Is Competition in the Workplace Good?

Is Competition in the Workplace Good?

It’s always been an unwritten rule of the business world that a “little hearted competition never hurt anyone”. After all, what better way to spur on your team than with a reward-based incentive that signifies your appreciation for all the hard work and effort that’s been put in.

And it doesn’t just start and end in the business sector either. From school to sport, to even reality TV, throughout our lifetime we’re continually told that competition breeds productivity.

But with mental health being a hot topic amongst society today and employee’s relationships to the workplace being re-examined drastically due to lockdowns and COVID-19, it’s important to ask ourselves – is this still true?

Doe the idea of internally competing with your workmates really boost morale and drive innovation? Or is it no more than an underhanded tactic used that inadvertently causes anxiety and worry amongst employees?

While there isn’t necessarily a hard and fast answer to the question at hand, during one of our Coffee & Chat meetings the topic was discussed and a conclusion relative to our team (but still applicable to others) was drawn…


The team is the most important thing

Here at MRJ Recruitment, we pride ourselves on not being driven by KPI’s or traditional competitive industry metrics. It’s just never been how we work.

Since our formation, it’s been clearly established that we work as a unit and are motivated by a likeminded desire to uplift and support each other through our performance and day to day work life.

Rather than have individual KPI’s that cause stress and worry, we instead try to promote a more general team target that we can as a unit work towards. If on one day someone doesn’t achieve their personal goals, they are elevated through another member of the team doing well and vice versa.



"Competition whose motive is merely to compete, to drive some other fellow out, never carries very far. The competitor to be feared is one who never bothers about you at all but goes on making his own business better all the time." -- Henry Ford

Through establishing a symbiotic relationship between the squad where contacts, connections and links are freely and openly shared, it becomes less of a competitive environment of “how can I beat my workmates” and more of a “how can we fully achieve as a team”.

Here at MRJ, operate through a joint understanding amongst the team that productivity is best achieved when working as a unit and not by ourselves.

Competition can be fun… if implemented correctly

With that said though, while we actively avoid the overtly cutthroat environment of rivalry that some of our competitors apply, the MRJ team do recognise that to some extent, general competition can be an overall positive experience if implemented correctly.

Having very loose weekly competitions for the group to work towards, for example, can help to break up the monotony of everyday work life and provide a bonus reward on top of a basic salary that the team can work towards.

"Competition is always a good thing. It forces us to do our best. A monopoly renders people complacent and satisfied with mediocrity." -- Nancy Pearcy, author

Through mixing teams up and having fun unrelated challenges thrown in, (MRJ Bake Off was a week to remember) we’ve been able to see a marked improvement in team comradery and from that overall efficiency and productivity.

In many ways, it’s ensuring that competition is executed and framed in a correct way. It should not be a vicious and stressful vying for the top spot, but more a fun and competitive bonus that we should all strive towards, but not fret over.