It is that time of the year again! There are jingle bells jingling and the thought of giving is on the top of your mind. You have done well engaging your employees and have awarded employees points for meeting safety incentives and providing great service, but do you ever wonder, “What more can we do to engage our employees?”  

Your workforce is motivated when you create challenges that foster coming together and interacting with each other to promote a desirable result.

penny wars for employee engagement


Penny War for a Good Cause

I was taking stock of the accomplishments of our team within the last two weeks, and the bumper sticker, “War is not the answer” came to mind. To that bumper sticker, I would say, “It depends on what you are fighting for.” So, we decided to fight wars where all teams win!

On November 28 - December 3, 2014, our company sponsored our inaugural “Penny War.” It was an intense, three-day battle, and teams pulled together and raised $1,223.27 for The American Cancer Society Relay For Life.

How to Create a Penny War

The Penny War built extraordinary excitement within our company. Each day, people gathered around the penny jars to monitor the progress of each team. Each penny was worth one point and all other coins were negative points (a quarter = negative 25 points; one dollar bill = negative 100 points). Daily, at 4:00 p.m., the jars were tallied and charted, and the results were posted, so each team knew its standing for the next day.

Now, our team is a competitive bunch - it was a friendly, but competitive, penny war. Opposing teams were strategizing on how to sandbag other teams. Team members would trade in dollars for rolls of pennies and borrow from their kid’s piggy banks. At 3:58 p.m., employees would race to the penny jars to unload their change to win the day or offset their opponent’s currency.  

Jeff Ross, President of C.A. Short Company, said, “It is very exciting to see our employees become engaged while having a good time. It is very encouraging to see teams unite and challenge each other for this great cause.We support the American Cancer Society Relay For Life because we are passionate about the fight against cancer. We have been impacted by the loss of employees and family members of employees to cancer.”


The experience also raised a sense of gratitude and camaraderie. The Penny War paralleled our “penny-a-point” recognition initiative, where our teams earn points for department-level goals, and can then spend points on items they love. In this case, we all came together to give pennies to support a good cause, and in doing so, we laughed, had fun, and got to know one another better – all while making a difference in our community.  

 The Penny War was indeed a battle worth fighting … and in the end, all teams won!

What have you done to engage your team? We would love to hear your ideas. Leave us a note in our comments section and tell us your story!

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At C.A. Short Company, we are your partner for increased employee engagement resulting in increased performance outcomes to grow your bottom line. Our process and research-based platform helps you engage your team in order to increase your bottom line, motivate your staff to the benefit of the entire organization, and reward your people for the positive changes they make. To request a Complimentary Consultation, please click here. 

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