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Employees going for gold at work

By Mario Cywinski |

The Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China are coming to a close; however, it seems that many employees are going for gold within their own workplace, according to a new study.

As job security is becoming more important to many employees, 38 per cent of executives believe that their own workers are more competitive with each other now then they were 10 years ago, said an OfficeTeam survey.

"Regardless of economic conditions, people are concerned about job security and proving their worth to employers," said Dave Willmer, executive director of OfficeTeam. "This pressure to perform may result in rivalries between employees."

However, before preparing for a battle, keep in mind that 22 per cent of executives saw no change in the competitiveness level and 40 per cent said it has dropped.

Willmer added, "A bit of healthy competition among staff can increase motivation and productivity, but, just as in sports, the overall results of the team are what count. Too much intramural competition creates tension and stands in the way of collaboration."

With the achievements of some of the world's best athletes on display in Beijing, it is interesting to compare types of employees to different Olympic sports.

In track and field, the sprinter is the expected to run as fast as they can to the finish. In the business world this is the employee that tries to finish all assignments as fast as possible, without much attention to detail.

Next, is the weightlifter, which in the sports world is expected to lift as much as they can to win. In the business environment, this is the employee who tries to put as much on their plate as possible and much like the sprinter, they do not pay a lot of attention to detail.

While gymnastics can be a team sport, it is performed individually, with each gymnast earning their own score. In the business world, this is the employee who tries to work on all projects on their own and not part of a team.

Returning to track and field, the pole vaulter tries to jump as high as possible with the help of a pole. In the office environment, this is the worker who tries to get all the most important tasks.

Finally, every sport has the saboteur or cheater, whether it is through drug use or unsportsmanlike conduct, they are the athletes who we do not want to compete with or against. Within a company this is the person who tries to gain an individual advantage at the expense of fellow employees.

For the best of the business, it is important to try and even out all the different type of workers, so they can work as part of a team and not as individuals.

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