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Get Everyone Motivated: 10 Ideas for Employee Contests

written by: Eduard Ezeanu•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 9/8/2010

The ability to motivate employees and keep them motivated is a key requirement for any organization that wishes to be a leader in its field. Employee motivation contests can offer you a powerful tool in your human resources toolbox.

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    Target the Competitive Spirit

    contest 

    We all have some degree of competitiveness and we all like to win. For this reason, employee motivation contests can be one of the best ways for an organization to boost motivation and increase performance.

    Here are ten creative ideas for motivational employee contests, which you can implement in your organization:

    1. Most time-efficient employee. Reward those employees who succeed in finishing their tasks before quitting time. Make sure this is due to due to effective time management on their part, not due to a lack of available work for them.

    2. The cleanest office space. Celebrate those employees that are neat and organized and as a result, they have the cleanest office space. Because cleanliness and good organization increase efficiency, they are things you want to stimulate.

    3. The most sales. This is an excellent way to motivates sales persons. Every week, month or quarter, reward the sales people that were the most successful in terms of making sales. It can be very a transparent contest because numbers do not lie.

    4. First employee in the office. Celebrate those early risers who arrive at the office first. Have someone identify them when they arrive and give them a small but meaningful reward. It is best if the other employees find out about the rewarded employees as well.

    5. Best communicator. Since communication is a very important business skill, it makes sense to reward those who master it. Do an internal survey to find out what employees are considered to be the best communicators and celebrate them publicly.

    6. Best dressed employee. The appearance of employees often reflects upon the organization. This is why you want to encourage employees to dress well. You can do this by identifying and celebrating the best dressed employees in the organization.

    7. Most dedicated employee. In an era when employees tend to change jobs and leave companies fast, loyalty is a quality which organizations need to acknowledge and reward. An excellent idea is to give financial incentives to employees that have remained with the company for a long time and consistently have good results.

    8. Sports contests. It is in the interest of an organization to have healthy and fit employees, which is why it’s beneficial to encourage sports. A good way to do this is to organize contests in various popular sports: from running, to dancing, to volleyball, to football.

    9. Team building exercises. Come up with various team tasks in team-building programs that encourages employees to work well together. For example, have them build a miniature bridge or a catapult in teams and reward the team with the best construction.

    10. Best mentor. In order to create a culture of mentorship, where employees learn from each other, it is essential to celebrate those who teach others and act as mentors the most. Do a survey, identify the employees who commonly act as informal mentors and acknowledge their contribution.

    When implementing employee motivation contests keep in mind that they are mostly momentary methods to boost motivation. If you want to ensure that your employees feel motivated as a rule, it’s important that you integrate these contests in a motivational system which has long-term continuity.

    Image credit: Rasmus Thomsen / FreeDigitalPhotos.net