Looking for contest prize ideas for work to elevate your team’s motivation? Discover 55 creative and compelling rewards that cater to any budget, guaranteed to spark enthusiasm and drive in your workplace.
55 Contest Prize Ideas for Work: Free, Inexpensive, & Expensive
Here, I have detailed 55 contest prize ideas with a wide range of prizes, including freebies, inexpensive options, and some more extravagant choices. No matter your budget or company culture, there’s something here for everyone!
13 Free Contest Prize Ideas for Work
Looking for some freebies to offer as contest prizes? Here are 13 options that won’t cost you a dime but will still get your team members excited and motivated!
#1. Extra Time Off:
Extra time off is always a highly coveted prize, especially for employees who value work-life balance. It could be a day off, half-day, or even a few hours of flexible time to use at their discretion.
By offering your contest’s winner(s) this gift of time, you enhance their well-being and demonstrate your commitment to their rest and rejuvenation. Best of all, it comes at no cost to you.
#2. Reserved Parking Spot:
You can make your employee feel special offering the convenience of a reserved parking spot for a month or an exclusive spot that’s typically off-limits. This prize is especially useful for companies with limited parking space, making it a highly sought-after treat. This simple perk can make daily commutes a little easier and a lot more special.
#3. Feature in Company Newsletter:
Employees love recognition, and what better way to showcase their achievements than in the company newsletter? This prize can be especially valuable for employees who have gone above and beyond, achieved a milestone, or accomplished something significant. It will make them feel appreciated and boost their professional profile within the company.
#4. Professional Development Day:
Investing in your employees’ professional growth is always a great idea. So, why not reward them with a professional development day? They can attend a conference, workshop, or training session related to their job role.
Let the winner take part in a professional development event during work hours without using up their leave. Not only does this benefit the employee, but it also adds value to your company by improving their skills and knowledge.
#5. Lunch with the CEO:
Employees often have limited interactions with upper management. So, this prize offers a unique opportunity to sit down for an intimate lunch and network with the CEO. It’s also a great way for the CEO to get to know their employees better and show appreciation for their hard work.
#6. Flexible Work Day:
A flexible workday can be a refreshing change for employees who are used to the usual 9-5 grind. Let them pick their start and end times, or even allow them to work from home for a day. This prize gives employees more control over their schedule and can help improve work-life balance.
#7. Dress Down Passes:
A dress-down pass can be an exciting prize for companies with a strict dress code. For instance, the winner can choose to wear jeans or casual attire to work for a day without breaking any rules.
It allows the winner to relax their attire for a day or week without any repercussions. This small gesture can make employees feel more comfortable at work and even boost creativity.
#8. Prime Office Space:
Give the winner of your contest access to prime office space for a week or month. This could be a coveted corner office, an office with a view, or even a private conference room. Moreover, the winner can enjoy this space for meetings, working on important projects, or simply as a change of scenery. This prize especially appeals to employees who may not have access to such spaces regularly.
#9. Team Leader for a Day:
Give the winner a taste of leadership by letting them run a team meeting or project, honing their management skills. This prize lets an employee take charge for a day, making decisions and assigning tasks. It’s a fantastic way to boost confidence and gain leadership experience. Plus, it allows other team members to see their colleagues differently.
#10. Social Media Shoutout:
In this digital era, social media recognition is a big deal. You can showcase the contest winner in a post on your company’s social media accounts. It could be an Instagram story or a LinkedIn shoutout, giving props to their accomplishments and contributions to the company. It makes the employee feel special and helps promote your brand and team culture.
#11. Bring Your Pet to Work Day:
For pet lovers, being able to bring their furry friend to work is a dream come true. You can make it happen for the contest winner by designating a special day where they can have their pet at work. This prize can boost morale and help create a fun and relaxed atmosphere in the office.
#12. Volunteer Day:
Encourage your employees to give back to the community by offering a volunteer day as a cool prize. The winner gets to choose a cause or organization they’re passionate about and spend the day making a positive impact. It’s also a great opportunity for team-building and fostering a sense of social responsibility within the company.
#13. DIY Crafted Product:
This one is my personal favorite prize idea. Here, all employees can work together and craft something using office stuff. It is one of the most creative contest prize ideas for work. You can make a DIY desk organizer, paper art, or even a pen stand with everyone’s signatures. Not only is it a unique prize, but it also serves as a memorable keepsake for the winner.
For more DIY desk organizer ideas, you may check out the below video content.
11 Inexpensive Contest Prize Ideas for Work
If you have a slight budget for the contest prizes, don’t worry! Here are some inexpensive yet impressive ideas that will make your employees feel appreciated.
#1. Personalized Business Cards:
Design personalized business cards for the winner, featuring their name and title. This prize makes them feel important and helps promote your company when they hand out their unique business cards. It may cost you a little, but the impact it creates is worth every penny.
#2. Office Supply Kit:
Put together a kit with essential office supplies like pens, notebooks, post-it notes, and other useful items. You can even add some fun and unique stationery to make it more exciting. It’s a practical prize that every employee will appreciate.
#3. Gift Cards & Vouchers:
Gift cards and vouchers are always a hit as prizes; they don’t have to break the bank. You can give out gift cards & vouchers for coffee shops, restaurants, or even online stores. It allows the winner to treat themselves and enjoy a small reward without spending any money.
You can also give them a gift card for a subscription service like Spotify, Netflix, or Audible. This prize offers ongoing enjoyment and makes the winner feel valued beyond just the contest.
#4. Company Swag:
If your company has merchandise like t-shirts, hats, or water bottles, consider giving them as prizes. It’s a great way to promote your brand and make employees feel like they’re part of the team. You can even let the winner choose their favorite item from a selection of company swag.
#5. Office Plants:
Add some life and color to your office with a potted plant as a prize. A small succulent or air plant can brighten up any desk, and it’s a low-maintenance gift that anyone can appreciate. Plus, plants have been shown to reduce stress and increase productivity in the workplace.
#6. Movie Tickets:
Give the winner a movie night with free cinema or streaming service tickets. Also, you can include some snacks to make it a complete movie experience. This prize allows them to unwind and enjoy some quality entertainment on their own time, which can help boost morale and recharge their batteries.
Books are awesome prizes, especially for bookworm employees. You can add cool extras like bookmarks, personalized book recommendations, or even a cozy reading nook in the office.
Plus, winners can choose between a physical book or an e-book. It’s a thoughtful gift that shows you care about their interests and growth. This prize encourages learning and can spark interesting chats among colleagues.
#8. Custom Mugs:
A personalized mug with the employee’s name, picture, or a motivational quote is a fun and practical prize. It can become their go-to cup for coffee or tea at work, and it’s a unique item that stands out from regular office mugs. You can even make it more special by filling it with some goodies like chocolates or candies.
#9. Desk Toys:
Help your employees add a touch of fun to their workspace with some desk toys. You can get items like fidget spinners, stress balls, or mini puzzles that can help you relax and de-stress during breaks. It’s a small prize that can make a big difference in an employee’s daily work routine.
#10. Lunch Delivery:
Give the winner a break from meal prepping and treat them to a lunch delivery service or gift card for their favorite restaurant. It’s a nice change of pace and allows them to enjoy a tasty meal without leaving the office.
#11. Fitness Class Passes:
Encourage a healthy and active lifestyle by offering fitness class passes as a prize. It can be for yoga, dance classes, or even a gym membership. This prize promotes wellness and self-care, which can lead to happier and more motivated employees.
31 Expensive Contest Prize Ideas for Work
If you have a larger budget for contest prizes or want to offer luxury rewards, here are some ideas that will surely get your employees excited and motivated.
#1. Tech Gadgets:
As a tech enthusiast, I gotta say new tech gadgets are always super exciting prizes! As contest prizes, you can give away popular items like smartphones, smartwatches, fitness trackers, tablets, laptops, or Bluetooth speakers.
And hey, the iPhone 15 series is totally on trend right now! If your company can swing it, that would be an amazing prize. These gadgets boost productivity and add a touch of luxury to an employee’s daily routine.
#2. Travel Vouchers:
If you have the budget, consider giving out travel vouchers for flights or accommodations. It’s a luxurious and exciting prize that allows employees to explore new places and recharge their batteries. You can even let them choose where they want to go within a specific budget.
For example, you can give out a $1,000 travel voucher and let the winner plan their dream trip within that budget. It’s a generous prize that shows appreciation for your employees’ hard work.
#3. Cash Prizes
You might know money is a universal prize that everyone loves! And it’s also flexible, allowing the winner to choose how they want to spend it. Whether it is $10 or $10k, cash prizes are always appreciated and can motivate employees to participate in future contests.
You can give out cash prizes in various forms like gift cards, prepaid credit cards, or even a bonus on their next paycheck. It’s a simple yet effective way to reward employees for their efforts and dedication.
#4. Luxury Gift Baskets:
Who doesn’t love receiving a basket full of goodies? You can create high-end gift baskets with items like gourmet chocolates, fine wine, luxury skincare products, or designer accessories. It’s a lavish prize that adds a touch of indulgence to an employee’s day.
You can also personalize the gift basket based on the winner’s interests, making it even more special and thoughtful. It shows that you value them as individuals and want to reward them with something unique.
#5. Weekend Getaway:
Why not take it a step further and offer an all-expenses-paid weekend getaway as a contest prize? It’s a luxurious and memorable experience that lets employees unwind and enjoy quality time with their loved ones. Depending on your budget, you can choose a nearby destination or even go for an exotic location.
This prize also creates lasting memories and strengthens relationships among colleagues. Plus, it’s a great way to show your employees that their hard work is recognized and appreciated.
#6. VIP Event Tickets:
Give the winner a taste of the high life by offering tickets to exclusive events like concerts, sporting events, or award shows. It’s a unique and exciting prize that allows them to experience something they might not have access to otherwise. Plus, it’s a great way to foster team bonding as they can attend the event together.
#7. Luxury Dining Experience:
Treat the winner to a fancy dinner at a renowned restaurant or organize a private chef to cook for them and their loved ones. It’s an extravagant prize that lets them indulge in delicious food and drinks without worrying about the bill. This experience is sure to make them feel appreciated and special.
#8. Office Furniture Upgrade:
If your company is looking to upgrade its office furniture, why not turn it into a contest prize? You can offer the winner a new ergonomic chair, a standing desk, or even a complete office makeover. It’s a practical and luxurious prize that can improve their work environment and make them more comfortable.
#9. Professional Course:
Invest in your employee’s personal and professional growth by offering them a spot in a high-end professional course. It can be for leadership development, project management, digital marketing, or any other skill that will benefit their career. This prize shows that you value their development and want to help them reach their full potential.
#10. Company Stock/Equity:
Another valuable prize is giving company stock or equity to the contest winner. You can even make the winner a member of the Board of Directors. It rewards them for their hard work and makes them feel like they’re part of the company’s success.
Moreover, you can make the prize even more exciting by offering it in the form of restricted stock units (RSUs) or employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). It can be a long-term incentive that motivates employees to stay with the company and contribute to its growth.
#11. Spa Day:
Give your employees the gift of relaxation and pampering by offering a spa day as a prize. It’s a luxurious and rejuvenating experience that can help them de-stress and recharge. Plus, it shows that you care about their well-being and want to provide them with some much-needed self-care.
#12. Personalized Trophy or Plaque:
You can create a personalized trophy or plaque for the contest winner. It’s a tangible and meaningful prize that acknowledges their hard work and achievements. Also, it serves as a constant reminder of their success and motivates them to continue striving for excellence.
#13. Smart Home Devices:
Nowadays, smart home devices like voice assistants, thermostats, and security systems are becoming increasingly popular. They add convenience and contribute to a more modern and connected lifestyle. Offer these as contest prizes to show your employees that you value their comfort and well-being both in and out of the office.
#14. Luxury Car Rental:
For an extravagant prize, you can offer the contest winner a luxury car rental for the weekend. They can share an exciting and memorable experience with their loved ones. Moreover, rewarding them for their hard work is a fun and unique way.
#15. Designer Accessories:
As a contest prize, you can offer designer accessories like handbags, dresses, or sunglasses. It’s a luxurious and stylish gift that lets the winner elevate their wardrobe and feel confident and appreciated. Also, it’s a great way to show that you value their individual style and want to reward them with something special.
#16. Golf Day:
For the golf enthusiasts in your company, a day at the golf course can be an excellent prize. You can offer a round of golf at a prestigious club or even sponsor their entry into a tournament. It’s a fun and unique way to reward employees who enjoy this sport.
#17. Charitable Donation in Winner’s Name:
You can also turn the contest prize into an act of kindness by donating in the winner’s name. It’s a meaningful and heartwarming gesture that rewards them and positively impacts society. Plus, it shows that your company values philanthropy and encourages employees to give back.
For a creative and unique prize, you can offer artwork from a local artist or even commission a piece specifically for the winner. It can be anything from a painting, sculpture, or even a custom-made piece of furniture. It’s a thoughtful gift that allows them to add something special to their home or office space. This prize supports local artists and adds a personal touch to the reward.
#19. Home Office Makeover:
With remote work becoming more common, a home office makeover can be a valuable prize. You can offer new furniture, decor, or even technology to create a comfortable and productive workspace for the winner. It’s a practical and thoughtful reward that improves their daily work life.
#20. Wine Tasting Tour:
If your country or state allows alcohol, a wine-tasting tour can be a fantastic prize for the wine lovers in your company. You can organize a private tour at a local winery or even offer a trip to a renowned region like Napa Valley. It’s an exclusive and indulgent experience that allows them to expand their knowledge and taste some of the best wines in the world.
Read also: Countries where alcohol is banned
#21. Fitness Equipment:
For health-conscious employees, fitness equipment can be a great prize. You can offer a gym membership, home workout equipment, or even a personal training session. It’s a thoughtful and beneficial reward that shows you care about their well-being and want to support their fitness goals.
#22. Luxury Bedding Set:
You can provide the winner with a luxurious bedding set to help them improve their sleep quality and overall well-being. It’s a practical prize that promotes self-care and relaxation. Plus, it shows that you prioritize the employee’s rest and understand the importance of work-life balance.
#23. Personal Chef Experience:
What if you could bring a gourmet dining experience to the winner’s home? You can do just that by offering a personal chef experience as a contest prize. It’s an extravagant and unforgettable reward that allows them to enjoy a five-star meal in their home.
#24. Theater Subscription:
If theater lovers are in your company, how about gifting them a subscription to a local theater? It’s an awesome prize that lets them enjoy multiple shows all year round while supporting their love for the arts. It’s a cool and cultural reward that lets them relax and appreciate different forms of entertainment.
#25. Personal Stylist Session:
You can offer a personal stylist session to the winner as a prize. It’s an opportunity for them to revamp their wardrobe and learn valuable fashion tips from a professional stylist. This prize rewards them and helps boost their confidence and personal brand.
#26. Adventure Experience:
For the thrill-seekers on your team, you can offer an adventure experience as a prize. It can be anything from bungee jumping, skydiving, or even a hot air balloon ride. It’s an adrenaline-pumping reward that lets them push their limits and create unforgettable memories.
#27. Luxury Watch:
If someone were to ask me what my absolute favorite thing to win in a contest is, it would definitely be a luxury watch. And I bet many others would feel the same way. A fancy watch isn’t just a status symbol or a sign of success; it’s also a timeless piece that can be passed down through generations.
Whether it’s a ROLEX, an OMEGA, or any other high-end brand that the winner has had their eye on, it’s an extravagant and enduring prize. Plus, it’s a constant reminder of all the hard work and achievement that went into earning it.
#28. Adventure Sports Experience:
For the adrenaline junkies in your company, an adventure sports experience can be a thrilling prize. It could be anything from white-water rafting, zip-lining, or even rock climbing. It’s an opportunity for them to face their fears and try something new while having fun and creating unforgettable memories.
#29. High-End Cookware:
For your company’s foodies and home chefs, high-end cookware can be an excellent prize. You can offer a set of professional-grade pots and pans, kitchen gadgets, or even a cooking class with a renowned chef. It’s a practical and unique reward that allows them to elevate their culinary skills.
Jewelry is always a timeless and cherished treasure. Whether it’s a necklace, bracelet, or even a pair of earrings, the winner will hold onto them for years to come. Depending on your budget, you can go for designer brands or show support for local jewelers. It’s a special and luxurious reward that shows how much you value and appreciate the winner.
#31. Car or Bike:
Consider gifting a car or bike if you want to go all out with the contest prize. It’s an extravagant and life-changing reward that will leave the winner in awe. You can either offer a brand-new vehicle or give them the option to choose from a selection of models within a certain price range.
It’s a grand gesture that recognizes their hard work and dedication. However, check with your company’s HR department and legal team before offering this type of prize.
Read also: Unique competition prize ideas for students
FAQs on Contest Prize Ideas for Work
Can I offer multiple prizes for a contest?
Yes, you can offer multiple prizes for a contest. It’s an effective way to increase participation and engagement as more people will have a chance to win something.
Do I need to pay taxes on contest prizes?
It depends on the value of the prize and your country/state laws. For example, as per Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the US, prizes worth $600 or more are typically subject to taxes. It’s best to consult with a tax professional or your company’s HR department for guidance.
How do I choose a suitable prize for my contest?
Consider your target audience and what they would value and appreciate. You can also survey employees or use their feedback from past events to understand what they would like.
Additionally, consider your company’s budget and legal restrictions before finalizing a prize. Overall, the prize should be relevant, desirable, and aligned with your company’s values and culture.
Can I offer non-monetary prizes for a contest?
Absolutely! Non-monetary prizes can be just as valuable and appreciated as monetary ones. You can get creative with your prize choices and offer experiences, products, or services that align with your company’s culture and values.
The key is ensuring the prize is relevant and desirable for the winner. In fact, non-monetary prizes often have a more personal and memorable impact on the recipient.
What if I am unable to provide the promised prize for the contest?
It’s always crucial to follow through on your promises and provide the advertised prize for a contest. However, if unforeseen circumstances prevent you from delivering the original prize, offer an alternative of equal or greater value.
Be transparent and communicate any changes with the winner as soon as possible. It’s also a good idea to have a backup plan in case of any unforeseen circumstances.
Also, consult your company’s HR department and legal team for guidance on handling such situations. Remember, the goal is to maintain trust and goodwill with both current and potential employees.
Can I offer personalized prizes for a contest?
Yes, offering personalized prizes can add an extra touch of thoughtfulness and appreciation for the winner. Consider their interests, hobbies, or even their accomplishments within the company when choosing a personalized prize. It shows that you value and appreciate them as an individual.
How do I ensure fairness in a contest with a prize?
To ensure fairness in a contest with a prize, it’s essential to have clear rules and criteria for participation and selection of the winner(s). Communicate these rules and criteria to all participants before the contest begins.
Additionally, consider having a neutral party or panel of judges for contests that involve subjective entries (such as creative submissions). This helps avoid any potential biases or conflicts of interest.
If possible, allow employees to provide feedback or vote for their favorite entries transparently. This can also increase employee engagement and build a sense of community within the company.
Lastly, make sure to follow through with your established rules and criteria when selecting the winner(s). It’s important to maintain transparency and integrity throughout the entire contest process. Overall, fairness is key to ensuring a positive and successful contest experience for all participants.
From free to extravagant, there are many exciting and unique options to choose from when it comes to contest prizes. The key is to consider your audience and the company’s budget while selecting a prize that will truly motivate and engage employees.
By offering thoughtful and valuable rewards, you show appreciation for their hard work and strengthen employee morale, satisfaction, and loyalty. So get creative with your contest prizes and watch your employees feel motivated, rewarded, and inspired!