Ah, the proverbial double-edged sword that is a competitive work place! Done right, a healthy competitive nature boost productivity, motivates team members and injects energy into a project.
Done wrong, competition can breed jealousy, back stabbing and a “me myself and I” mentality that can disassemble a team faster than you can say, “GO!”.
For sales to soar we need our teams in tact! So how do you promote healthy competition without breaking up the band?
Here are 4 tips to get you going:
- Establish group goals, not just individual. Always start by reinforcing the “Team First” model, that the overall goal is the same for everyone. Every sale is good for every person, etc. Consider teaming up within the group, pairs or small groups to compete against each other,this way both motivating the sale, and fostering teamwork.
- Promote personal goals, as a team. Some companies encourage the sharing of personal goals so that the whole team might feel more personally invested in working towards helping.
- Play the role of mentor and coach. Asking great things of your team begs great responsibility for you as the manager. You owe them the tools, the support and the coaching necessary to help them succeed. Your role here is to coach the whole team to victory, while providing one-one-one performance evaluations geared at letting each specific employee know what he or she can improve upon, in order to achieve their goals.
- Steer clear of the typical nomenclature of your industry- don’t bore your team with “KPI’s” or “quarterly projections”. Sports are often a great way to spice up the lingo when promoting competition. It’s a business, sure, but making it a game keeps it light-hearted and less ominous sounding.
- The most competitive people tend to compete most fiercely with- you guessed it- themselves. While they may portray this as an external need to be on top, they are driven by the motivation to achieve their very best. Nurture this attitude in all your team members, help them define personal goals in the workplace and you will find that there is less back stabbing or greedy grabbing, more support of one another, as their goals will no longer be pitted against one another.
In the end its really all about balance- good team work is fuelled by competition and healthy competition keeps a good team together!