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4 ways to create healthy competition at work

Fa calendar 16 grey August 22, 2017   
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Due to diversity in the workplace, individuals have different strengths and capabilities and as such should focus on having cooperative competition rather than focusing on the perks and recognition which may bring about attrition. 

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There used to be that one dreaded notice board in school. Ironically, despite having animosity towards this particular board, we all used to be curious and would mill around whenever new exam results were put up. Most of the time we knew the range where we would find ourselves ranked- somewhere around the third last list downwards, not that we turned out bad anyway. However, what also attracted us most to that notice board was to find out where our competition ranked.

Life is a journey and competition at the same time, we might be in different races but the goal is the same; success. Same way that competition is supposed to strengthen business, competition in the workplace is supposed to inspire achievement and innovation and improvement on quality of work and problem solving. Due to diversity in the workplace, individuals have different strengths and capabilities and as such should focus on having cooperative competition rather than focusing on the perks and recognition which may bring about attrition.

  1. Make it fun; humans are naturally competitive (not forgetting under normal circumstance they have targets). Everyone wants to be recognized or get a promotion. Making competition serious will only add on to the pressure, add a few elements of fun to motivate and make work enjoyable.
  2. Compete in teams as well as against self; competition starts with self, doing ones personal best. As an individual it’s good to always try and outdo yourself. For example, a sales agent should always try to beat their previous month’s performance. On the other hand, team work fosters collaboration and facilitates knowledge transfer enabling the less experienced individuals to learn from the more experienced.
  3. Goals and acknowledgement; the goals and rewards should be clear to all team members. This however should not compromise on the quality of work where individuals work in a rush focusing on getting their numbers up forgetting about their quality of work. While acknowledging and recognizing top performers other team members should also be encouraged to learn from them to encourage improvement. 
  4. Establish monitoring and feedback system; monitoring the team’s as well as individual progress is important. This enables one to identify whether competition has made the working environment better or has become detrimental and is creating rifts amongst team members. Having a feedback system enables team members discuss and address issues.

A company’s goal is usually bigger than that of a team or an individual. Individual contributions make realization of that goal possible; you therefore have a role to play. When you see your colleagues succeeding try to self-interrogate, what am I doing wrong? What flaws do I have? What can I learn? Who can help me out? E.t.c. Free yourself from negative thinking, roll up your sleeves and get some work done. By doing this you will be so much lost in your own world to even wonder what others are up to.

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