Friendly Competition: A Way to Increase Your Team’s Productivity

Business woman demonstrating how friendly competition can improve team productivity
April 1, 2022


We’ve focused mostly on team building in the past blogs we’ve posted for you.

These include:

  • Communication
  • Tips to beat stress
  • Exercises for brainstorming activities
  • Relaxing activities for your team
  • Virtual games
  • Gifts to give to your well-productive team
  • Motivation to continue a job well done

And so much more for your virtual workers.

Now, let’s go in a different direction.

Have you ever thought of adding a friendly competition to your team? You sometimes wonder, “What if I added some spice to their working environment?”

We’ve seen firsthand the benefits of bringing competitiveness to the office. And we want to share this with you as part of the following blogs we’re preparing. So stay tuned! (Click here if you want to see more of these in the future)

It’s not just the Miami Heat or the Phoenix Suns who understand the benefits of competition. Or even your kids who are trying to become first in their class.

“Are today’s organizations focused on collaboration at the expense of competition?” Don’t get the wrong idea about this. We are keeping collaboration and teamwork here. But not if that means removing healthy competition.

Competition motivates people to push past their limits, making them more productive. Competition also encourages transformation and improves quality. Not only that, it increases engagement, team member growth, productivity, and the business’s bottom line. You’ll get these promising benefits once you heat up your team’s game.

We know that competition sometimes gets a bad rap. But entrepreneurial organizations need competition.

Don’t squeeze competition off your company. Here are five ways to promote healthy competition in your team.

Promote healthy conflict of ideas

Teaching healthy conflict is the first step toward healthy competition. Sometimes, competition can create conflict among your team. But having a healthy debate can become a doorway to innovation and improvement.

By simply sharing their opinions openly, the team can create solutions together. Two or more heads are better than one. But it’s sometimes difficult to have a healthy debate. So it’s better to put someone in the middle – not necessarily a referee, but someone who can summarize the opinions of both sides.

If you want to promote healthy conflict, have your team strive to:

  • Be open. Get each of your team members to empathize with others. Ask them to try to understand each other’s motives, emotions, and responses. Teach them to ask, “How are you doing with this thing?” Do not let them ask, “How did that make you feel?” as if others control their emotions. Let them validate each others’ feelings.
  • Be resourceful. Let your team ask others for their thoughts first. Let them disagree while respecting others’ intentions.
  • Be patient. Let your team see things through with integrity and respect. Require them to be clear about others’ expectations. Make them hold themselves and others accountable. Remind them to acknowledge their mistakes, and try to make them right.

It’s problematic when team members don’t voice their genuine opinions. It’s better to hold one other accountable for accomplishing tasks. Members who resist making any negative comments may actually cause unhelpful conflict with their teammates later. Open and honest discussion of conflicting opinions is a helpful way to avoid future problems. When it is done well, solutions are found efficiently, improving collaboration and increasing productivity.

Reward your best members

You should consider stirring up friendly competition by giving rewards. Rewards show appreciation for each of your team members’ efforts, especially the hard-working ones.

If you reward all your remote members equally, why should they work harder to set themselves apart? Giving people rewards regardless of performance will eventually create indifference.

For example, say you’re highly rated as a worker. But you still have the same salary as an average worker Wouldn’t you want to get a raise? Or something that could make you at least enjoy your hard work? Some people can rise quickly in their positions depending on their work. It has to be considered as something that needs to be rewarded.

Here are ways to give rewards to your best workers:

  • Offer a flexible work schedule – reward them with a flexible work schedule that includes letting them enjoy non-traditional work hours as the business allows
  • Post a reward ladder- an illustrative ladder that gives them an idea of different rewards that they can earn according to their work
  • Offer a monthly Netflix subscription – who doesn’t love Netflix? Letting them know about this will ensure that they’ll work harder just for the sake of watching Netflix
  • Send an email note to their family members – let your workers be glad that their loved ones know how awesome they are at work
  • Create an appreciation video – creating an appreciation video is a meaningful way to show your staff that you value their work (so sweet, right?)

And so much more. Visit here to get more ideas for rewarding your best members.

“Owners” of the company

You might ask, “What do you mean by this?”

We think that it is essential for your team members to feel like they’re the company’s owners.

Every worker should feel like they’re the owner and walk the company’s floors. To help your employees feel like they are stakeholders, encourage them to bring their own personal touch to the company. (That depends, of course, on the project your team is handling.)

How do you do that? By putting up a whiteboard that’s always open for suggestions. Let your team hash out some suggestions that could bring up ideas. If leaders decide to dedicate some resources to the recommendations, the person who came up with the concept should research it more.

For instance, say one of your members think that the company needs to have new equipment to increase productivity. The company should consider the project, but that member needs to put in the research. Now there are a lot of possible upgrades for your team’s project.

Another employee wants to do a company fundraiser. Still another wants to produce a company beer. And yet another wants to start a company band.

This kind of activity is a friendly competition, but make sure to point out that each idea from your members is essential to growing your company. Tell those people who don’t have their ideas accepted that they should continue to bring more ideas to the company. They undoubtedly just want to give more value and be appreciated.

Make them compete with their past

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. Past experiences either give you good memories or bad ones.

Your members should learn more about their bad experiences in the past.

Your remote team should compete not only with others or your organization’s competitors, but also against their own previous efforts. Continuing to raise the bar and setting loftier goals will help your employees be their best.

So how would you implement this in your remote team?

Do a group activity. Let your workers think about their past mistakes, and write them on a piece of paper. Help them realize the patterns that they see when they commit mistakes. Each of your team members will realize their errors and inefficiencies and try to improve their performance.

Competing against the past is a great stepping stone to becoming a better worker. Instill a mindset in your team members about improvement produced by past mistakes. They’ll feel confident in their solutions to their past flaws that have hindered them from becoming better workers. One more thing, they can share with other co-workers what they have learned and how not to make the same mistakes.. Competition isn’t just for individuals. It also makes your team function at its best.

Give them opportunities to play

Being competitive doesn’t only mean seriousness in becoming the best employee. Let off steam at work by allowing your team to play.

I’m sure that many of your team members have participated in sports activities. Whether it’s Little League or a pick-up basketball game, games teach us how to have that competitive spirit and have fun. They also teach us how to win with poise or to lose with honor.

But in a remote environment, that’s kind of impossible to do.

There’s nothing to worry about. Even if your remote team cannot exercise their bodies with sports, virtual games are still a way to become competitive.

Set a specific time of the year when you can have a competition (like a tournament). You might want to schedule this, on your company anniversary.

Here are some of the best games you can add up to your company tourney every year:

  • Family Feud
  • Online Office Quiz Games
  • The Classic Word Search
  • Crazy Crossword Puzzles
  • The Ultimate Hangman Game

Check them out here, if you want more details about the list above.

At the close of the game series competition, you can award the winner a trophy or a cash prize. Your workers will certainly look forward to the virtual game tournament each year!


The next time you feel like competition’s an awful thing, remember that it can actually be an excellent motivator for your team. Increasing friendly competition encourages productivity and quality improvements. It also leads to increased engagement and team member growth. It can result in an increase in the business’s essential growth (proven and tested). Just make sure that it won’t hinder your team from staying kind and humble.

If you want to learn more about creating a healthy competitive environment in your organization, check out our blogs on making your remote team productive. Thanks for reading!

About Coby

Professional magician and mentalist Coby is based out of Toronto Canada. He has performed for many heads of state including Prime Minister Harper and for the Prince of Morocco. He has been invited to perform by world renowned illusionist David Copperfield. Coby performs over 500 magic shows a year -more than any other magician in Canada. His blend of magic and mentalism intertwined with his charm and charisma make him the perfect choice for Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, Trade Shows, and Corporate events. For more details please visit