Touchdown! How Friendly Competition Can Increase Engagement and Productivity in the Office

by | Sep 6, 2017 | HR & Recruiting, Culture

Wondering how gamification and a little friendly competition can make a huge difference for your internal culture? It’s not just our Houston Texans or University of Houston Cougars that understand the benefits of competition. We’ve seen the upside of bringing play into the office firsthand, including increased engagement, team member growth, productivity and even an increase in our business’ bottom line!

Kristin Murray, Shareholder, and Katie Butler, Marketing Manager, have been part of the team that leads efforts for Weinstein Spira’s annual marketing competition for the past several years. In this role, they develop unique, themed competitions that pin diverse teams against one another to compete in various work-related tasks that will ultimately benefit individual team member growth.

Below they share the benefits of bringing play into your office setting.

Competition makes engagement amongst team members a more natural process.

As part of Weinstein Spira’s annual competitions, teams are built that balance across disciplines, service lines and levels, with shareholders, seniors, support staff, across audit and tax, on each. Teams are developed this way to ensure that everyone gets to know teammates they may not have had the opportunity to work or socialize with previously.

Shareholders get to know some of the junior team members (and vice versa) that they wouldn’t work with otherwise. Collaborating in this way provides a great foundation for teamwork. As a result, team members end up forming bonds with one another without even realizing it.

Competition enables businesses to grow team members’ skills in subtle ways.

In determining the theme behind each year’s competition, we’re able to provide direct training opportunities based on individual or group needs. For instance, last year’s award-winning contest, “Tell Your Story,” incorporated various tasks to develop and enhance team members’ personal branding skills.

Likewise, team members often find more subtle training and growth opportunities through partnership. For instance, team members often turn to each other for help or advice both during and after the contest or gaming period. Furthermore, there is often a great exchange of subject matter expertise, with one team member asking another for help with building their LinkedIn profile, sending a great thank you note or networking. Gaming gives team members the opportunities to explore and take advantage of unique skills or areas of expertise that their other team members have exhibited.

Competition brings fun to the workplace.

Whether you work for a manufacturing company, a car dealership or work within another industry, competition indirectly makes day-to-day work more exciting. Without fun in the office, your business is at risk of being a place where people simply come in and punch time. Instead, competition allows you to build a culture where employees are not only coworkers, but genuinely care about each other as a larger team.

Competition is a driver for productivity.

By developing challenges or tasks that require teamwork, team members are given the opportunity to turn to each other as a resource.

People typically learn more about each other while competing. “We see the ripple effect of these contests year-round, as people feel more confident asking for help or turning to a co-worker for answers that they may not have known as well before,” Kristin shares.

Competition can impact your business’ bottom line.

Competition develops camaraderie between team members, but even more than that, it can be a huge confidence booster that results in sales for your business. If you can provide your team with the tools they need to succeed, which includes confidence, you’ll likely see your bottom line follow suit.

Interested in bringing the competitive heat to your office? Keep Katie’s four simple tips in mind before getting started:

  • Be sure to set a goal, as this will drive the entire competition.
  • Make sure you have the budget you’ll need to support your competition.
  • Start early and work backwards. Develop your contest or competition first and select your dates on the calendar, working backwards to ensure you know what your deadlines need to be to get started on time.
  • Get your shareholder or leadership group to buy in to your competition or contest first, as their participation will drive everyone else’s involvement and excitement.
  • This year, Weinstein Spira’s annual contest, “Lifting Houston Higher,” focuses on and builds upon our culture of philanthropy, spanning from July through October. Be sure to like our Facebook page to see activities from our contest thus far and to get ideas for your own competitive initiatives.

What competitive advantage might your business enjoy just by bringing a little bit of gaming into your daily activities?

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