Frequently, people think workplace competitions are confined to numbers-driven departments such as sales or call centers – places where there are metrics that can be easily tracked. But does competition have its place throughout the organization? And is it healthy? It can be if managed correctly.
One of the most important factors is to consider your goals and your company culture. If you prefer to foster an environment that encourages teamwork, you must be careful not to promote competition that leads to an “every man for himself” attitude. What may work is breaking your department into teams or perhaps pitting your group against one in another functional area.
What is the purpose of the competition you have in mind? Do you want to increase productivity? Encourage innovation? Fund a charity? Begin with your end purpose in mind for the best results.
If you want to encourage innovation, consider an idea contest. Give a set period of time for employees to submit an outline of their ideas, and then set up times when they can present them in front of the group. Allow team members to vote on the best ones and as part of the prize, implement the ones that make sense.
If your company has a pet charity that it supports, set up inter- or intradepartmental teams to see who can raise the most in donations. Keep track of how each team stacks up against the other throughout the competition and post those standings where they can be seen. Consider tracking both the monetary value of the donations and the number of people participating. An appropriate prize could be lunch for the winning team.
Make Training Fun
Want to increase knowledge of your company, industry or best practices? Consider hosting a trivia contest. Include some general knowledge to keep it light, but make the bulk of the questions more substantial. When people know they will be tested, even in a fun way, they pay more attention.
Add industry developments or updates to the quiz such as the latest in virtualization, migration, app development or whatever is particular to your organization so everyone can learn from the contest. Hold these contests once a quarter to share new concepts.
Be sure to monitor the impact of competition on morale and productivity. Competition has to fit your organization and the temperament of your team members for it to work.
To learn more best practices for business or for help recruiting top IT talent, contact the recruitment professionals at RennerBrown.