Thursday, January 15, 2009

Competition In The Work Place

As a person who has worked in large and small businesses both as a floor worker and a manager, competition isn’t what it used to be. From the owner to the lowest skill level employee, there is a loss of competitive spirit in our work place today. This loss of drive and motivation has contributed to the current condition of our economy.
As an owner of a company you strive daily to win business and encourage return business. You compete in the market place as you bid against others for jobs. You are constantly resharpening your pencil and attempting to innovate in order to either make money or win bids. This continuous competitive struggle hones and improves both product and bottom line.
Being an owner means you don’t have a bead on your boss and their wants and desires. Having a hundred different regular customers and additional one timers, you constantly strive to meet different demands and quality concerns. The surprise to most is that product quality isn’t the issue but expectations and delivery are varying constantly. Methodology may be more of an issue then results. I have had customers refuse a quality product because I didn’t do it the way they wanted it done. The result was the same product but how you get there seemed to matter.
If you own a trucking company who was hired to deliver a product and there were two roads to the destination, would you ask which road there payment covers? I am sure there are many stories from your industries that result in similar frustration.
As an employee, you know your employer and their requirements. This daily complacency starts to erode the drive and competitive spirit in the work force. Soon the mere act of showing up seems worthy of the pay check regardless of what is done and how well. The familiarity and attachment by both the employee and the employer serves to slowly reduce business and quality.
Professional sports functions in opposition to this. Every participant must qualify and compete for their position. Every sports franchise is looking at winning the annual prize within the rules of competition. Every competitor is striving and working out to be the best in their position. Every year their stats are memorialized on cards and in books. There isn’t room for complacency on the road to success.
Imagine how different the work force would be if they used the guidelines of professional sports as a method of keeping and hiring employees. If every employee was to strive to be the best in their position, working out and striving for excellence. If employers were looking at success and rewarding it as if they ran the Yankees.
What would your stats look like on the back of your card? Would you be pushed out or traded based on your work performance? Perhaps they would make you the franchise player.

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