Ways to promote healthy competition in the workplace

Competition is known for its ability to motivate people to push past their limits and achieve more. In the work place, it inspires innovation and invention.

However, without limits, competition can cause conflict among employees, creating a toxic environment in the workplace. 


How then does one ensure healthy competition in order to make use of its benefits?


Berna Namata Ag. Branch Manager, Nation Holdings Rwanda, says the best way to cultivate healthy competition in the workplace is to be transparent about the process and develop incentives that encourage it. 


“As one strives to be better at whatever they are doing every day, this benefits not only the individual but their workplace as it improves productivity (under minimum supervision) as well personal growth,” she notes.

For Charles Shyaka, General Manager of 250Startups, it’s important to reward the best performers, but on the other hand, not threatening those who are still underperforming.

Set competitive goals and reward your best performers. Recognise their work because if you don’t, it will demotivate them. And as you do this, ensure to also give honest feedback to your team members for this will create an open platform for communication, Shyaka notes.

“At times it is good to let each member evaluate each other, this can create a sense of harmony and let employees understand that it’s about performance and not judgment of who is better than who,” he adds. 

The manager also notes that for any employers who want to increase productivity through competition, they should ensure to have open discussions as well as recognise those who come up with brilliant ideas.

On the side of employees, Giselle Ineza, a customer care agent, says it’s important to stay focused on what you want to achieve.

“Do not get lost in the game because you will make it personal and this is where conflicts arise. Also, learn to take a fall with grace. In a competition, one is bound to lose or win and when you lose don’t turn it into a grudge. Understand that this is not personal but for the betterment of your career and the company’s growth,” she adds.

She also adds that when competing, employees should focus on bringing out the best in themselves other than putting their focus on beating others.

“Competitions that focus on achieving your best as a person are the best in motivation.”


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