3 Ways to Use Friendly Competition to Improve the Employee Experience

Voice of the Employee | Best Practices | Employee Experience

Reading time: 5 minutes

Competition drives business.

Your employees are already competing for bids and projects with other companies.

But what about competition within the company?

A little inter-office rivalry is a great way to improve sales or customer service.

Two business men arm wrestling stubbornly

Remember those gold stars the teacher would award in elementary school?

Remember how many students worked harder simply because those shiny stickers were tracking their progress?

Now imagine transferring that sense of consistent improvement and achievement to your people.

What might your employees accomplish as they reach for those gold stars?

Acknowledging excellence among your employees also communicates that the employee experience is critical in creating great customer experiences.

What are some ways you can foster friendly competition among your employees that will boost employee engagement and improve the employee experience?

Employees appreciating their colleague

1. Start with sharing positive customer feedback

It is important for businesses to make the most of the positive feedback from customers.

Most of the positive customer feedback, if you ask, includes the name of an employee they interacted with.

Post employee kudos to a central location and offer a prize for whoever gets the most positive comments.

Posting positive customer feedback keeps the office environment positive and encourages employees to continue to exceed customer expectations.

Coworkers celebrating their success with trophy


2. Recognize teamwork to make sure competition still provides a healthy culture

One of the pitfalls of fostering competition among employees is the potential to lose track of the importance of teamwork.

Incentive programs can turn on managers if employees become reluctant to share information with their peers.

To combat negative competition, set up a program to reward and acknowledge teamwork and to promote the voice of the employee.

This could be as simple as asking each employee to share how a peer made their day easier.

If you have a daily huddle where employees describe their current workload and challenges, ask them to also give thanks to a peer.

This kind of public acknowledgment is often enough to motivate employees to keep helping each other.

Employee celebrating online win at work

3. If you are really ambitious, gamify the workplace

The workplace does not have to be a drag.

Certainly, work must be done, but why not make it fun?

Create a game to recognize your employees' accomplishments.

Perhaps you'll design a board game in which teams of coworkers compete against each other.

Or you could send out a pop quiz about your company's core values.

Some companies are even using sophisticated video games and simulation programs to train managers.

Let your creativity thrive as you design your system for friendly competition.

Whatever you do, make sure you use the power of competition in a positive way to create better employee experiences.


Beat the competition with happier employees!

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About the Author

Sean McDade, PhD is the author of Listen or Die: 40 Lessons That Turn Customer Feedback Into Gold. He founded PeopleMetrics in 2001 and is the architect of the company’s customer experience management (CEM) software platform. As CEO, he guides the company’s vision and strategy. Sean has over 20 years of experience helping companies measure and improve the customer experience. Earlier in his career, he spent five years at the Gallup Organization, where he was the practice leader of their consulting division. His company offers CEM software with advanced machine learning solutions and hands-on analytical support to help companies make sense of their CX data. Sean holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration with a specialization in marketing science from Temple University in Philadelphia. He has published eight articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and has taught over 25 marketing classes. Sean was named a 40 under 40 award recipient of the Philadelphia region. He is an active Angel Investor, including investments in Tender Greens, CloudMine and Sidecar.

Topic: Employee Experience

Posted on 08-12-2020