Rivalry at work

The workplace is oftentimes transformed into the battleground of ancient days gone by. It is where swords are replaced by pens and shields by the latest electronic devices. No longer do we wear armor, instead it is the latest in office fashion that adorns our mortal coils.

Competition in the office can give birth to bitter rivalry. This is an unfortunate but real circumstance that if left unaddressed can blow completely out of proportion and have disastrous effects on not just the staff but the company as well.

Healthy competition at work is always welcome. It keeps morale up and allows the achievements of employees to be highlighted. It also gives the employer an opportunity to provide them with incentives and other amenities. When colleagues compete in a healthy fashion there is no bad blood or animosity involved. It is all about the winning of a prize, not about demeaning or humiliating each other.

A few things to bear in mind when confronted with an office rivalry:

  • The two rivals need to be seated with an arbitrator and made to resolve their differences.
  • If the matter has already escalated to very high levels, then maybe an exit strategy for either one or both parties should be considered. This will make an example of them and reduce the occurrence of such rivalry
  • The cause for the rivalry might be benign or something more relevant. Find out what it is and make necessary changes.
  • Monitor relations between employees closely to spot problem areas and extinguish them before they erupt
  • Use corporate recreation time as a good opportunity to dissolve any budding rivalry
  • Club rivals to work on the same project, while making it clear that their success is only possible if their partner succeeds as well.

The aforementioned tips could be invaluable during a tense rivalry situation. Thus it would be prudent to commit them to memory or at least remember the essence of the concept. It always pays to be prepared.

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