Contests and Promotions: An Easy Way to Empower and Motivate Employees

Contests and promotions do more for a business than build brand exposure and attract clients. These two items are also a fantastic vehicle for motivating and empowering employees! The contests and promotions act as both incentive to reach goals while adding layers of competitiveness among the team.

Introducing these items places your business with those exploring pay for performance.

Teams fill with millennial workers as legacy workers retire. These millennials seek new challenges met by rewards. It’s not too far-fetched to believe other generations feel/felt the same. But, in the age of the gig economy, you’ve got to do everything to keep employees onboard and motivated. This is especially true since workers are quick to hop positions!

Contest and Promotion Ideas: Simple Starters to Jump-Start Participation

Let’s first figure out which type of contest and/or promotion is right for your business.

You’ve got options:

  • Raffle — Distribute tickets for met goals and do a weekly/monthly drawing
  • Food — Use weekly goals where the winner chooses which take-out restaurant you’ll treat them to for the following week
  • Gift Cards — Set tiered gift card payouts based on a top 3 or 5 list of performers
  • Money — Small, monthly pay bumps to the top performers or team-wide for major goals
  • Trophies — Custom awards to show off excellence for top-level team members
  • MVP — Bigger rewards for those able to land a hard-to-convert, MVP client
  • Time — Give bonus time off for each person reaching weekly/monthly goals

Monetary rewards are often the easier to distribute. Employees won’t have an issue earning more money, that’s for sure. However, make sure you account for recognition and opportunity. Many employees would rather have the chance to work on pet projects and see themselves grow within the company than earning more, alone.

How to Hold Contests and Promotions

There are several tools that’ll automate contests and promotions. The fact you could use these tools for promotional efforts and internal rewards systems are their biggest benefit. If you understand how to hold contests for customers then you have the skills to hold contests for employees.

Sales Contests

Using sales performance is one of the easiest ways to hold an employee contest. This would include setting sales goals just barely out of the norm — creating an incentive to try harder without accidentally discouraging participants because the goal feels too far out of reach.

  1. Find median sales and set the goal 5-10% higher
  2. Track participants using sharing tools like Google Docs
  3. Set a deadline and showcase the reward

Get employees hyped for the event and continue motivating them throughout. Distribute prizes to top performers. But, also recognize employees showing hard work. Surprise the team with a bonus for an added morale boost as a reward for their efforts.

Video/Content Contests

Want a way to build passive sales while motivating employees? Consider a video contest.

A video contest creates many rewards:

  1. Motivate and inspire the team to personalize their efforts
  2. Create content for the site and third-party platforms to leverage as sales funnels
  3. Use the videos as part of onboarding and internal resources
  4. Learn nuances about your offers you may not have already noticed

The tone of the video contest could be whoever makes the best promotional video. Or, who could show the product/service best. Employees could use their phone cameras to shoot and upload video. Whoever receives the most views is the winner — easy!

Why Bother with Employee Contests and Promotions?

The pay for performance angle has already been covered. This will certainly help connect with your younger team members. But, what do these competitive efforts do for the big, on-going efforts?

For starters, the competitive nature of employees is drawn out. This helps build team spirit despite them pitted against one another. They may compete for a prize but together they reach big goals.

Second, these contests help businesses identify overlooked performers. There may be mavericks hidden within the teams who have yet to show their skills. The contest helps show off talents which businesses may use to nurture future leaders.

Finally, these activities help retain team members. The contests create a fun work environment. And, generates a sense of inclusion. This is hard to pass if competitors void enjoyable, competitive, and rewarding activities topping already challenging and progressive goals.

Try a contest or promotion sometime. It’s a small investment with huge payoffs.

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