Workplace Competition – Healthy or Harmful?

Some employers like to have their employees compete against each other with idea that this will help to improve performance. Sales people, for example, will compete for the most sales in a given time period.

This kind of thing can be good for employees, giving them an incentive or a goal to shoot for, and for the company, leading to gains in productivity. However, it needs to be done as part of a well-thought-out plan, taking into account the good and bad of a competitive culture, because, like anything, if taken too far, it can hurt more than help.

You need to take into account your company culture and the personalities and preferences of your workers. If you are the kind of company that focuses on the individual achievement of its workers, a more competitive culture might serve you better. However, if your company relies on a more collaborative model to function, creating a more competitive workplace would be counterproductive.

Here are some pros and cons about workplace competition to keep in mind when you are considering which model to emphasize.

Advantage: Competition can increase motivation and performance.

If you are competing with other workers, it can act as a motivator, a spur to your own performance. It is a gauge to tell you how well you are doing. It can make you push yourself more and discourage mediocre work. It can also increase your confidence and self-esteem.

Disadvantage: Competition can hurt cooperation.

Too much competition can lead to an “every man for himself,” mentality. This can be a serious hindrance to teamwork. You become concerned only about your own goals, not those of the organization as a whole, which is something that everyone working together contributes to achieving.

One way of dealing with this would be to have competition between teams of people rather than individuals. This would also help to encourage teamwork.

Advantage: Competition can lead to greater creativity and innovation.

If people are rewarded and recognized for outperforming their colleagues, it leads to greater effort to come up with new ideas and ways of doing things.

Disadvantage: It can lead to greater stress.

Having to constantly compete with other employees for reward and recognition can be a stressful situation. It can lead people to resent their coworkers, to be mistrustful of them, or to feel envious of them. And it can make some of them miserable at work. If they are giving it their best, but are still losing the race to others, it can have the opposite effect from the one intended – causing them to lose their motivation and energy, rather than increasing it.

If you are competing for a job in the insurance industry, you need to work with Insurance Relief. Insurance Relief is a staffing expert who works to understand your unique skills and needs. We work to place you in the best position, with openings ranging from entry level to senior management. Insurance Relief takes the time to really understand what your goals are, and then do our best to find opportunities that are right for you. Give Insurance Relief a call today