There’s an interesting article in this month’s Inc. Magazine, titled: “Managing– a Little Friendly Competition–Egging on Employee Rivals”. You can read it at http://bit.ly/10vhkQ
The story is about Nick Friedman, president of College Hunks Hauling Junk. You guessed it…they’re a junk hauling company that hires college students and recent grads. Junk businesses come and go, but what’s interesting about Nick’s biz is that he’s striven to preserve a company-wide frat-house atmosphere.
Says Friedman: “We wanted to harness that competitive, prankster, enthusiasm and channel it for good.”
That means nearly non-stop internal competition. Employees compete with each other over *everything* — from who can haul the most junk, to who can donate the most items to charity, to who can sign up the most local businesses to display Hunk’s marketing materials. Employees even compete to be named, by their customers, “Hunk of the Month”.
What do you think about all this? I have mixed feelings–on the one hand, you have to commend the founder for knowing his employees and creating a playful, corporate environment. On the other hand, I agree with consultant Cindy Ventrice, who in the article states, “I’ve seen a fair number of contests where, if the prize is something people really want, they will begin to sabotage each other. ” It’s certainly true that this kind of thing can be poison for collaboration and the free sharing of information–something a lot of my clients are certainly aiming for these days. Imagine if your staff failed to report problems in order to win safety competitions!
Something to think about before you go down the road of the Hunks.