whether you offer bragging rights, prizes or office notoriety, you can help light a fire of inspiration for your team through controlled increases in intensity.
Leave room for creativity
When you create friendly competition at work, make sure that you pose a problem or a directive without dictating how the issue will be tackled. By allowing teams to compete cooperatively, you can leave room for creativity throughout the process and lead you to a multitude of angles. You will likely find a wide variety of final results that you may have never considered before. By allowing teams to come up with their own processes, you can bring them closer together to come up with a solution and approach that is all their own. One of the greatest results of having multiple teams look at the same problem is the creativity, innovation and diversity of ideas of perspectives that come out of it.
Reward and recognize talent
One prime reason that many employees choose to leave their roles is due to under-appreciation. Through the integration of healthy competition, you avoid this issue as long as the game is fair. By showing that the organization can prioritize the finest of ideas and talent, you can promote equity and excellence in the organization. Keep in mind that implicit and explicit biases can come into play, so you must choose your judges carefully and have well-defined criteria. To avoid disastrous outcomes and make it truly worthwhile, the game should be as fair and unbiased as possible. You cannot just promote competition, but you need to ensure that it is run equitably.
Keep it healthy
Gamifying work can be a beneficial strategy to motivate teams, keep in mind that there is also the other side of the competitive spectrum. This requires clear boundaries, a sense of healthy rivalry and clear parameters. If the contests are haphazardly or unintentionally planned, this process can backfire. Unhealthy competitions can promote toxic corporate cultures, poison relationships and result in dissatisfied employees. Keep in mind what your end goal here is and if you feel that it crosses over into unhealthy, you need to reevaluate your strategy.
Competitions are often discouraged in workplace settings these days due to their level of toxicity, but this is a common misconception; however, this does not have to be the case. By promoting healthy competitive activities, you can improve your company’s culture. Before you dive right in, make sure that you have taken the time to establish a competition that is truly beneficial to all parties involved.
Lindsey Patterson is a freelance writer and entrepreneur based in the US who specialises in business technology, customer relationship management and lead management. She also writes about the latest social trends, specifically involving social media.