Contest motivation


    Motivation is a manager’s tool that, through stimulation of the employees ’selected needs, motivates them to take actions aimed at achieving a common goal.

    Motivation through competition, through competitions, due to internal competition - very powerful, but at the same time extremely dangerous tools.

    Further in the topic:
    • general principles of contest motivation;
    • what should be avoided;
    • step-by-step procedure;
    • economical effect;
    • examples of using;
    • conclusion.


    Already the most social contact causes competition and a peculiar stimulation of vital energy [...] increasing the individual productivity of individuals.

    Karl Marx
    The principle of imitation: science knows that having a guideline motivates people. At first they imitate, then improve what they have caught, try to surpass. It is important to help people see in which aspect they should follow others.

    Benchmarking principle: depending on the vastness and diversity of the departments of the enterprise, it is important to let know about the performance of the most outstanding employees, and, if possible, focus on the best employees of competitors.

    The principle of competition: in fact, the basis. Using competition, competition as motivation.

    The principle of good faith: competition should be for the good of the organization, that is, people should strive to increase their own performance, rather than reduce others. Similar actions should be punished.

    The principle of handicaps: if it is known that, in connection with a particular competition, the conditions are not equal, it is necessary to equalize the chances with the help of appropriate coefficients.

    The principle of sportiness: all activities should be accompanied by a certain spirit, mood.

    The principle of diversity: unlike the traditional bonus system, contests can be very different, initiated both from below and from above. This is important due to the fact that the same people will win in the same type of competition and the motivation of the defeated will fall. Competitions where you need to demonstrate different talents will allow everyone to win. If an employee is not able to prove himself in any direction, is the company needed?

    What to avoid

    Inept attempts to introduce all kinds of obscure measures can always lead to disaster. In this case, avoid
    • only tangible forms of encouragement;
    • opacity;
    • individualism;
    • permissiveness in the choice of means;
    • the presence of losers;
    • tensions .
    The last paragraph will be a consequence of the previous ones. You do not need to bring this up, it is better to abandon the innovations.

    Step by Step Procedure

    The introduction of contest motivation in any structural unit can be described in the following steps.


    1. Definition of the responsible
    As you know, cadres decide everything. If you cannot find the right person, then it’s best not to try to use the wrong person.
    Naturally, assigning this role to an existing employee of the company is preferable. However, the likelihood of finding an employee with relevant competencies in the company is low.
    Competencies and qualities necessary for a motivation specialist:
    • sense of tact;
    • ability to write texts;
    • consistency and resistance to criticism;
    • the ability to listen to the opinions of others, sensitivity;
    • Knowledge in the field of management, personnel management;
    • knowledge in the field of competence of employees for whom contests will be organized.

    The duties of such a specialist include:
    • Conducting competitive events, writing regulations, goals;
    • Informing employees about the course of the competition, preferably in a “sports” style, creating a certain atmosphere;
    • Monitoring the situation in the team, attitudes to competitions and between employees;
    • Carrying out events like discussing the results and inventing new contests (naturally, they cannot be boring and on schedule).
    2. Introduction of performance indicators
    Naturally, the scorecard is a separate complex issue. Meanwhile, for the successful application of contest motivation, it is necessary to implement at least a limited set of indicators and the information system that accompanies them, allowing:
    • all employees in real time see the performance of the enterprise;
    • see the relevance of the current situation to goals;
    • see your contribution to the current state of affairs and achievement of goals;
    • display the indicators for which the competition is conducted (or competitions);
    • show the relationship of current competitions with the goals of the company (although the connection may be absent).
    Examples of indicators for the enterprise as a whole:
    • revenue
    • profit;
    • growth relative to the market;
    • output per manager;
    • % employment by work;
    • staff turnover.
    The last two are directly related to motivation and we will talk about them in calculating the economic effect.

    3. Launch of the first competition events
    The rate of change should vary depending on the age and relaxedness of the team. The first contests can be in many respects similar to the motivation system already used (for example, for sales departments with a link to revenue it is logical to start with a competition for large revenues based on the results of a certain period). Then it is necessary to expand the list of indicators used so that it is not boring and the effect is enhanced.

    Economical effect

    The effect of changes related to motivation is often difficult to calculate. Here I propose using two indicators of the company. I apologize for the picture formulas. I note that it is believed that the market in which the company operates is growing. Otherwise, the effect would be considered differently.


    Examples of using

    [1] described how these mechanisms allowed the US steel industry to rise in the 19th century, ahead of England.

    Another example is socialist competition.

    The company "Format" .


    How applicable is all of this to IT? Quite. The main thing here is the desire or need to do this, imagination, the choice of normal indicators. After all, you can make the share of “prizes” in the salary small and then it will be a purely motivational event (in sales, of course, most of the income is bonus).

    I hope this topic seemed interesting and promising to you in Russian society.

    Materials used:
    1. Scott Walter Dill, Increasing Human Efficiency in Business: A Contribution to the Psychology of Business
    2. Internet.

    Please write in PM about errors.

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