Mitigating Conflict in the Workplace but Promoting a Competitive Culture

October 14th, 2016

A little friendly competition can be a great way to push your employees to work their hardest, but you have to take strides to ensure the atmosphere doesn’t turn cutthroat. Nothing good happens when people on the same team feel pitted against one another, so you have to work hard to build a supportive culture where one person’s win benefits everyone.

Five Ways to Build a Healthy Competitive Culture

Focus on Team Goals

Challenging your employees to meet a certain goal can be a fun way to boost productivity, but instead of focusing solely on individual results, emphasize the impact everyone’s hard work has on the group as a whole. When recognizing top performers, ask them to share their strategies for success with the team for the common good. Concentrating more on shared goals than individual performance is a great way to avoid conflict.

Give Everyone a Voice

Help everyone feel invested in the company by making each person feel like their thoughts and opinions count. Employees are much more likely to work their hardest and support one another if they feel a sense of ownership in the organization. When people truly care about the future of the team, they want to lift their colleagues up, instead of sabotaging them.

Share Individual Objectives

Your employees are all working towards the same common goals, but everyone has their own set of personal objectives. Simultaneously promote competition and team spirit by gathering everyone together before starting a big project to discuss what each person hopes to get from the experience. Getting these goals out in the open allows people to help each other find opportunities to achieve their objectives and hold them accountable for it.

Make Time for Fun

Super intense work environments breed conflict, so lighten the mood at your office by reminding everyone to have fun. Sure, your staffers might be trying to outshine one another, but nothing about this needs to be ruthless. If you see tensions rising, gather everyone for a ping pong tournament in the break room or hold an emergency beer Friday on a Wednesday afternoon instead.

Hire Team Players

The most important aspect of promoting a healthy competitive culture is hiring the right people. Those with a naturally aggressive, win-at-all-costs mentality might not be the best fit for your team. When hiring new employees, choose ambitious, even-tempered candidates who have a track record of playing well with others. These people can have fun with competition, but they won’t take it to lengths that turn your team upside down.

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