The Three I's of Competition in the Workplace

Jena Hintze on Feb 3, 2017 3:00:00 PM

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It’s long been debated whether competition in the workplace is good or bad; and we’ve all seen it go badly. From the snide glances in the break room to the full on war of words that erupts in the middle of the weekly staff meeting, a feeling of competition can create tension to say the least. Yet, when handled correctly, competition in the workplace can be one of the best things for it.

To avoid a temper tantrum from one (or let’s be real, all) of your employees, the management team has to step up. Success with office competition resides largely in how the leadership team presents and manages it with their staff. If competition is friendly and communication is open, I believe there can be great benefit for competition in the workplace. Below are three positive outcomes I expect leaders will see grow in their teams as they engage in friendly competition.

Increased Production

When there is an urgency of competition behind an employee’s day-to-day tasks, they are going to move through them more quickly. As an added bonus, not only will they produce faster, it will likely be more efficient as well. They will strive to be the highest producer with the fewest mistakes. Allowing productivity to have a competitive edge also gives the office leadership a chance to see who is not performing as well so they can take time to mentor and help that individual. By fostering friendly competition, you are getting more out of your team while being able to bolster up weak areas.

Individual Growth

Each employee’s personal growth is another area where competition can be fruitful. It is natural to experience times of frustration at work. This might increase with competition, but, as result, more employees will review their skills and reflect on how they can improve and be more successful. Again, engaged and conscientious leadership provides opportunities to help their employees grow as they strive for success through their short-comings.

Innovative Thinking

While trying to achieve and maintain a competitive lead, you will see increased innovation in your team. A race for new ideas and the “next big thing” can grow quickly in the office and produce some amazing outcomes. Your recognition and exploration of everyone’s efforts and proposals helps maintain the friendliness of the competition. Taking the time to listen is an essential step to promote forward-thinking teams.

In summation, the key to productive competition in the workplace lies heavily on the shoulders of management. If the competition is friendly, communication is open, and the leadership helps employees face challenges more productively, grow in new ways, and encourage innovation they will become more cohesive and successful teams. There’s nothing like a little office competition to spur success.

At ISU Continuing Education and Workforce Training we are putting these principals to the test next week with an office blogging competition. Three members of our staff will be writing different blog articles on two opposing subjects. Think Ice Cream Making and Tennis or Underwater Basket Weaving and Pilates….we’re getting creative and it should be very interesting for our readers. While the competition is friendly, it is also fierce. There will be a winner and our blogging audience will help us decide; whichever article receives the most readership will win.

Don’t miss out on all the fun! Be sure to subscribe so you can help us pick the winner!




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