I was always competitive through school and with my sports and this has carried over to the workplace where I like to make sure my team have that winning spirit and are coming out on top. Competition in the workplace can be a positive thing for many reasons however competition can have its disadvantages too.
Competition can help create an environment where employees push each other to exceed their targets and go past the ‘normal’. As individuals strive to achieve more it encourages their team mates around them to do the same. This can result in increased production across individuals, teams and the whole company.
Competition in the workplace does not have to take place at an individual level, I know from experience that when you split staff members into teams or groups and ask them to compete it encourages communication and teamwork leading to increased productivity.
While financial incentives and bonuses are always a plus to get the competition going, those individuals that see the bigger picture may take the competition as an opportunity to better themselves. Self-improvement may include changing work habits to be more organised, using visualization and goal setting to achieve goals and simply delivering higher quality work.
On the flipside competition in the workplace can create unhealthy rivalries that can result in staff members resenting one another to the point that it can lead to workplace ‘stress’, particularly if it is always the same individual or team that is constantly winning. As we know some individuals do not work well under pressure and are more productive when the work environment is less competitive. I have seen competition in the workplace bring out the worst in some people and it is not a healthy look both for the individual and company. Saying this, some industries and roles lend naturally towards competitiveness such as those that have a sales element where co-workers will compete compared to individuals in other fields but from experience I believe a little competition can be positive! What do you think?