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5 Tips On Inspiring Healthy Competition In The Workplace

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If executed correctly, competition in the workplace can be an excellent source of employee motivation. Healthy competition in the workplace is described as genuinely motivating employees to reach their goals through natural competition.

In a healthy competitive work environment, everyone has a chance to win. Therefore, everyone is given equal opportunity and celebrates each other wins.

Unlike a hostile competitive workplace, healthy competition increases:

  1. Excitement,
  2. Bolsters fun,
  3. And promotes higher performance.

Employees are more eager to come to work and show enthusiasm towards setting goals and eventually achieving them. But, on the other hand, a negative competitive work environment only breeds toxicity and conflicts.

It is about creating anxiety, a stressed-filled culture where everyone gets pitted against the other. Such culture indulges in favoritism, discrimination, and manipulation. Ultimately, it will prove to be a downfall for not only the culture but your company as well.

In this article, we’ll look at the various ways you can encourage healthy competition in the workplace.

5 Effective Ways To Encourage Healthy Competition In The Workplace

Companies that focus solely on internal competition will face immense disengagement. To truly thrive, it’s essential to inspire employees to lift each other. Here’s how:

1. Non-Monetary Rewards

(Credits: Unsplash)

Humans are competitive creatures. Some more than others. However, even people who feel comfortable staying at the sidelines are bound to get motivated by a little something called “rewards.”

Rewards inspire people to put in more effort and achieve specific goals. And companies genuinely understand that. Hence, the current fad of rewarding with cash incentives is fast gaining momentum worldwide.

The issue arises here. While we encourage rewarding good work, giving monetary rewards is something that you should rethink.

Cash-based incentives have a higher chance of garnering inner conflict and competition. People are more likely to feel jealous or threatened by a team member who got some form of monetary reward.

In such cases, companies should look to gear towards rewards that are non-monetary instead. For example, rewarding good work with a free vacation makes it easier for employees to share their happiness with their peers.

Additionally, such non-monetary incentives are more likely to fuel healthy intrinsic competition, which will be more favorable for the overall work culture.

Recommended Article: 15 Types Of Employee Benefits That Won’t Break The Bank

2. Peer-to-Peer Recognition

(Credits: Unsplash)

Recognition from one’s peers is a considerable factor affecting the type of competition in the workplace. After all, humans are pack animals. We feel the inherent need to be accepted by others.

A negative competitive culture will see the effects of team members going against one another and destroying the team’s foundation. Therefore, to prevent this disaster from happening, it’s essential to set a peer recognition culture.

The question is, how to do it? It’s purely a “show and tells.” Being their leader, you should take it upon yourself to show your people how it’s done.

Recognize your employees publicly. Say thank you even for a small job done well. Implement a peer recognition software that’ll allow colleagues to recognize each other on the go.

It’s a matter of practicing and advocating for a culture that you want to develop. A culture that prioritizes such peer relationships will ultimately start seeing results.

Effective collaboration, greater outcomes, fantastic team support. These are only a few examples of the positive changes that it will surely bring.

Recommended Article: Thank You Messages For Colleagues

3. Team-Based Activities

(Credits: Unsplash)

A great way to inspire healthy competition in the workplace is by holding team-based activities.

Team-based activities generate excitement that can allow employees to indulge in a fun challenge. Divide people into teams and hold any type of competition that you think will be beneficial. Strategy-based games, karaoke nights, or even trivia nights- the options are endless.

The beauty behind such activities is that such internal competition is not likely to garner resentment or jealousy. Instead, it is designed to bring people together and showing how a positive sense of competition can help us think more creatively. It also helps establish innovative ideas, power of teamwork, and the ability to win by accepting help from others.

Recommended Article: 8 Ways to Foster Team Collaboration

4. Brainstorming Sessions

(Credits: Unsplash)

Brainstorming sessions are great stabilizers because it genuinely brings everyone down to one level- their ideas. No matter their job title or department, the value is given to the ideas that someone can outline.

Such sessions benefit everyone who attends by presenting them with fresh ideas and perspectives that their peers offer. It is a great way to bring forward new innovative ideas and have an open discussion.

Additionally, to encourage healthy competition, present some form of incentives unanimously voted by everyone as the winner.

Recommended Article: 9 Tips to Conduct Productive Business Meetings

5. Diversity and Inclusion

(Credits: Unsplash)

It might seem not relevant, but diversity and inclusion play a huge role in deciding whether your work environment promotes a healthy or harmful competitive culture.

The main objective of a healthy competitive work environment is to give everyone an equal chance to succeed. Without any inclusion measures, that itself will be futile. Even more so if there are indications of any workplace discrimination.

An organization should place the value of diversity at the core of its company’s values. Everyone, irrespective of sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, should be granted as many opportunities and respect as everyone else.

To encourage healthy competition, think about the long-term measures of how every employee would perceive their role in the organization.
Are they comfortable addressing critical issues? Do they feel that their contributions are unacknowledged and overshadowed? Are their voices not being heard?

There are numerous ways through which a person might feel discriminate against in your company. If so, it’s best to address that as soon as you possibly can.


Do you have any tips on how to encourage healthy competition in the workplace? If so, please send us an email. We would love to include your ideas on this list.

This article is written by Barasha Medhi who is a part of the marketing team at Vantage Circle. Barasha can be found either searching for interesting HR, company culture, and corporate buzzwords to write about or looking at pictures of cozy Bel Air mansions. For any related queries, contact editor@vantagecircle.com.

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