Workplace competition – a challenge or a burden?

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Competition. Old as the world. Bacteria competed for space, dinosaurs competed for territory and food, empires to show their superiority. But once modern civilization stepped in, things changed.  Competition came with a set of rules, written or implied.

It is still debated whether competition is good or bad and there are voices that support both sides. We think proper competition is healthy and constructive, but let’s have a (as much as possible) objective look into the both sides.

Indisputable, competition can challenge you to give the best, gives you adrenaline, and helps you understand where you stand compared to the others and consequently adjust your strategy in life. And it keeps your brain activity in shape 🙂

Yet, some say that competition should only be found on a boxing ring and that its only positive results are best shown in sports.

We think that the difference is made by what triggers your competitive drive.

If instead of being professional, focused and hard-working you become distracted by what others are doing and feel envious on other colleagues work and advancement, it’s a clear sign your energy is misdirected. Embracing a win-at-all-costs philosophy will lead to getting lost in the game. It’s a self-defeating strategy.

So what are companies to do? Internal competitions are still popular with many of them and that’s because in many cases they proved to be stimulating and a good development engine.

We believe a company has options to keep a healthy sense of competition that could bring out progress and innovation, two of the best results competition can give. And one of that options is actually what many consider to be quite the opposite: collaboration. In our opinion these two terms are in fact complementary, and here’s why.

To begin with, competition in a company should be about customer success, not individual success. That’s why many human resources specialists now say they prefer to hire for character first and skills second. Being a good team player is clearly a crucial part of performing well – and performing better than others.

The first thing that a manager should do to strengthen its leadership is to encourage interaction between employees. Getting familiar to others skills and know-how can lead to a positive information transfer and to mutual respect.

That’s why our Q&A software’s main purpose is knowledge sharing. Accepting that one of your colleagues knows something you don’t and reaching out in order to get things done faster is actually a sign of strenght. Likewise, if your acquired knowledge and business flair can help out someone from your team (sometimes even outside of it), this offers an opportunity to consolidate your competitive advantages.

Yes: counterintuitively, collaboration and openness are efficient tools in gaining “grades” compared to the others.

We also introduced gamification features so that users can get permanent feedback on their activity and feel encouraged to be active. You can take a look at the badges ( available now to get an idea on the dynamics of it. We’ll soon plan to offer…but let’s not spoil the surprise and keep the announcement for a special and dedicated post!

In the end, we’d like to invite you to tell us about the experiences you had with competitive drives, be it your own or your colleagues. What’s your outlook on it and how do you think it can be directed to induce only opportune directions?


Looking for a great way to ask questions and build knowledge with your co-workers? Quandora enables simple, efficient knowledge sharing with your team, way more fun than a mailing list or a forum. Try Quandora

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