How to encourage healthy competition
Beware of temptations to cheat or sabotage rivals. If you reward the team with the best safety record, violations may go unreported.
Vary the size and nature of prizes. Huge awards can turn things nasty. An overemphasis on money detracts from pure pride in performance.
Reward effort as well as results.When the same people win repeatedly, everyone else loses interest.
Publish real-time results. Employees who can track their standings are more engaged and learn about the business to boot.
Assess your culture. Competition won't improve a hostile or stressful environment. It might even render the culture toxic.
Read more recent articles by Leigh Buchanan:
Malcolm Gladwell on the Power of Entrepreneurial Underdogs
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LEIGH BUCHANAN is an editor at large for Inc. magazine. A former editor at Harvard Business Review and founding editor of WebMaster magazine, she writes regular columns on leadership and workplace culture.@LeighEBuchanan