Whether you want to raise funds, increase sales, develop new ideas or eliminate workplace accidents, contests allow your company to connect with employees while fostering friendly competition and teamwork. To encourage employee participation, award prizes for the winner(s) of your contest. Rather than simply giving coffee mugs with the company's logo, consider more interesting and enjoyable incentive prizes.
Whether it comes as cash or gift tokens, money is always a good incentive. When giving a monetary prize, the easiest option is to simply give cash. Determine the appropriate amount based on your company, the number of prizes given and the reason for the prize. For a more creative monetary incentive, use gift tokens. As of 2010, most merchants offer some type of gift token or gift card service. Consider giving gift cards to local restaurants, shopping malls, movie theatres or gas stations. For a more original idea, give a gift token to a local spa, arcade, amusement park, museum or sports arena.
Rather than giving monetary or material prizes, consider giving employees small perks at work. If the prize is only going to a few employees, consider giving each winner a free paid day off. If this option is too extravagant for your company, consider shortening it to a half-day. Whether you allow your employees to come in late or leave early, they will certainly appreciate the time off. Or, consider using an extended lunch break as an incentive prize. If your company allows 30 minutes for lunch, offer an extra 30 to 60 minutes. Other work perks could include a reserved parking spot for a week/month near the building's entrance or a special pass that allows them to wear jeans to work one day.
If the incentive prize will be awarded to a group of people, consider giving one main prize to the entire group. For example, the winning group might be treated to a pizza party during lunch hours. Or, you might treat the entire group to dinner one day after work. Sticking with the free food theme, consider providing free snacks and beverages (within limits) to the winning group for an entire work week. To make the prize even more interesting, ask members of management to bake sweet treats for the winning group. As an alternative, consider allowing the group's members to avoid traffic by leaving one hour early during their special week.