The purpose of anyone competing is to show their worth, to prove themselves better than others and to grab the prize that’s at stake, together with everyone’s appreciation. Well, almost everyone’s, because when there’s someone who won, there’s also someone who failed.
In the business environment, competition takes place on two stages: the marketplace and the workplace. While one is inevitable and necessary at the same time, the other may downplay your organization. One stands for opportunity, the other stands for imbalance.
The negative effects of workplace competition
As already discussed in this older blog post, unhappy employees make unproductive employees. The cultural environment that employees experience outstrips the financial rewards, hence setting up a collaborative ambiance rather than a competitive one is far more beneficial: two in distress makes sorrow less.
Unknowingly, institutionalizing internal competition is fated to self-sabotage. Competing against your colleagues will make a U turn, backfiring and affecting the company as a whole. Why? Because it is simply a waste of resources – instead of focusing externally, the battlefield moves to your internal courtyard. On short time, it distracts employees and on long term it demotivated people from working together.
If you’re not sure about how your organization can create value through collaboration, take some minutes to read about the tribal knowledge perks.
So is competition faulty?
Competition is definitely not a negative term in itself. On the contrary, it’s a great instrument if used externally. It helps your organization differentiate from others and gain market ground. It’s really curious how the effects of competition change almost dramatically when triggered outside the company. Without competition, we wouldn’t have innovation – while when used inside the company, it constrains it.
It’s not always easy to find best management practices and some may argue that an “up or out” employees management model helps them get the best out of their people. But given the benefits of collaboration and knowledge sharing, why even still consider it?
Happy Knowledge Sharing!