How motivated is your team? If you’re not sure, take a quick look around the office. Do people look bored and totally checked out? Does your team look unhappy around the office while they work?

Productivity levels are another key indicator of motivation. If productivity has been dropping or stalled off completely it’s a sign that employees aren’t very motivated to work. 

A lot goes into keeping employees motivated day in and day out. Happiness within the workplace is a huge factor. Feedback from supervisors, ability to advance and on-the-job training also play a role in how motivated your employees are during the workday.

Holding a friendly competition is another effective way to boost motivation around the office. It’s a common tactic used by sales teams to boost leads and conversions, but all departments can benefit when employees compete. Fortunately, there are a lot of budget-friendly ways to boost team morale by using friendly competition.

Tips for Boosting Motivation at Work With Competitions

The first steps for using friendly competitions to increase motivation are to establish the goal of the competition, outline the rules or parameters and set a timeline. Once that’s done you can keep everyone’s eye on the prize with these tips.

Create Custom Awards for the Winner(s)

Everyone remembers the allure of a shiny trophy they felt in childhood. That feeling doesn’t go away once you become an adult. Everyone enjoys getting recognition for their hard work, especially if they had to outperform others.

Custom awards can serve as a visual reminder of what employees are working towards and they are a testament to an employee’s achievement. Long after the competition is over the award will be there providing motivation for continued success.

Keep a Visible Scorecard

A scorecard can be used as another visible motivator during a friendly office competition. Make sure that the scorecard is updated regularly to reflect who is currently in the lead. This will give employees a way to gauge where they stand and what they need to do to get the top spot. You may even want to do a daily or weekly recap to keep employees posted on the standings.

Just make sure to come up with a plan for how the scorecard will be displayed and who will keep track of the score. You may want to assign a manager as the scorekeeper or have employees record their progress.

Reward the Team as a Whole

Only a few select employees will win an office competition, but it’s important to acknowledge the collective efforts of the team. Recognition helps to keep employees motivated because they don’t feel like the work is going unnoticed.

An easy way to reward the team as a whole is to host a luncheon or happy hour where the winners are announced. Managers can kick things off by acknowledging the overall improvements or gains that were made during the competition.

Make the Competition a Group Endeavor

Rivalry can be a powerful motivator that enhances performance beyond normal competitions. But for the sake of work relationships, it’s best to make a workplace competition open to a larger group rather than just a few individuals. When a competition is among just two people it can create a lot of contention and lead to resentful feelings.

However, it’s equally important to have a limited number of competitors so that employees feel they have a shot at winning. Research has shown when there are 10 competitors people perform much better compared to competitions that involve 100 participants.

If your company is large enough you could organize a competition among teams. That way employees work together towards a common goal and build stronger bonds.

Workplace competitions can improve motivation, morale, and productivity if they’re handled correctly. Your company may even see residual benefits such as improved innovation and team building. Follow the tips above and your team will be more motivated than ever.

By Eddy

Eddy is the editorial columnist in Business Fundas, and oversees partner relationships. He posts articles of partners on various topics related to strategy, marketing, supply chain, technology management, social media, e-business, finance, economics and operations management. The articles posted are copyrighted under a Creative Commons unported license 4.0. To contact him, please direct your emails to [email protected].