Creating Healthy Competition
Healthy differences in the workplace energize without distracting from productivity. They challenge the mentality that is satisfied with good enough, and prompt workers to strive to perform better and better.
Promoting healthy competition
You cannot just develop healthy competition by chance. You must identify and implement some specific ways of behaving that will stimulate the right sort of competition. To create healthy competition, you should:
- make opportunities available to everyone,
- distribute rewards evenly,
- use objective performance measures, and
- explore the following three factors.
Opportunities must be open to everyone. The chance to be promoted, to bid for work, or to implement ideas must not be restricted to a favored few. You must let it be known that challenges can come from anywhere and anyone in the organization, and opportunities are not only for a select few individuals.
If staff members just think that they only have to wait it out to get the next job, it breeds complacency. Making opportunities available to everyone creates a positive working environment because everyone is encouraged to progress, and discouraged from stagnating.
Do not restrict rewards to winners. Let everyone know that if they are unsuccessful in some endeavor, that you will help them to be successful next time. For those who do not succeed, the recognition may encourage them to make more effort next time.
Objective performance criteria
Use objective criteria to define success. Reputation and status should not be significant. Objective criteria need to be fair and transparent. That way, everyone can be measured against the criteria, and all who meet those criteria will succeed.
In recruitment matters, for example, the reasons for an appointment should be clear to everyone so that no one can make accusations of favoritism or unfair practices. Such accusations could damage staff morale, and discourage people from applying for vacant positions in the future
Encouraging competition is a difficult situation in which you try to achieve several different things at the same time. By opening up opportunities and making the criteria for success visible, you can reward more staff members. Then staff members do not have to fight to succeed.
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