Managing People is a Cross between Competition and Population
Competition should be a spur to improvement. However, in any competition there are rules relating to morality, law, ethics, and, if it’s internal competition, company policy.
The Manager encourages competition. He encourages his team to win each round and get to the top of the league. He encourages open competition, abhors behind-the-back political competition. If he’s managing the night shift, the Manager will encourage his team to produce more than the afternoon or morning shift. He’ll encourage them to achieve higher quality ratings.
The Manager also encourages his team to compete against themselves, for example to beat last month’s production record or exceed last month’s revenue figures.
He encourages individual competition too, for example as ’employee of the month’ in service environments. Even so he’ll ensure it’s fair competition and that everyone has en equal opportunity to compete.
At a different level the Manager will encourage his people to compete for promotion to other department, for career development opportunities, and for the highest scores on training courses. He knows that for his company to survive in a harsh competitive world he needs to encourage a competitive spirit among all his people.
However, in encouraging competition the Manager will protect his team, will not allow anyone to ride roughshod over them, nor will he allow any individual to be sacrificed or destroyed in the process. Competition can only be healthy if it’s combined with compassion. That’s the balance between profit and people.
Set two types of competition.
1./ A simple competition whereby your team can compete with another team in the company. (Don’t be negative. There are even ways in which one accounts section can compete with another). Consult your team on how to do this.
2./ An individual competition between all the people in your division department. If you’ve no idea at all how to do this, consult your people. They might suggest, for example, the best time-keeping competition; the best attendance record; the individual who smiles the most; the individual who moans the least. What about a general knowledge quiz about the company.
For the Manager competition not only leads to success, but makes for great fun at work.