Business Category Business: career motivation and tips to move ahead

Ideas for retail contests for employees

Setting sales and service goals for your employees on a regular basis gives them a sense of responsibility for store objectives. Hosting contests will add fun and motivation to achieving these goals. Allow your employees to input on the types of prizes they’d like to receive and to be a part of setting goals. Make sure sales goals are realistic for your staff based on the day of the week and any holidays or special events.

Personal Record Breaking

Post each employee’s best sales numbers for a specific time period (day, week, or month). Ask each employee to try to beat his own personal record and reward each person who does so.

Perfect Sales

Each time an employee makes a “perfect sale” (which you may define as the types of items sold, or the customer service given), give her a raffle ticket towards a drawing that will happen at the end of the week or month. The more raffle tickets she receives, the more chances she has to win the grand prize.

Retail Bingo

If you have certain items in your store that you are trying to sell, consider a bingo contest in which you give each employee a bingo card (maybe posted up in the break room) with key items listed in each square. As they sell those items, they can mark off the squares. The first employee to get “bingo” can win a prize.

Idea Makers

Let your employees come up with a new customer service policy, marketing idea, or merchandise display scheme each month (or week, if appropriate). Pick one idea, that is financially feasible, and implement it in your store. Reward the employee with a small prize whether or not his idea works out well. This will inspire creativity and involvement in store success.

Big Days

If there are days of the year that you are trying to meet huge sales goals, motivate employees by taping up a mysterious bag or envelope in the break room that contains an anonymous prize. Get everyone excited about what the prize could be. At the end of the day, the employee with the most sales can open her prize. This will give your staff something fun and tangible to work toward.


For an exciting non-work related contest, encourage the entire staff to sign up for a charity walk or similar event. Reward the employee who is able to raise the most pledge money from his family and friends for the charity. This inspires friendly competition and shows your desire to help the community.

Types of Prizes

Store gift cards or merchandise, additional lunch breaks, movie tickets, paid days off, food, coffee shop gift cards, trophies, “employee of the month” certificates, scheduling preference, and being let off early are common prizes that will be popular with employees.