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How to bring healthy competition into the workplace

Mar 11, 2021

If there’s one thing we love, it’s boosting productivity in fresh and fun ways. One of our favorite ways to encourage productivity? Tapping into our team’s competitive spirit! We’ve found transforming our daily To-Do lists into friendly competitions is often just what we need to light a fire under our whole team.

Are you ready to rumble with YOUR team? Focus on these top 5 tips to get started!

Keep the end goal in mind

Traction® Tools runs team games in each department to encourage productivity with a collaborative approach. This allows everyone some personal accomplishment while still uplifting the rest of the team by reaching a unified goal.

We build our games around goals that already exist and want to see improved and/or optimized. For example, our EOS Implementer® Relationship Team wanted to make sure they continued to prioritize key relationships, so we built a challenge around how many interactions they had with each key relationship in a set period of time. Not only did this help them reach their goal, but it encouraged them to keep a closer eye on their Traction Tools Scorecard, too! Talk about a win-win.

Provide unique rewards

When we run our team games, we create a particular theme, set accomplishment tiers and reward employees based on how far they got. For example, we had a specific number of new initiatives we wanted our marketing department to launch. Instead of having just one finish line, we broke the goals into manageable tiers. (Milestone vibes, anyone?)

The prizes were themed around the ultimate home office set-up — hence the sweet rewards!:

  • Bronze: Choice of a Bluetooth ergonomic mouse or a $20 gift card for office decor
  • Silver: Adjustable standing desk converter
  • Gold: 25″ monitor

This gives them three different opportunities to hit their goal, AND the chance to win a fabulous prize to complement their achievements!

Foster a “personal best” mindset

Competing against the rest of your team is great (hello, bragging rights!), but encouraging employees to compete against themselves is just as important.

Our employees have found that personal goals are a great discussion topic for Quarterly Conversations™. Team-wide competitions will be so much more fun when each team member feels empowered to accomplish their objectives.

Leave space for all levels of competitiveness

Not everyone is driven by competition, and that’s okay. To keep things light, focus on the competitive team effort rather than individual competitions. The goal here isn’t to pit employees against each other; it’s to work together to achieve a common goal. Even if your team has some less-competitive members, an organized effort with fun incentives is a great way to encourage participation (not to mention team bonding!).

Keep it FUN!

These cheeky challenges are meant to make work more enjoyable. They’re designed to tap into a natural sense of comradery, motivation and pride in our work that can sometimes get lost in the daily shuffle. If the competition starts to turn into a comparison game of champions vs. “losers,” that’s when you’ve begun to shift to an unhealthy form of competition. Time to pause and re-evaluate!

Keep track of how your employees respond to the challenges. If they’re enthusiastic, excited and consistently productive, you’ve hit the mark. If they’re detached and performance is slipping, get feedback from the team on how you can help relight that fire.

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