The Slice

15 Workplace Competition Ideas to Excite and Motivate Your Team

December 16, 2022

There are tons of ways to build an atmosphere of friendly competition that improves employee happiness and morale while also boosting productivity. At the same time, these competition ideas can help unify your team toward common goals while keeping the workplace professional. If you're looking to increase productivity, help your teams identify their strengths and weaknesses, and build a more supportive work environment, stick with us as we go through fifteen of the best workplace competition ideas to get your team motivated, excited, and down-right psyched to do their best work.

Creating competition in the workplace can be a fantastic way to naturally boost employee motivation. At the same time, you want to ensure that the environment you're fostering is one of healthy competition and doesn't elicit negative outcomes like anxiety or fear in your workers.

Luckily, there are tons of ways to build an atmosphere of friendly competition that improves employee happiness and morale while also boosting productivity. At the same time, these competition ideas can help unify your team toward common goals while keeping the workplace professional.

If you're looking to increase productivity, help your teams identify their strengths and weaknesses, and build a more supportive work environment, stick with us as we go through fifteen of the best workplace competition ideas to get your team motivated, excited, and down-right psyched to do their best work.

The Benefits of Healthy Competition in the Workplace

When you encourage competition in the workplace, you are preparing your employees both physically and mentally to perform at a higher level and put in more effort. Of course, there is an ugly side to competition as well, so the key is finding healthy tactics and exercises that boost healthy competition and motivation without turning your workplace into a toxic environment.

Motivation can have a big impact on productivity, reduce absenteeism, boost retention rates, and help foster an environment of innovation, to name a few benefits.

Healthy competition is a great way to increase the level of motivation in your workers. It helps improve performance and can serve as a team-building experience, encourage innovation, and allow employees to experience the benefits of engaging in meaningful work.

Competition Ideas For Your Workplace

How exactly can you inspire competition within your team or between departments in a healthy way? Here are fifteen ideas that will inject your employees with motivation, engagement, and a competitive spirit.

1. Live Trivia Games

Everyone is a unique individual with their own preferences, beliefs, dreams, and goals. There seems to be at least one thing every human being has in common, though: an intense love of trivia.

An indisputable thrill comes with a game of trivia, which researchers attribute to the dopamine rush akin to those associated with gambling and video games but without the same pesky downsides.

Trivia games offer your team a chance to get to know each other better and have some fun in a way that's great for team building while also experiencing the true joy of healthy competition.

You can choose to create your own trivia game that incorporates questions about your organization's values and policies, but you'll likely find that a non-work related trivia game has an even more positive effect on team building and healthy competition within your team.

If you really want to treat your team to an experience they'll remember, consider giving them a chance to engage in live trivia from the comfort of their own homes. 

2. Develop Departmental Competitions

Looking to inspire an atmosphere of friendly competition but worried about pitting your team members against each other?

You might consider creating competition between departments, which can help bring your team together while also filling them with motivation and desire to do their best work.

3. Raffles

Raffles are a great way to get competitive juices flowing on your team or in your whole organization. You can create a system where a person is entered into a raffle every time they meet a previously specified goal. This can either be a one-time thing or an ongoing challenge that helps keep motivation up in the workplace.

This is an opportunity to reward your top-performing employees in a fun way. Prizes can include highly sought-after perks like paid vacations, paid time off, bonuses, or other appealing benefits.

4. Leverage Incentives

You'll likely notice that with all of the competition ideas on our list, incentives and rewards are attached. This is because incentives are a huge motivator for employees as they can naturally foster personal engagement.

There are infinite opportunities in the workplace where you can pair incentives with friendly competition. You could even choose to attach rewards and competition to group projects, which can help boost motivation, encourage team building, and allow opportunities for innovation and creativity.

5. Production Goals Competition

If you want to encourage competition in a way that is directly related to team output, consider running a production goals contest.

What you'll want to do is divide your team up into groups of two or more employees. Then, you'll assign each of them a production goal that they will try and meet within a specific timeline. These goals might have to do with the quality of work, speed of production, volume, or other metrics.

This is a really fun way to instill a competitive atmosphere and reward the best-performing teams. You'll likely find that your workers are motivated to work harder and that you also have the chance to learn a lot about the production potential of your team. In the future, you can use this as data to incorporate into a new standard for performance.

6. Gamify Your Workplace

A great way to help keep your employees happy and healthy is to create a playful workplace. Though it can be easy to feel like time on the clock is best spent working on work, it's important to remember how valuable worker happiness and morale are on productivity.

Gamification is when you add elements of games to non-game activities or contexts. Some common ways that workplaces will gamify their office is by having leaderboards, badges, or rewards for accomplishments. You can also gamify things like training on products and services, corporate compliance training, and technical skills development training.

7. Photo Caption Contest

Are you looking for a fun way to boost healthy competition in your workplace? A photo caption contest might be the perfect solution. Not only does this create a light-hearted competitive atmosphere in the office, but it also allows your employees to stretch their creative wings.

What you'll do is provide a photo or illustration of something. You can do this on a central bulletin board if your team works in-office or through one of your communication tools for remote teams.

Then, you'll invite all of your team members to submit their own captions for the image. This might be something that's funny, cute, profound, or absurd. Once all of the submissions have been collected, the entire team can take a vote on their favorite caption.

An essential part of this game is to let your team choose the winner rather than having a supervisor or manager do the deed.

Participating in the competition might be enough of a reward in itself, but you can also attach small, appealing prizes to the game. For example, you might give the person who submitted the winning caption a gift card or reward them with a half day on the following Friday.

8. Visibly Track Metrics

There's a reason why apps and devices that track things like sleep, diet, habits, and productivity are so popular– humans seem to inherently love seeing our progress visualized.

The same is true for achievements and goals in the workplace. Consider sharing real-time metrics publicly with your team. You might consider making an online scoreboard or leaderboard to help your employees track their progress on important goals.

9. Customer Service Competition

If you're managing a customer service team, you can create a friendly contest between employees using customer reviews.

This is a great way to kill two birds with one stone, as you'll likely see that it both improves performance and customer satisfaction.

10. Set Quantifiable Goals

No matter what competition format you're using, it's important to set goals that are quantifiable. If goals are vague or subjective, the whole exercise can end up backfiring.

It's also important to remember that all of your employees are at different points in their careers and skill sets, and setting big overarching goals that only single out the same senior employee again and again can be disheartening. Instead, consider setting more bite-size goals that every team member can take a shot at reaching first.

11. Encourage Contests-of-One

Deliberate games, competitions, and challenges are a great way to foster healthy competition in the workplace, but you also might consider encouraging your employees to tune into competing with themselves.

Consider coming up with a list of measurable factors that your workers can strive to set and beat their own "personal best." You'll likely find that this is highly motivating for most employees and can even lead them to develop improved systems for achieving their goals and completing their tasks.

12. Brackets-Style Competition

Sometimes, it can be hard for employees to feel like their progress is adding up to anything. A great way to visualize employee progress while also inspiring friendly competition is with a brackets competition.

With this game, every team member has a bracket position on the team, just like in fantasy football. They can then receive points whenever they meet predetermined goals, which can help them move up in the brackets and eventually vie for the top position. 

13. Team Fitness Challenges

While it can be good to use work-related initiatives to inspire healthy competition, it can also be good to participate in activities that don't directly involve the day-to-day tasks of working at your company.

One such idea is a team fitness challenge. Exercise is an awesome way for your whole team to feel better at work, as it has countless physical and mental benefits. When you sprinkle in some friendly competition to the mix, it can take things to the next level.

Of course, you'll want to be mindful of inclusivity when it comes to this type of contest. Carefully consider the individuals on your team and whether they are capable of engaging in such a contest or if they would feel left out if they're unable to participate.

If it seems like a good fit for your team, consider offering incentives to meet specific fitness goals. This could be a one-time thing like a push-up contest or a longer-term fitness challenge such as walking or running a certain number of miles a week.

You can break your team up into smaller groups or have this be a personal competition between individuals. Some prizes you might offer include gift cards, long lunches, or wellness program points. If you engage in a longer-term fitness challenge with your team, consider celebrating with the whole team at the end with a classic team pizza party.

14. Virtual Bingo

Helping to boost motivation in the workplace is hard enough when everyone is sitting in the same office five days a week, but a whole other challenge is when your team is remote. Not only are individuals isolated from one another when they're working, but they also don't have nearly as many opportunities to socialize and get to know each other.

Competition is an excellent way to create a team culture, even (or perhaps especially) when your team is dispersed. While trivia is one great option, you also might consider putting on a game of virtual radio bingo.

Radio bingo is a mash-up of traditional bingo and Name That Tune, a recipe for a surefire good time. 

15. Sales Poker

For sales teams, consider taking the ever-popular game of poker and using it to reward your employees for meeting sales goals. This can really add an element of fun to the daunting task of reaching sales goals while also fostering healthy competition.

The way this works is that employees will earn a random card every time they meet a sales goal. Once they have a complete hand of cards, it's time to play it against the house. The supervisor or manager will hold five cards that make up the house hand.

You can choose to either follow the rules of standard poker or Texas Hold 'em– whichever flavor best suits your team. Come up with a list of small rewards when a team member beats the house, and watch the motivation in your office skyrocket.

Fuel For Friendly Competition in the Workplace

No matter what healthy competition activity or initiative you start at your workplace, you'll likely find that your team requires frequent re-fueling to do their best work. Whether you're looking for the perfect reward at the end of a challenge or you want to make games like virtual trivia extra enjoyable, delicious food can be the perfect solution.

If you manage a remote team, you're likely thinking that this is an impossible feat. Luckily, we're here to help!

At PIzzaTime, we specialize in offering food and experiences to distributed teams around the world. Want to treat your employees to coffee and breakfast as you lay out the ground rules for your cutthroat (yet friendly) sales competition? We've got you covered.

Looking to reward your team with a special lunch after they've completed a competition and team-building initiative? We can do that too.

Wondering if your team would enjoy piping hot, fresh pizza delivered to their door during virtual trivia? The answer is definitely yes, and we're just the folks to make that happen for you.

The Pizzatime Blog

The Slice

Thank you! Welcome to the list.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Some further reading



meals catered to thousands of companies across the globe

and thousands of other leading companies
Our team changed from being in the office to working from home permanently through the pandemic. So Pizzatime gives our team a reason to gather and have social time. We also use Pizzatime to get together for milestone celebrations. Everyone loves pizza, right!?!
Angela T
CL Underwriting Team Lead
Grange Insurance
It arrives at the time of the event, so everyone is sharing the same experience at the same time.
Mariuxi T
Field marketing specialist
It takes away the huge time consumption it normally would take if I had to place orders for everyone manually or if I had to send them all gift cards and expense everything, one by one.
Madison G
Executive Assistant
Pizza and coffee are everyone's love language and a great way to treat your employees, teams, or friends. Plus, Pizzatime makes the entire process SO easy! I couldn't recommend them enough!
Kim K
Administrative Assistant
General Mills
The best option to use when planning a virtual lunch for teams across multiple sites and locations.
Sherry S
Administrative Assistant
Capital One
A convenient way to order pizza for a group and save time. It’s great for virtual lunch and happy hour meetings with entertainment.
Loubna S
Executive Assistant

Mix it up with something new

Remote meetings are boring. Stimulate your team with a unique experience.

Explore Food & Drink