Employee contests: Tips on how to improve their effectiveness

 

The REengage Blog

Employee contests: How ditching draws can improve your contest effectiveness

Have you been organizing sales or customer service contests for months—if not years—and feel as though you’re stuck in a contest rut? Do have the sneaky suspicion that perhaps your contests just don’t work?

We’ve got a million-dollar question for you.

Do you hold draws every day/every week/every month? Do you only hold draws?

You see my dear sir or fair lady, therein lies the problem.

We hate to break it to you, but draws just don’t work.*

There are several reasons for this. For one, draws imply thoroughly random winners. Your employees won’t really make the link between their efforts and the fact that their names get pulled (or not!) out of a hat.

Secondly, when draws last a long period of time—say a few weeks or months—they are most likely to favour your star players: the more goals they achieve, the more chances they have to get picked, right? So where does that leave the rest of your team? They’re probably already thinking that they have no chances of winning. And counting down the hours before quittin’ time.

What’s more, the perverse effect can happen. What happens if a really low performer wins? Sure, that person may be somewhat excited that he or she won the contest. But did they really earn it? And what about your other employees that have been busting that b**** off to do well?

The end result?

Overall motivation skydives.

People get bored.

Your team disengages.

It’s a lose-lose situation for all, really.

So what’s a well-intentioned sales or customer service manager such as yourself to do?

Other types of employee contests

Within Greatify, for example, there are a variety of other sales and customer service contests you can try to put the fire back in the bellies of your employees:

Direct: These contests reward participants each time they accomplish a specific task or goal. This is great to enable individuals to feel as though they are progressing in their jobs.

Collective: This contest brings all team members together to achieve a common goal within a specific period of time. It’s ideal for fostering team spirit as well as employees’ intrinsic motivation to belong to a group.

Race: This highly competitive contest incites people to reach the finish line (goal) first, either individually or as a team. Managers use races to kick-start a new sales cycles or finish those end-of-period crunches.

Record: This contest encourages participants to accomplish a maximum number of actions in a set timeframe. The person who cumulates the most wins.

In a nutshell, you need to spice things up. Keep employees on their toes. For one week, you can hold an individual contest with a small prize (say, free coffee) and a team contest the next whereby the winners get a free pizza lunch. Remember: while individual contests play into the favour of your top team members, group contests put all of your employees on equal footing.

You can also vary the length of your contests, from several hours or days to medium or long (months). This will also go a long way in creating a sense of excitement and anticipation with your staff; they’ll always be wondering what’s next?

So what’s next for your team? We’ve got loads of other contest tips in our FREE ebook.

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