What is more important for the development of a company; competitiveness among colleagues or unity of the staff?
Competitiveness among colleagues works in certain situations, but can quickly degenerate into uncontrolled, destructive activity. Competitiveness is often used in the sales and marketing departments to encourage productivity in the sales staff. It can work, to a certain degree. But you have to include incentives to encourage staff to work together. The lone wolf rarely is the most successful operator, particularly in the complex environment most businesses operate in.
Cooperation and unity of purpose works to make a company more successful. It’s a far better model in theory. Each member of the staff realizes the importance of the mission and does their part. The problem with this approach is that it can fail to reward individual performance, and often results in group think, and a general lack of incentive.
The management of teams depends upon their task. Accounting staff should be managed in a different way than sales staff. Creative and programmers are a whole different matter from everyone else, for that matter. Too often organizations believe that one model can be applied firm-wide. This is a big mistake. It fails to recognize the differences between personalities, task mandates, and organizational synergy.
The best model is a matrix model, adapted to each individual, and their particular personality, their job functions, and the task mandates. It requires a careful evaluation of performance, setting of incentives and expectations, and great administration. Individual achievement and group achievement should both be rewarded. Some degree of natural competitiveness will arise, but this should be moderated by the imperative of organizational success.
There are many great tools and methodologies to encourage employees to achieve peak performance. What employees want is self-actualization and fulfillment in their positions, to experience growth and see the rewards of their contributions. They want to feel valued, and to see a future as a part of the organization.
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