There are various techniques for motivating workers with competition. Many workers don’t like competition, because that will show them up if they are underperforming. Other workers who are more confident and capable welcome competition since they know they can beat out any competition. What I have learned is that people always perform better under two circumstances: (1) When they are being watched (or think they are) and (2) When they are competing against someone else.
Competition is a more than just a business concept; it is very emotionally involving as well. People’s pride and dignity are involved when they are being compared to someone else. Can you imagine how a seasoned worker will feel when competing against someone new? What if the new person is more motivated and outperforms them? Imagine the shame that the more experienced worker would feel!
Personally, I like to compare people as well as companies. I like to see who is good at what and how they are overall. There are many components to a particular individuals skill sets. They might be good at work, but be slow. Or, perhaps they are great at communication, but make lots of mistakes. What if they are fast, but sloppy. It is hard to find people who are perfect, so we have to compare apples and oranges, since no two workers have the same attributes.
If you can track the weekly sales of a salesperson — it is easy to compare them to another salesperson. One made $4000 sales in that week, while the other made $3000. Or, perhaps one made more “hard sells”, while the other made more “easy sells”. Some sales are hard to compare. In manufacturing people might make widgets, and one worker might make double the widgets that the fellow next to him might make. It is sometimes really hard to track the performance of one worker against another worker, especially if they are doing different tasks.
The main thing to remember is — even if two individuals are doing different, but related tasks, the fact that they are being compared puts a sort of psychological pressure on them that can lead to better performance. I just put my main saleslady against a newer salesperson and in competition with myself as well. At first I was afraid that there wouldn’t be enough sales to go around. To my very happy surprise, I learned that both ladies were getting plenty of sales, and I made a generous helping of sales myself in record breaking time. As a matter of fact, the next happy surprise was that my main saleslady became BETTER at selling courses after I told her there was competition and that she was being compared. She went from selling a few courses per month to selling a few courses per week. Such a huge improvement. This salesperson complained bitterly about how it was not fair to compare her to someone else, and how loyal she was to the company, etc. Talk is cheap. But, her new and improved performance is proof that competition motivates workers!
(1) Workers perform better when they are being watched (or think they are)
(2) Workers often perform better when they’re competing against someone else.
(3) Competition is a more than just a business concept; it is very emotionally involving as well
(4) People’s pride and dignity are involved when they are being compared to someone else
(5) Can you imagine how a seasoned worker will feel when competing against someone new?
(6) Imagine if a new worker outperforms a seasoned worker… imagine the resentment!
(7) A seasoned worker will be put in their place when a new worker outperforms them.
(8) Being measured against others puts a sort of psychological pressure on you to perform better.
(9) Salespeople might bitterly complain about the unfairness in being compared to others.
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