How Workshops and Competitions Can Fortify Employee Engagement 

Balancing a friendly and engaging work culture with competition and learning can be paramount to maintaining talented employees.  

Employee engagement is vital to the success of a company. Investing in the growth and development of individuals will ultimately empower them to be more enthusiastic at work, increasing productivity, reducing turnover, and improving the overall atmosphere and advancement of a company. 

Let’s look at how workshops and competitions can fortify employee engagement.

Get the Most from Workplace Competitions 

Creating an environment where competition is friendly and fun can help keep employees motivated and engaged at work. 

However, it is important to remember that relying too heavily on competition can have a negative impact on people and make them lose enthusiasm. While contests can inspire employees to produce creative ideas, having too much conflict can ruin creativity and interest.

When hosting competitions in the workplace, it’s important to:

  • Acknowledge and thank everyone who participated.
  • Reward the winners.
  • Don’t put too much emphasis on competition and create a hostile work environment. Instead, acknowledge hard work and creativity.
  • Hold short-term contests.
  • Give employees breaks from competing.
  • Hold a meeting after each competition to discuss and assess employee experiences.

individual Vs Team competitions

Contests among individuals in a team or company can be a good way to help employees key in on their core strengths. However, when competitions between individuals are merit or work-based, it can have negative outcomes by creating an “every man for himself” mentality. 

This breeds animosity among team members and creates an unfriendly environment driven by the fear of failure.

It’s best to keep individual competitions light and cheery. 

Organising challenges around fun topics like desk decorating, writing competitions, costume contests, or bake-offs is a good way to highlight individual creativity and talent.

When the workforce is divided into teams, it can allow for camaraderie by bringing people together to achieve a common purpose. It can strengthen team dynamics and remind people of their similar goals.

Team building exercises like competitions can have many benefits, including improved collaboration, easier discussion and more open communication, and boost productivity and teamwork.

Having work-related competitions based on productivity or outcomes can be a good way to boost engagement within teams, but too much long-term competition based on work merits can make people feel uneasy over time. 

Things like food drives, workplace safety competitions, fitness challenges, and trivia games can be fun ways to boost team engagement and maintain a friendly environment.

organising a competition

Keep the number of participants small. Research on the N-Effect has shown that competitors are more motivated when competitions are small.

Emphasise the experience and knowledge employees will gain from competing over who actually wins the competition. 

Giving prizes is helpful, but make sure prizes are awarded to all participants and that the best prize is given to the winners.

Here are some easy steps to organising a successful and engaging workplace competition:

Step 1

Decide what type of competition you want to have and what the overall goal will be.

Ask: Will the goal be to promote healthy habits, raise morale, or improve customer satisfaction?

Step 2

Determine how long the event will last.

Ask: Will the competition last a day, a week, or a month? 

Step 3

Building excitement around the competition is important to gain more participants. 

Advertise the competition weeks before it starts, send reminders, announce prizes, and if you have a large organisation, create hype around it on social media.

Step 4

Explaining the rules and having easy and concise terms and goals, is among the most vital things you can do to ensure employee engagement. 

Step 5

Divide participants into teams after everyone has signed up. 

When choosing teams, it’s important to take work culture and personalities into account.

Ask: Who works best together and who needs to work better with each other? Who needs to strengthen their communication skills?

Use Workshops to Give Employees Upward Momentum

When employees feel like they aren’t learning or growing with a company, they are more likely to leave, and turnover can be extremely costly.

Hosting workshops can help boost employee loyalty, reduce turnover rates, and make them feel like part of a community.

Workshops can cover many topics. They can be geared toward the particular field your employees work in or they can be broad and lifestyle-based. 


Lunch-and-learns are a great way for employees to listen to and learn from individuals or teams from different areas of the company.

Having employees join together to enjoy a catered meal while listening to presentations about projects or research other employees have been working on is a great way to increase connectivity and engagement among co-workers and teams. 


Hosting a mindfulness workshop can aid in employee confidence, productivity, and focus. It can help them balance their emotions during times of stress and maintain a positive attitude.

Here are some mindfulness workshops that can help employees:

  • Work-life balance training
  • Yoga and meditation
  • Stress management training 


Investing in employee health not only helps people live happier and healthier lives, but it can also increase their productivity and reduce healthcare costs. 

Hosting a health-related workshop, like a health fair or lecture where healthcare professionals, nutritionists, trainers, and people from other health-related fields come and answer questions, can help individuals gain understanding and knowledge about their health.

The overall health of employees affects engagement and performance. When people are given an opportunity to become informed about their health, it can have meaningful outcomes.

Financial Tools

Equipping employees with the knowledge and resources they need for financial literacy will help empower them to make the most of their money and plan for the future.

Topics for a financial tools workshop can include:

  • Financial tracking
  • Smart investing
  • Preparing for retirement


Leadership workshops can inspire innovation in a company and equip employees to become the next generation of leaders. Learning leadership skills can help people communicate better, gain emotional awareness, delegate, and acknowledge personal responsibility.

Plus it increases potential for internal hires and promotions rather than hiring from outside the company.

Establish Clear Goals

Workshops and competitions need to be organised and structured for employee engagement programmes to be successful. They must have a clear goal so that employees can be motivated to reach the goal and feel validated once they do. Competitions and workshops can help employees have a positive work experience, be more engaged at work, and improve the health of the company.

Author: Roshelle Anderson – Freelance Writer, Editor and Photographer

Photo credit: Fizkes on Adobe Stock

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