The Best Motivational Games for Employees and Remote Workers


A snakes and ladders game, starting at 1 and finshing at 42. It had two snakes and 3 ladders on the board.

Here is a run-down of our favourite fun motivational games, designed to engage both remote workers and employees in the workplace.

Motivational Games for Remote Workers

With more and more companies moving to homeworking, we’ve come up with a list of seven motivational games, created especially for remote workers.

Our motivational games have been designed to help engage remote workers.

These games have been designed to help engage remote workers and make sure they feel like valued members of your team community.

1. The Thirty-Day Challenge – Set a 30-Day Challenge for all remote agents to take part in. You could tie it in with key contact centre targets and reward all those who complete the challenge. An example challenge could be learning the phonetic alphabet.

2. A Virtual Quiz – Include questions that test contact centre and general knowledge – to create a fun experience, mixed in with some key learnings.

3. Learning Something New –  Coach your agents a new skill at the start of the week and ask them to try it out on a call. Then get them to pinpoint a call in which they demonstrate that skill. Listen to the recording, if you agree, they win a small prize.

Let’s look at some games designed purely for fun – but that may also increase engagement and motivation levels, as they help to keep things fresh.

These motivational games can all be great for encouraging remote workers to keep learning. But sometimes all they want is a bit of fun.

With this in mind, let’s look at some games designed purely for fun – but that may also increase engagement and motivation levels, as they help to keep things fresh. These have been sent in to us by our readers.

4. Through the Keyhole – We did a “Through the Keyhole” game where team members of our management team sent in photos and our agents had to guess: who lives in a house like this? – Thanks to Rosie

5. Agent Profiles – We had all team members create profile cards based on them and then we had games involving these, such as: “Whose fact is this?” These games give the team a chance to learn more about each other and helps to bring us all together. – Thanks to Curtis

6. Game of Phones – To play this game, we set weekly photo challenges that we all judge and pick winners for each week, playing for points. When we all come together for an event, the winning team (named after a family from Game of Thrones) will win a prize! – Thanks to Charlotte

7. Scavenger Hunts – Scavenger hunts have proven popular where you divide people into teams and they have to find items from their homes – e.g. pets, toys, clothing items – and show them on camera.  – Thanks to Susan

Motivational Games for the Workplace

These motivational games have been sent in by contact centre professionals and have all proven to be successful when deployed in the contact centre.

Many of these games, including “The Wheel of Wow” and “Call Centre Bingo”, can also be adapted for remote workers.

1. The Wheel of Wow

This game was suggested by Dan Moross, Director of Customer Experience at MOO, who believes that spinning a prize wheel, the “Wheel of Wow”, that gives out spot prizes to deserving agents, can boost team motivation.

Thumbnail of Dan Moross

Dan Moross

According to Dan, MOO look at: “Productivity, C-SAT and internal quality reviews to recognize and nominate people, based on a tiered system, who then get the chance to spin the ‘Wheel of Wow’.”

“The Wheel of Wow has things like leave work an hour early, have a free lunch on MOO and a free bottle of wine to much smaller things. But getting everybody up in the middle of the day to spin the wheel, which creates a loud clicking noise, gets everybody’s morale boosted for the afternoon.”

You could buy a reasonably priced spinning prize wheel, or make your own. There is space for about 14 prizes on the wheel, which you could vary from week to week.

Some examples of prizes that can be included on your “Wheel of Wow” include:

  • A £5 gift voucher
  • A bottle of wine
  • A coffee mug
  • A dress-down day
  • A free lunch – up to £10
  • A guaranteed parking spot for the week
  • A new desk tidy
  • A new work coffee cup
  • A pair of slipper socks they can wear at their desks
  • A shift swap
  • A spill-proof travel mug
  • A small plant (perhaps a cactus!)
  • Coupons!
  • Food – e.g. sweets, chocolate
  • Leave work 30 minutes early
  • Start work 30 minutes late

For more ideas of incentives for the winners of your motivational games, read our article: How to Make the Most of Your Staff Incentives – With Examples

2. Contact Centre Bingo

As mentioned previously when we referred to the scavenger hunt, you can recreate well-known games to fit the call centre dynamic. This allow agents to automatically link the office with activities that have fun connotations.

A call centre bingo scorecard

To edit and print this call centre bingo card template, click here!

One such well-known game is call centre bingo, and a template example of this motivational game can be found above.

To play this game, every agent gets a card and crosses thing off as they hit each target. The first to get a line, then a full house, wins.

“It gets everyone wanting to take calls and excited about whether that next call will get them to cross one off. And, of course, they have to shout BINGO,” says Charlie, who plays this game in his contact centre.

3. Holiday-Themed Competitions

Associating occasions that often bring excitement, enthusiasm and happiness with the contact centre can spread positivity, and bringing games into this equation can further boost morale and motivation.

A picture of a valentines celebration gift

In this motivational game, agents are awarded hearts when they achieve their call targets…

Sarah, one of our readers, has used this approach in her contact centre, where her company are annually run a fun Valentine’s themed competition.

In this motivational game, agents are awarded hearts when they achieve their call targets, double hearts where they exceed and are awarded Ace of Hearts where they have done something exceptional.

“Whoever has the most hearts at the end wins the competition. This is all over our walls, so agents can see who is in the lead and it will drive them to do a bit more to win,” adds Sarah.

This motivation game can also work well for occasions like Christmas, Easter and Halloween – in addition to major sporting events.

Bring some of that happy spirit that comes with these events into the contact centre through motivational games like these!

See what other motivation games you can play during the World Cup, Olympic Games and the 6 Nations by clicking on the relevant link.

4. The 100% Club Raffle

Whilst motivational games are important, so is agent performance, and that is why many of these suggestions align the two. This example, sent in by Laura (another of our readers), is no different.

A picture of raffle tickets

In this game agents are rewarded with a raffle ticket for a 100% QA score.

According to Laura, the contact centre of which she is part runs an incentive called the “100% club”.

“When an agent achieves a score of 100% for their quality assessment we award them with a voucher. During the month they collect the vouchers and at the end of the month these are exchanged for raffle tickets,” says Laura.

“We then do a raffle of small-cost items; the more raffle tickets earned, the higher the chance that they win. The target can be amended to suit your contact centre.”

Our favourite raffle prize ideas for the winners of this motivational game include:

  • A meal for two at a restaurant
  • Tickets to the cinema or a sporting event
  • 100 free photos from an online photo printing website

5. Under-the-Desk Prizes

Raffle ticket prizes can be particularly useful in the contact centre as they are fun, versatile and you can get creative with the games that you use them for.

A graphic of a presents placed under the desk and on the chair.

Place raffle tickets under the agent’s desks, and throughout the day pick a winning number. It creates a real buzz in the office.

For example, you can use them as in the suggestion above or tape them underneath everyone’s desk, as our reader Helen does in her contact centre.

You can then play a game by asking different agents, throughout the day, to pick a number and the winning desk would pick something from our rewards cupboard.

“Overall, it’s about 20 agents that win, but it creates a real buzz in the office,” says Helen. 

Keep a rewards cupboard stocked with little snacks and treats, such as biscuits, crisps, cans of fizzy drinks, or non-food-related things, such as hand cream, nice pens, and notebooks.

Choosing a prize from the rewards cupboard can be a great reward for the winners of many of our motivational games.

6. Survivor Island

Friendly competition between agents is always a bonus as it helps to create a sociable environment that improves morale as well as motivation.

Lisa, who submitted the following idea to us, runs a call centre of “20 agents that generate about 10-20 deals per day per agent” and has found a game called Survivor Island useful in providing healthy sales competition.

This motivational game starts first thing in the morning, when the manager or leader writes all the agents’ names in a big circle on the whiteboard.

Every time an agent gets a lead they can erase someone’s name off the board. If they get a lead and someone has already erased their name, they can put their name back up.

“It is really fun to watch the agents team up against each other,” adds Lisa, who likes the idea of creating a bit of healthy competition between advisors.

“We start the game on Monday and if nobody wins we up the prize and continue it on to the next day. It has lasted as much as 5 days before.”

7. Pass the Parcel

Of course, we had to include a makeshift party game, and why not go with the classic Pass the Parcel!

The parcel starts with the first person to get a sale – unwrap a layer! There may be mini prizes between the layers!

Using an outbound sales contact centre as an example, the parcel starts with the first person to get a sale – who then gets to unwrap a layer, as how the motivational game is played in Sarah’s contact centre.

“The next person to get a sale in unwraps the next layer, and so on. There’s a prize at the end, so agents have try their best to get as many sales in as they can,” says Sarah.

“You never know, there might be mini prizes in between the layers too.”

While this is well suited to the sales field, it can be modified so that the agent can unwrap a layer of the gift after a call in which they receive a 100% quality score.

8. Cell Wars

Popular contact centre games often involve creativity to rejuvenate agents’ minds, to boost morale and provide motivation during a repetitive routine.

This idea, submitted by Steven, incorporates this principle, and the object of the game is to have agents pretend they own their own multi-million-dollar store franchise.

The better the agent’s customer surveys are, as well as their first call resolution, the better the health of their store.

“Each agent came up with a fun name for their store, and as their manager, I sent daily financial updates of their stores as well as positive customer surveys for the agents to see the kinds of comments customers are sending,” says Steven.

In Steven’s contact centre, there were five winners, with the top three receiving a $5 gift card and the top two receiving a free lunch.

9. Roll the Dice

Whilst some of these games have been quite elaborate, you don’t always need great preparation to boost motivation.

Indeed, in an example sent in by our reader Sydney, all you need is a wipe board, a red and blue board pen and a set of dice that are different colours.

To play this game, draw a grid on the wipe board with 1–6 across the top (in red) and 1–6 down the left side (in blue).

“For every sale (or any initiative) your reps get, they put their name/initials in a box. Once the board is full, roll the dice and the numbers that match is the square that wins,” adds Sydney.

“You can make the prize whatever you want. My team really enjoys this game.”

10. Contact Centre Dodgeball

Another idea that simply involves a flip chart or whiteboard is contact centre dodgeball, a motivational game which – according to Ruth, another of our readers – “goes down a storm” in her contact centre.

For each sale… the individual takes a turn and can knock off a member of the other team (cross their name off the list).

To play this motivational game, split the team or office floor into two teams –you can either divide them equally, or choose teams like older team members vs younger team members.

The teams need to be of equal sizes and all individuals should be listed on the chart.

“For each sale, successful call outcome or target achievement, the individual takes a turn and can knock off a member of the other team (cross their name off the list),” says Ruth.

Eliminated team members can no longer play until they are reinstated (have their name put back on the list) by another ‘live’ team member on their go rather than knocking out a member of the other team.

“As pride was at stake, no prizes were ever needed! And you can play this with up to 50 or 60 agents and as few as 8–10,” concludes Ruth.

Find even more motivational game ideas in our article: Motivational Games for Call Centres

Bonus Idea – Snakes and Ladders

You can help motivate your team by playing a game of snakes and ladders, and there are a few ways to play this game to keep up morale.

Take a look at the snakes and ladders board in HomeServe’s contact centre.

Every time a member of your team achieves something, whether it be making 10 sales in a morning, or receiving a good quality score, they move up a square on the board.

The first one to 100 wins a prize, for example a free lunch or an extra 15 minutes’ break. You could also put smaller bonus prizes on the board, perhaps a free cup of coffee or a biscuit.

Find a template of this motivational game to use in you contact centre by following the link: Snakes and Ladders Call Centre Game Template

Why Are Motivational Games So Important?

Motivational activities in the contact centre are so important because of the culture of being tethered to a desk by a set of headphones, having set shift patterns and having to be at your desk ready to take calls.

Carolyn Blunt

Carolyn Blunt

“Agents don’t have the same freedom that those who work in other environments have, to take time and do whatever they please,” adds Carolyn Blunt, a contact centre expert at Ember Real Results.

“In almost any other job, whilst you still have to be physically in that space, you are free to move around.”

“So, agents can get burned out and motivation is really, really essential.”

While rewards, incentives and job progression are all good tools for motivation, games can help to revitalize an agent’s day, and there are many to choose from – including those in our list above.

What Are Other Contact Centres Doing?

We host fun event days and internal contests to motivate…

Rob Lalim, a director at Southwest Airlines

What’s required is a mix of company policy with motivational tactics, along with an active participation by the management and a conscious effort to reward the employees, not only monetarily, but also with appreciation and recognition. Sounds difficult?

Rob Lalim, a director at Southwest Airlines, says: “We use caution not to create a kindergarten-type environment to motivate employees. Our motivation efforts are geared towards treating employees like adults. We host fun event days and internal contests to motivate.”

This event strategy has become popular in contact centres and many have started organizing their own on a regular basis to encourage employees to bond with one another.

A cartoon man wearing a hat exclaims 'what'

Various contests such as Scavenger Hunt, Halloween Howl, Talent Show, and Mr. and Ms. Customer Service Contest are also organized for recognizing the latent talents of employees. The recognition they get further improves morale.

So, be on the lookout for event-based games in amongst the following group of examples that we have put together!

Originally published on 1st October 2004. Recently updated.

Find some more ideas for motivational games in the following articles:

Published On: 30th Sep 2020 - Last modified: 28th Oct 2020
Read more about - Call Centre Life, , , , ,


7 Comments
  1. yea i know all of that but what can i do to professionaly motivate a team of sales delegates, what kind of activities are there?

    stefan 11 Jun at 10:23 am
  2. Where are the instructions for the Mr. & Mrs. Customer Service?? I can’t find these details anywhere??

    Thanks

    Sheri kelly 8 Jun at 7:42 pm
  3. Does anyone have any ideas for a Call Centre incentive “game” themed around football and the world cup? I can think of many rewards for this theme…

    Any ideas welcome

    Dan Lane 27 May at 8:19 am
  4. In my contact centre I think it is extremely important to keep staff motivated and happy in their work environment, this is turn creates productivity and harmony.
    Every Friday we have ‘Fun Friday’ whether it is colouring competitions to themed days, it is all received with enthusiasm and anticipation. Prizes can be awarded depending on the event and this need not be expensive either. It was amazing to see how much fun one winner had with a bottle of bubbles!

    Natasha 28 Jul at 9:50 am
  5. Nice game!!

    Keith 13 Jun at 5:04 pm
  6. Where are the instructions for Mr & Mrs. Customer Service? I can’t find them.

    marina pellegrineli 18 Jul at 1:20 pm
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