How Your Company Can Avoid Negative Internal Competition

Healthy competition among teams and colleagues can drive innovation and excellence in business, but an unchecked atmosphere of negative internal competition can have detrimental effects on your employees' wellbeing and your company culture. Constant comparisons, unwarranted pressure to outperform colleagues, and a lack of recognition for individual achievements can, if left unchecked, create a toxic environment that increases stress, damages employee retention, and drives down productivity.

In this article, we’ll look at some of the best ways to deal with competition at work and how to shape a changing culture that puts the needs of the business ahead of individual ambition.

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Establish Clear Behavioural Expectations

To successfully change the culture of the workplace, it’s important to clearly set out the behavioural expectations that all staff members will be expected to observe. It’s essential to remember that a behaviour is a clear, repeatable action that is visible or can be repeated by others. These behaviours should be underpinned by essential collaborative skills and qualities, such as cooperation, integrity, and mutual respect, to ensure that everyone is on an equal footing and to dispel delusions of grandeur that could result in negative internal competition. Regularly communicate your behavioural expectations to your staff and ensure they reflect your company's core values to foster a harmonious environment in which everyone's efforts are recognised and valued.

Provide Ongoing Feedback And Recognition

Acknowledging individuals’ accomplishments and nurturing their professional development are key to reducing negative competition among your workforce. Regular feedback, provided in focused one-to-one sessions, provides a platform to celebrate your employees’ achievements and let them know that their contributions to the business are valued, thus removing the need for staff to compete for recognition. When team members realise that their achievements are recognised and valued, they are more likely to be happy in their roles and go the extra mile in their work, resulting in increased productivity.

Encourage Collaboration

Teamwork should be a pillar of your company culture, but you need to ensure that staff members have the opportunity to put your business’s principles into practice. Organising team-building activities that encourage communication, cooperation, and the sharing of ideas enables staff to understand the value of teamwork and to explore different approaches to problem-solving that can be filtered into their work routines. Team development initiatives, such as workshops and interdepartmental projects, build bonds between employees, enhancing workplace collaboration and increasing employee retention.

Cultivate Transparency

To counteract negative internal competition, encourage employees to be open about their concerns and ideas. By creating a safe space in which feedback is welcomed and suggestions are considered, employees will learn that their contributions to business growth and development are valued and will be less likely to fuel negative competition. A sense of community within your organisation is crucial to overcoming the problem of ambitious individuals putting their development above the interests of the business.

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To find out more about how internal competition can destroy collaboration, and the proactive steps you can take to improve collaborative working in your business, please download our free Competition vs Collaboration guide, or get in touch with our team today.

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