How To Handle A Competitive Company Culture

Company culture is a subject that gets a lot of attention these days, and as a result, employers are encouraged to develop a positive working environment for their employees.  While a little friendly competition can absolutely contribute to a positive environment, it can be easy to let your competitive spirit get the best of you!  If you’ve found that you’re in grueling competition with your colleagues, or if you are constantly stressed about your performance, your organization may have built a competitive culture that has become pretty cutthroat.  While it’s easy to lose yourself in that kind of environment, it’s important to take a step back in order to assess how you can maintain a healthier balance at work.  Start by taking these five steps:


If your job is starting to negatively affect your health, it might be time to make some changes.  After all, you can’t perform at your highest level if you are stressed or not well-rested.  While this may ultimately mean some lifestyle changes, you can start by putting yourself first for one day.  Whether you de-stress by hitting the gym or the spa, or even if you just need a good night’s sleep, that small effort can make a big difference.  Aren’t you feeling better already?

Get along

Because a competitive company culture puts you at odds with your coworkers, it can often lead to a contentious workplace.  Remember that even if you are pitted against a colleague, you are all ultimately on the same team.  As a result, do your best to help each other out; throwing others under the bus is not the way to accomplish your shared goals.  As you assist each other in small ways, you may even start to find that you can get along with some of your colleagues after all!

Learn from others’ successes

In a more combative environment, it may feel more important to look out for yourself rather than to share any helpful information you might have with your colleagues.  As a result, this could lead to each employee developing their own strategy, but ultimately, not finding the most efficient or profitable approach.  When everyone shares their wealth of knowledge with the team, it means that every person can perform at a higher level using the best tools available to them.  To start, you can offer to share your own success stories, or you can ask a colleague how they reached their own performance goal.

Compete with yourself

While you may be stuck in the mindset that you must compete with your colleagues, remember that you also need to continuously challenge yourself.  As a result, try focusing more on your own performance, and pay less attention to others.  When you turn your energy toward improving yourself rather than being better than someone else, it can take some of the pressure off and transform your attitude at the office.  Additionally, this mindset can help you prioritize your professional development, which can ultimately be the best career move.

Put yourself first

While a competitive company culture can be energizing, motivating, and educational, always remember to put your health first.  If you feel as though you are too stressed or anxious, or if you’re losing sleep because of work, allow yourself to take a step back and explore some new opportunities.  Additionally, as you go on interviews, remember to ask about the company’s culture to try and get a sense of what kind of environment you’re entering.