Hold a Contest


There’s no excitement in your office.  There’s nothing interesting for people to talk about.


Hold a contest.  It doesn’t matter what for, how you set it up, or what the prize is, just have one, and make it something people will talk about.

You don’t need to ask permission, just make it sound like some big company contest and no one will ever know.  Or just keep it within your organization, it’s up to you.

Put up flyers, send out mass emails, post it on your blog, in your newsletter, or set up a sign on your desk.  However you want to spread the word, make it sound like a big deal.  And just go buy a nice prize if you want to, a gift card, dinner for two, or free massage.

I’m sure you can think of your own creative ideas for things to do, but here are a few off the top of my head.  The winner is the person who:

  • can solve this puzzle first
  • writes the best quote of the day
  • draws the best cartoon of the CEO
  • comes  up with the best idea for a contest
  • designs the coolest logo
  • has the funniest true company story
  • knows the answer to this trivia question
  • can guess correctly the exact weight of the receptionist this object
  • has the best new product idea
  • has the best idea for saving the company $millions$

Now wouldn’t that be something people would talk about?  It may even produce something valuable to the company.  In fact, I know it will,  because it will be something for people to get excited about, to try their hand at winning, a reason to connect with each other, a reason to pay attention when you announce the winner, it’ll be something different, something remarkable. 

That value is worth more than money because it’s taking a risk, shaking up the status quo, and making a difference.  It’s grootship!

3 thoughts on “Hold a Contest

  1. A really good prize is important. And, tell people what it is in advance.

    A former employer held a big contest for their salespeople, winner to be revealed at the big annual company meeting. The sales staff worked their tails off. They sold, they made deals, they worked really hard.

    There was a lot of guessing about the prize. A paid vacation? A spa weekend? A car?

    It turned out to be… a ham.

    1. Good point, Jodi. Things can go terribly wrong in a contest too. Competition can drive people to do crazy things. All the rules must be super clear, the judging fair and impartial and all that kind of stuff, or else people can get upset over the tiniest detail.

      One of the great ones we put on (especially at an engineering company) was an egg drop contest. Scoring was based on the weight of the apparatus and accuracy to a target, dropped from a very high ledge (5 floors), without breaking the egg, of course. It was a great event, which generated a lot of comradery and revealed some serious creative scientific talent.

  2. Ooh, the egg drop contest! I did that once at science camp (yeah, I know, you’re laughing) long, long ago.

    I used balloons as ‘cushioning”, don’t remember what I put them in. It worked fine on the test run, but the egg broke during the actual challenge.

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