Communication Content Employee Communication Employee Engagement

Running an internal employee contest? 5 key tips to get it right

Employee contests are a great way to drive engagement and messages home. However, running contests can get your team tied in knots if you aren’t thinking through the goals and outcomes. It requires planning and focus on outcomes. Very often, contests go wrong when we fail to consider employees’ appetite for engagement, the timing or the context in which the organization operates.

There are various types of employee contests – from those that create awareness to events that drive engagement; from testing understanding to improving connection to the company’s goals.

Most importantly, having a contest that is inclusive and considers employees is what matters. Here are key tips that will help you run successful employee contests.

–      Privacy and consent: With an increase in data privacy regulations, this is probably a key aspect to consider while organizing an employee contest. If you are seeking employees photographs, content, audio-visual testimonials, have your campaign covered by taking consent from individuals who participate. Keep a soft copy of these forms or if your country’s regulatory authorities expect printed formed, do have them handy. The form must clearly call out the goals of the campaign and the agreement with the employee concerned.

–      Legal perspective: Most often contest involve monetary or non-monetary rewards. These can attract local taxes and declarations. It helps to disclose the value and how much the winners will receive post the statutory deductions. Employees will appreciate your transparency and you will not have dissatisfied participants at the end of the campaign. Every contest will need a legal disclaimer about the rules and regulations as well as the expectations on the content used. For example, if the photographs shared must be company property or remains with the employee is important to call out.

–      Engagement factor: Not all contests will receive the same level of energy and participation. Therefore, to make contests sticky, first crack the ‘what’s in it for me’ question for employees. It does not have to be about monetary rewards. Employees will be delighted if they get the right exposure. For example, the opportunity to meet leaders, be spotted on the corporate website or intranet or their managers knowing how creative they are – are motivation levers. You can focus on building pride and camaraderie and the rest is easy.

–      Implementation plan: Having a plan is crucial for the success of any initiative. More so when it comes to running a contest. Consider the concept, timing, logistics, location, placement and packaging. Factor in holidays and peoples’ availability while slotting the contest. Reporting progress and sharing impact are also valuable aspects of your plan.

–      Influencing staff: With work always taking priority over other initiatives, getting staff to engage can be a challenge. It takes a lot more than just communicating the contest to get the attention it deserves. Try and seed the contest among key influencers. Also, with leader boards as the contest progresses, there is a good chance of an uptick in participation and engagement. The choice of words, the tone of voice and linkage to the overall purpose of the event can get more people on board.

It is never easy to manage multiple moving parts of an employee contest. However, by having a pulse of the audience, building a solid plan and influencing staff to engage you can pull off a successful employee competition.

Have experience in running staff engagement? Share them here.

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