Motivating by Competition

Last class we discussed whether having competition in the workplace is fun (adds value) or not. 

This summer I had an internship doing insurance and other forms of risk-based planning, where I got to experience this firsthand. Every week everyone’s “numbers” were posted, from interns up all the way up to full-time financial representatives. There were different contests for who could generate the most “lives” or premium.

There was also a “weekly production” sheet that was emailed to everyone as well as printed up and displayed. This was more of a way to measure productivity, so it wasn’t a contest “per se” but served as such. I remember the first time I saw my name on the list I thought it was a great accomplishment (although it was only one or two up from the bottom since I had just started). It was fun for me to see who I could outperform (at least as far as numbers go) during my short time there. I looked forward to seeing the updated numbers because of the competition aspect.

I am not sure how serious people where about it, but I know it definitely was a motivating factor for some. My good friend (who was an intern as well) was able to win some contests and earned her trip to the companies annual meeting in Milwaukee completely paid for.

In my situation, most of us were highly self-motivated to begin with, but the competitive element made going to work and trying to do well at production a lot more fun.

-Melinda C.