Compete `with’ and not `against’ colleagues

IN THIS CUT-THROAT WORLD WHERE EVERYONE IS FIGHTING TO ACHIEVE THE SAME GOALS, CAN ‘HEALTHY COMPETITION’ EVER BE A REALITY?

We live in a competitive dog-eat dog world, where everyone is struggling to be on top. And the workplace is no stranger to some staunch competition. Ideally , workplace competition is meant to be healthy , but on second thoughts, is it really so? Can competition ever be taken in a positive stride?

THE GOOD AND THE BAD

It is widely believed that competition at the workplace can be productive. But competitiveness can also hinder the culture if it becomes toxic think undermining, backstabbing, and a “me first“ mentality . Hence, organisations and employees both have to ensure that they bring out the positive aspect of competition at the workplace.

Rajesh Razdan, founder & CEO, mCarbon, shares, “Competition can often mean increased morale, motivation, and best of all, increased productivity . However, competition between employees is bound to lead to hard feelings, decreased morale, and decreased productivity . Think about it.You may have one winner. But, you also have losers focusing all their time and attention on that loss. Also, a competitive environment pushes you out of your comfort zone. But at the same time, constantly comparing yourself to others can fuel unhappiness.“

According to Debi Prasad Das, senior vice president, HR, CEAT Ltd, competition at workplace is healthy as long as it encourages higher productivity and creative and innovative thinking. “However, the means used to achieve results are important. For example, staying back in office for long hours just to be visible to senior bosses is unhealthy competition. Using unethical means to outperform others or being secretive and non-collaborative in an effort to be better, are symptoms of unhealthy competition,“ he explains. While competition can help team members excel, if not handled well, it may also lead to unhealthy rivalries in the workplace, which can vitiate the atmosphere, states Janet Gasper Chowdhury , chief people officer, Magma Fincorp Ltd. “However, we must remember that competition is inevitable at the workplace. An employer judges an employee on the basis of his/her performance in the organisation and the employee is always evaluated on the basis of their performance vs. other team members,“ she says.

MAKE THE UNHEALTHY HEALTHY

Competition at the workplace has its pros and cons. The key is to find the right way to handle it, so it doesn’t become toxic. Deodutta Kurane, group president, Human Capital Management, YES Bank Ltd, believes, “A competitive environment helps employees understand their areas of development and become conscious of their capabilities. “We realise our true potential only when we push ourselves to the limit. Competition makes us stretch ourselves to go that extra final mile. In the process, we also end up attaining many new skills and competencies. The winner always sets the best example and chasing him/her only helps us improve ourselves.“

 

Source: The Times of India (Mumbai)

Date: 16th December, 2015.

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