Many workplaces play people off against each other, creating a culture of what they call ‘healthy competition’ – with rewards for meeting targets, pitting each member of the team against their peers and showcasing the stars who perform best.

But is this a healthy working environment?

Sure – it might see some people thriving, shooting for that top spot and winning deal after deal – but it can also see the same faces reaching that prize more than others, leaving those at the bottom of the heap feeling unworthy and demoralised.

Do you want to inspire fantastic work from just a select few key players, or do you want every member of your team to perform better, achieve more, and feel fulfilled in their role?

A target is important, and setting goals that stretch people matters. It’s also important to instil a drive to perform, and to achieve more, and be passionate about those goals.

But is it so important that you are willing to crush the potential of 90% of the team, letting potential talent leave for opportunities elsewhere, demoralised and despondent, to see 10% shine?

And when you see that high a proportion of your workforce demoralised to the point that they seek employment elsewhere that’s a lot of potential – potential which you’ve invested time into recruiting, training and embedding into their role – wasted.

The way we see it, great leadership isn’t about putting a shining star on the top of your company tree (if you’ll allow us a little festive imagery!) but about creating a strong foundation that every member of the team can build on.

Rather than setting one target and having everyone compete, allowing for one person to win the accolade of best performance, why not create a personal target for each and every member of the team? This allows for everyone to meet their own goals, develop their skills, grow through the experience and stretch beyond where they began – and develop a personal and passionate satisfaction in their role, a sense of pride, and a commitment to your organisation which retains the talent and experience this process creates.

Retaining your talent by investing in their development is a far more successful tool than offering rewards to one or two star players – and if you invest in your people, in their development and job satisfaction, you develop a mutually beneficial relationship with people who want to give more in return, who are confident and competent, and who succeed in reaching higher targets, performing better than those living under the constant pressure of trying to reach unattainable targets without support.

No matter what level of your organisation a team member is at, they are an important part of the overall mechanism, and each has value – and if you invest now in their training and development, you can turn new team members into experts, experts into leaders, leaders into inspirations, and inspirations into the recognised norm for your organisation – and who wouldn’t want that reputation?

Call us today to discuss our leadership development programmes, and we can work with you to create a plan which develops your entire organisation, bringing the best from every individual, and you’ll see overall growth and a significant improvement in performance. Not only does this improve performance, it improves employee retention; happier employees perform better.

Investing in your employees’ growth makes them better at their job – and it makes you a better employer.