How Competition Can Make Your Employees More Creative
Competition can bring out the best in people and sometimes it can show a side of people that you have never seen before. It’s a natural part of life, and is a very common motivator for employees especially. But can it make employees more creative? We explore that in this article as well as ways to encourage creative idea sharing from team members.
Competition increases productivity
Not only will your skills and work improve if there is competition, but it also can increase the overall productivity of your team if several people are competing. If you feel pressure to produce more work and get more done, then overall your department will benefit.
Of course, too much pressure doesn’t equal healthy competition, and in that case, the work being produced might be based more on quantity rather than quality, but as long as the focus is on doing your best and producing as much good work as possible, the work overall can improve and better work can be produced.
Competition encourages you to try new things
It’s easy to be complacent if you believe that your job is completely secure and that there is no one who could do your job any better than you. However, when you are faced with people who are as skilled as you are (or more skilled), it forces you to take risks and try new things. If you want to succeed when there are multiple talented people, you have to get out of your comfort zone. This means that not only will you work harder, but also you may be more willing to come up with innovative ideas, and even go outside of your job duties.
Competition encourages internal and external collaboration
Collaboration and competition are not mutually exclusive. To effectively compete, you must collaborate. Many highly-talented individuals within your company wouldn’t be nearly as effective if they didn’t work together as a team. It’s all about leveraging each person’s skills and capabilities, and not expecting one person to carry the entire load or have all the answers.
Most importantly keep competition friendly
While a competition can be a great way to boost motivation and productivity, in a work environment, competition can have the negative effects of undermining team cohesiveness and foster negative feelings among coworkers. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have some friendly competition.
How to encourage your team to be more creative
If you are looking to encourage everyone on your team to bring their creative ideas to the table, here are some ideas on how to do so:
Schedule regular team brainstorms.
Build ongoing brainstorm sessions into the weekly or monthly meeting rhythm. This creates a culture of open engagement and ensures your team that their ideas are valued. Here at Farmore Marketing, we hold bi-weekly creative brainstorm sessions with our employees.
Build a shared, centralized idea bank.
Within Farmore Marketing, we have created a database for our team to add creative ideas that can be accessed throughout the company. It makes it easy to spark creativity when creating a new campaign for our clients.
Ask the team what they want to learn.
One of the best ways to engage your team is by asking what they'd like to learn. Develop a project that encourages them to dive deep into what you are already doing, research competitors in the space and present strategy ideas.
Encourage cross-department conversations.
Momentum builds when you can bring members from your organization's other departments together to deliver creativity and execution of an idea. An idea is only a seed; it takes a cross-functional team to bring it alive.
You may need to remind employees how enjoyable the challenges of healthy competition are, and teach them to embrace the opportunity to reach their full potential. Pretending there aren’t winners and losers doesn’t help anyone; in fact, it often sets up a situation for disappointment. It’s time to return to embracing competition because, whether we’re winning or losing, we’re always learning.
How does your team spark creativity at work?
About the Author
As the Director of Internet Marketing, Tyler is responsible for overseeing the management of Farmore and their client’s brands, including consumer insights, digital marketing, agency management, marketing effectiveness, social responsibility, and employee communications.
After growing up in Connecticut, he moved to the Tampa area as an experienced marketing professional in 2016. Tyler’s professional marketing and advertising career includes more than 6 years of working in an array of marketing departments across many industries.
Tyler holds a Bachelor's degree in Sports & Business Administration from the University of Connecticut.