Competition In The Workplace

Motivating employees to perform at the highest level, many companies are turning to an idea that has been used for decades. Competition. Yes, in every workplace one will find some form of competition, but many companies are utilizing this tool in key ways to maximize their employees’ performance.

From small family-owned restaurants to large fortune 500 companies, many workplaces are implementing hyper-competition environments to motivate their workers.  For example, “servers at the Massachusetts-based restaurant chain Not Your Average Joe’s always know how they’re doing relative to their colleagues, due to a cutting-edge workforce management system Muse provided by Objective Logistics, Inc. Rather than forecasting demand and staffing a restaurant accordingly, as most systems do, the software tracks wait staff performance in terms of per-customer sales and satisfaction (gauged by tips). Highly rated servers are given more tables and preferred schedules. By shifting work to its best servers, the restaurant hopes to increase profits and motivate all employees.” (

Serguei Netessine and Valery Yakubovich of Forbes recently wrote an article about this very topic, calling these high competition firms “winner take all organizations.” Within these winner take all organizations, work begins to be distributed a little more heavily to the competitive employees, often leaving the lesser competitive to take what is left over. Netessine and Yakubovich explain that “the model exploits the fact that workers differ dramatically in productivity because of such factors as skills and attitude, which can be hard to assess when hiring. Over time, it may induce low performers to quit, leading to a higher performing workforce and a constantly rising bar. “

So how can you apply more competition into your workplace? What changes can you make to better motivate your employees to complete for a better opportunity?

(HT: Forbes)