Employee Engagement ~ 3 min

Let the Games Begin: 5 Fun Contest Ideas to Increase Employee Engagement

Who doesn’t love a game? A contest? The chance to play? Basically, we all do, although throwing a little gamification into your employee communications content mix is also a proven way to increase employee engagement and adoption. Yet many companies are not taking full advantage of this useful—not to mention fun—tool.

According to a poll taken by NICE Systems, only 31% of companies are incorporating rewards and gamification as part of their regular employee communications. Why so few? Well, maybe they just need some good ideas for how to get the contest ball rolling. Here are a few “games” that other companies have found success with.

Employee Engagement Idea #1 Cutest Pet Contest

If there’s one thing employees generally love more than their pets, it’s sharing adorable pictures of their pets. Why not put that natural inclination to good use, and keep score with the number of “likes”? And things can get especially lively during Halloween, when the dog costumes come out…

Employee Engagement Idea #2 Online Chili Cook-Off

Ok, it doesn’t have to be chili—any common recipe could work. But for some reason, everyone seems to have their own secret recipe for this spicy favorite. Either way, having employees post their own version, with the winner getting the chance to share an actual sample definitely gets the stomachs growling. And it’s a great way to get hungry co-workers engaged.

Employee Engagement Idea #3 Neighborhood Trivia

We all generally know the streets and the blocks that surround our workplace, but how many of us can name the statue in the park next door, or the number of fire engines in the station down the way? Well, maybe some of us can, and they’ll be the ones who probably win. And as for a prize, consider lunch at the best place in the neighborhood—unless, of course, that’s up for debate. At Sociabble, we’re lucky to have our headquarters in a city with quite a few good options.

Employee Engagement Idea #4 Social Media Scavenger Hunt

The excitement of an actual scavenger hunt—racing across the town in a group, searching for the next clue, is a thrilling experience. Why not incorporate social media posts as “proof” of having reached the target, and a messenger app to send the next clue? And when it comes to the best time to sneak in the chase, word on the street has it that lunch breaks work well.

Employee Engagement Idea #5 Friday Music Polls

Playing a little music in the office as a Friday afternoon treat is a nice way to ease into the weekend. But how do you choose what exactly to play? Here’s a novel idea: let the audience decide. Employee polls conducted over social media can help determine who gets air-time at the end of each week. Will it be Mozart? Elvis? That new punk band from Japan? Think of it as a jukebox, powered by employee engagement instead of coins.