You’re probably looking to build a staff full of people who are goal-oriented, hardworking, and competitive, which are all great qualities, especially in sales organization. But not everyone does well in such an environment. Sometimes competitiveness can be toxic, causing co-workers to undermine or hurt each other.
Should you foster competition in your workplace? It depends how well you can nurture your employees toward success instead of allowing for a cutthroat, uncomfortable environment.
Keep the Company Vision in Sight
It’s fine to encourage competitiveness among your employees, but remind them they’re all in this together, ultimately all working towards the goals of the whole team. So set team goals and celebrate those accomplishments even more than you would celebrate individual wins. Emphasize how all the individual efforts contribute directly to the mission of the whole company. All your employees should know they’re part of something bigger than themselves; their successes turn into company successes and vice versa.
Nurture Personal Goals
Encourage your employees to share their personal goals – saving for a house or a new car – so your team can empathize with one another and hold each other accountable. People are less likely to undercut each other if they understand what people are going through. The empathy will bring everyone closer together and nurture friendships.
Make the Competition Fun
Instead of pitting individuals against each other, encourage competition between groups, so you can encourage teamwork and fun. Celebrate wins publicly, in meetings or on scoreboards in common spaces. Throw parties or luncheons, or buy gift cards for the winners to keep the teams motivated.
Develop Your Employees’ Individual Skills
Instead of just getting your employees to meet their numbers, you also need to think about developing skills related to advancing their careers. People are usually motivated to meet their own goals first. They want to improve and compete against themselves. You have to establish an environment that challenges them every day and give them feedback and coaching. Consider one-on-one meetings or team training sessions, workshops, and seminars. Ideally, you’re developing each of these employees as leaders in your company who will help to power your company toward sustainable growth.
For more information on fostering a supportive and competitive atmosphere in your workplace, or for any other staffing and payroll questions, contact the team at Extreme Staffing and Payroll today!