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How to Build Healthy Competition at Work Founders have to build a healthy competition in the workplace to ensure that their employees are motivated enough to keep the pace of the start-up going

By Sanchita Dash

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


Start-ups have a work environment that is often of envy even to the biggest of corporations. But it comes at a cost. Start-ups are always in the rush – to score the big meeting, to launch a new product, to build new business opportunities etc. In such an environment, it is not enough to have passionate employees; you need passionate employees who are also motivated to perform their best.

So, founders have to build a healthy competition in the workplace to ensure that their employees are motivated enough to keep the pace of the start-up going. Entrepreneur India spoke to startup founders about how they can do so without going overboard.

Create the Sprint Week

Employees in a start-up are often working overtime to meet deadlines. There are no strict timings and work often goes on until the wee hours of the morning. But when there's a big project coming up, here's how entrepreneurs can ensure their employees work well. Chandini Jain, founder, Auquaan, believes in creating the sprint week. In a sprint week, employees work towards meeting targets which they usually meet in two-three weeks. "Let them set an aggressive milestone for themselves and work against each other in a friendly manner to achieve their goals," she said.

Goal-based Competition

The important thing is that the competition shouldn't hamper the work environment, therefore, being "healthy". So instead of pitching employees against each other, Jain suggests that it's better to build goal-based competition. "Try and make it not too competitive or they will stop collaborating. It shouldn't be something that affects their performance reviews," she said.

Make it Fun

The simple solution is to make the whole thing fun for the employees. Jain suggests that the "punishment" for losing out on the competition should be something fun where the losing team treats the winning team with pizza or drinks or the company gives them free movie tickets.

The Do's & Don'ts of Building Competition

When you are creating a healthy competition at work, it brings out the creativity in your employees. Swati Nathani, Co-Founder & CBO, Team Pumpkin believes creativity and Out of the box ideas often come out when given that little push. "Healthy competition is often seen to help you climb the success ladder as it explores one's strengths and efficiency which otherwise goes unexplored," she said.

Here are the do's and don'ts suggested by Nathani for the same.

Some of the Do's they encourage :

- Constant feedbacks in a manner that doesn't seem as criticism

- Timelines to complete given tasks

- Pushing employees to their best of capabilities

Don'ts to avoid friction:

- Comparisons among peers

- Rude remarks or open disagreements

- Biasedness of any kind among team members

Sanchita Dash

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

In the business of news for 5 years now. Making my way across India thanks to my career. A media graduate from Symbiosis, Pune, I have earlier worked with Deccan Chronicle (South India's leading English daily), T-Hub (India's largest incubator) and Anthill Ventures (a speed-scaling platform). 

Stories, movies and PJs are my thing. 

If you hear 'The Office' opening score randomly, don't worry it's just my phone ringing. 


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