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Are You Embracing Competition In The Workplace?
13th May 2015

Humans love to compete. It’s a fact. Competition is at the heart of how we evolved and how we continue to progress as a race. Everything that we take for granted today such as our cars, computers and phones are ultimately the result of someone wanting to make something better than the rest. It is this competition that drives everything in life forward in a quest to improve things for the better. It’s for this reason that if your company isn’t embracing competition, it’s missing out an important catalyst for positive change.


You may think that competition is only suitable for sales teams. Whilst it is something that is quite rightly used in a sales environment, it needn’t be restricted to this area of your company. Utilised in a positive way, it can be a useful way of not just motivating and rewarding staff, it can be an invaluable way to measure progress within your company. So whether it’s the competition for sales staff to hit biggest sales total, customer services staff to have the quickest call answer rate or for site teams to hit production targets, utilised well even the least competitive members of staff will feel engaged and motivated. Here are some key points to consider when utilising competition to drive your business forward:
When you need collaboration, use team competition
The overall aim must be to drive your business onwards and upwards. If you’ve got people who need to work together on certain projects, then it won’t work if they are competing against each other, as it can cause a conflict of interest. What will work is to introduce competition between teams working on different projects. You’ll find that camaraderie develops, they’ll work more effectively as a team and projects get delivered on time.
Avoid ‘losers’ being demoralised
There will always be winners and losers in any competition. It’s a fact of life and one that everyone should be aware of because construction is a competitive industry. Not only can losing be demoralising, fear of losing can lead to employees ‘playing it safe’ and not stretching themselves. There are two ways to deal with this. Firstly, keep the competition light and fun. Making it too serious can negate any positive effects. Secondly, don’t go for competitions that go on for weeks or even months as losing this can make employees feel all their hard work was for nothing. Monthly, or even better weekly targets mean that even if an employee has not won, they can get straight back at it and win the next week keeping everyone’s spirits up.
Ensure your competition results are based on quantifiable outcomes
Ensuring the outcomes that you are basing your competition results on are measurable is crucial to ensure that competition has positive effects for your company. Basing it on something more subjective such as your opinion can leave employees feeling they don’t have a direct impact on the outcome and can also lead to accusations of favouritism that can be divisive. If you can also utilise a way that employees can check their progress through the week then this can keep them motivated too.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
●     The office/company section that has the highest participation rate in the annual employee views survey
●     The site/team with the best workplace safety record
●     The customer service operative/team who has the best call handling rate
●     The first team to complete all their annual personal development reviews.
●     The salesperson/team with the highest number of sales
●     The team that exceeds all their client’s service level agreements
Do you utilise competition in your workplace? Have you found that it brings the best out in people? We’d love to hear your ideas on how you use it in your business.
Until next time, 
Chris Hall