Recently, here at the Sean Adams University of Business Development Leadership, we had a biggest loser contest. That’s where everyone in an office gets together to see who can lose the most weight. Well, I’m proud to report that I won! And all it took was a slight adjustment to my diet, a little bit more exercise, and recalibrating the scale!

But I’m not just sharing this to brag about my achievement. You see, these sorts of contests are really great for developing office camaraderie. They provide a way for employees to work together in order to fulfill a common goal, which is to be better than each other.

As the owner of a small business, you should be open to holding office contests. But not a weight loss contest because everyone does that. In fact, I had the person who organized ours demoted for lack of creativity (and also because that might lead him to start stress eating, which would give me the upper hand). No, you should choose a more exciting contest for your office. For example:

A Memory Loss Contest: Employees compete to forget the most about who they are and where they came from. After two months, whoever has the blankest stare wins and is subsequently fired, because he probably doesn’t remember how to do his job anymore.

A Find-a-Window, Close-a-Window Contest: Every day for a year, a window will be left open. Whoever finds and closes the most windows wins. Do the windows have to be in the office? That depends on how EXTREME of a contest you want to run!


A Put-Money-in-a-Jar Contest: Place a jar outside your office. Invite employees to put money into it. Whoever puts the most money in gets company-wide fame (via mass email)!

A Plate Snowflake-Making Contest: You give employees scissors and have them cut up paper plates from the kitchen into snowflake designs. Whoever makes the coolest looking snowflake is allowed to use his scissors to cut another paper plate into a trophy. Added bonus: employees get to eat off fun snowflake-shaped paper plates for a while!

A No-Spilling Contest: If an employee can fill up his coffee cup and get it back to his desk without spilling, he wins. His prize is not having to clean up spilled coffee. (Ideally, everyone should be a winner.)


A Chili-Cook-off-Book-off Contest: Whoever can coordinate the time and place for this year’s chili cook-off first is the victor!

A Mystery Contest: Employees will enter the conference room to find three twigs, a tee-shirt, a spatula, and a bag of cotton balls on the table. Their only instructions: “Play to win!” It’s up to the employees to figure out how the game works. The winner is the one who leaves and goes back to work first. His prize is that he doesn’t have to stay late to finish his work because he didn’t waste his whole day playing with twigs and cotton balls in the conference room.

Those are our ideas for a contest. Now share yours in the comments!