Friendly Competition Jumpstarts Productivity

January 4, 2011

By Courtney
Courtesy of MagnuMicah
Picture it: Tuesday, December 21, 2010. It was the pre-holiday dash. People were crazed with Christmas gifts, New Year's plans, vacation itineraries, year-end reports and so on. Here at Metis, we were working hard to get it all done before we closed for the last week of December, which we do every year to reward the team for giving 110 percent all year long.
There was a buzz around the office as the week got underway. Holiday fun and a well-deserved break were a mere four days away. Everyone was upbeat and focused. “To do” lists for the week were locked and loaded. Everyone knew what needed to get done in order to shut down on Thursday afternoon. Everyone around us, from customers to partners to editors, was shifting into that universal late December slow down. It should have been easy to fly through the final action items of 2010 and be done, right? Not so much. It happened fast in a series of e-mails, and just like that, on Tuesday afternoon, we each had four more things on our to-do lists. What happened you ask? Well, Melissa, whose known alias is “The Hammer,” threw down a pre-holiday challenge.
Fresh from a series of workshops we did at Metis that included content creation, Melissa challenged the team to bang out a blog a day each until we shut down on Thursday afternoon. You see, Melissa knows us (knows me) and she knew we (I) wouldn't walk away from a little friendly competition. Next thing I knew, I had accepted the challenge. Everyone else had, too.
And sure enough, Metis delivered. Amidst the client deadlines, holiday happenings and endless hours watching different Elf Yourself videos online, the team rallied and blogs started flying. Just when we thought we couldn't squeeze anything more out of an immensely productive year, we did. As a team and as individuals, we rose to the challenge and got it done.
Team challenges and a little friendly competition can jumpstart productivity. What motivates your team? What can you challenge them to do this week?

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