Innovation comes from teams working together to collaborate on projects and share ideas. However, when ideas aren’t flowing as they should, a little friendly competition can offer a boost of creativity and innovation.
Healthy competition is good for a team and its productivity, but it’s important to do it right. To help, a panel of Young Entrepreneur Council members offer some ways leaders can foster healthy competition at work, and explain how doing so can benefit the company.
1. Develop Departmental Contests
Leaders can foster friendly competition by developing occasional themed departmental contests to encourage skill-building. A departmental contest can be a fun and effective way to boost productivity and creativity while also helping team members learn new skills. Rotate the types of contests held to include the most innovative solutions. Contests are also useful to discover talent and candidates for promotion. – Tonika Bruce, Lead Nicely, Inc.
2. Switch Up The Teams
Healthy competition between teams can help to inspire people to do their best. One way to keep it friendly is to change up teams, even if it means people in different departments work together (this is good for creativity as well). If the same groups are always competing, it can lead to an “us versus them” mentality. But if the “us” and “them” changes, it keeps things more casual and flexible. – Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting
3. Organize Team-Based Activities
Team-based activities help the team indulge in fun activities which, in turn, helps them build a stronger bond with one another. Think of creative ways to let your team do that. It can be to plan your marketing strategies, go on a fun outing or anything you can think of. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
4. Leverage Incentives
Incentives are a huge motivator that naturally cultivate personal engagement from employees. Pair incentives, like lunch with the boss or a half day on Friday, with some light-handed competition, and you’ll see your employees thrive. If you utilize group projects as an opportunity for both innovation and team building, it kills two birds with one stone. – Nic DeAngelo, We Buy Loans Fast
5. Track Metrics In A Visible Way
Publicly sharing real-time metrics can help drive your team to improve. Seeing your name at the top feels good, and it can motivate others to work harder. Try using a leaderboard or online “scoreboards” to keep important goals front and center for your teams. Keeping the metrics for improvement as transparent as possible helps keep it fair and open. – Shu Saito, All Filters
6. Provide Opportunities To Showcase Talents
An important part of fostering a healthy, productive workplace is ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to showcase their talents and ideas. Hackathons can help teams by allowing them to put what they’ve learned from previous projects into practice. Another route is making challenges for employees to participate in together. – Kelly Richardson, Infobrandz
7. Create Badges Or Awards
Leaders can foster healthy competition to drive innovation by creating small badges or online awards. The important thing is to make them small enough so that they don’t create feelings that become negative. At the same time, it shouldn’t be meaningless either. Create a humorous title or recognition, or something similar, to encourage fun competition and innovation. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
8. Encourage Peer Recognition And Praise
One way of fostering healthy competition at work is to encourage your team to recognize and appreciate other team members. You can ask your team to send cheers to peers on Slack to show their appreciation. This is like publicly appreciating someone for their hard work. It’s also encouragement for the entire team to continue doing similar work. – Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite