My Boss Wants Me to Compete with My Coworkers

Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

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Dear Bev,

I work for a large financial services firm and run the sales operations and support. Kicking off 2020, our boss (who oversees me and four colleagues in other divisions) told us straight up she was pitting us against each other in our goals to create competition between us. The weird thing is that we’re not competitive. We should work as one – the head of marketing, the head of sales, our support team on the client service side and product management.

It’s not like we have a need to compete. We are all working together to achieve similar goals.

But her objective has created a very tense environment where we are starting to lose trust in one another and jockey for our boss’ attention and validation. I used to really like working here and especially enjoyed the collegial environment. Now I hate coming to work. It’s draining.

Would we all get fired if we were to just work together anyway? I’ve been thinking about taking my colleagues out to lunch and seeing if they would agree to stop this insanity and go back to the way things used to be. Even the goals we now have are silly. She created objectives that don’t match what we do just for the purpose of creating the competition.