Dealing With Competitiveness In the Office
Do you find your employees very motivated to get their work done? Great! Wait a minute, are they a bit too motivated, to the point of competitiveness? While it’s important to encourage incentives in the office, be mindful that you aren’t creating a negative atmosphere. If you notice your employees getting competitive, here is how to handle it:
Note how you give recognition to your employees
First and foremost, be aware of what you’re promoting as a manager. Maybe without realizing it, you gravitate towards particular employees whom share a similar work style to you. This is normal, but it can be misconstrued as favoritism. Are you interacting with each of your employees equally, or are you accidentally giving some more attention? Yes, many employees make it a point to be assertive and communicate with you. Instead of only rewarding these employees with recognition, encourage each employee to be as communicative.
Encourage friendly competition
Alright, so maybe competition is a huge motivator in the office. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you can create a culture where people want to improve themselves, you’ve done something right. However, make sure this is purely improvement and overall work results based, not ego-based. Encourage healthy team competitions - who can come up with the best new project idea? They get free lunch! Who is the employee of the month? They get a giftcard to a spa!
Yes, do recognize each of your employees individually. However, make sure you equally remind your employees that your business only functions the right way if they work cohesively. There are times when each employee experiences highs and lows, and you each must support each other, not work against each other. Why? Because your business doesn’t function well if it’s employee against employee - you are one team who must work together.
Shut down negative behavior
Whether it’s competitive or in-office bullying, be on watch for any behavior that may divide your employees. While they don’t have to be the best of friends, you should make sure you aren’t getting co-workers who have disgruntled feelings towards one another. Instead, make sure to take aside any employees and get feedback on any conflicts that need resolution. Communicate, problem solve, and release any tension.