25 Salon Contest for Employees Ideas to Motivate Your Team

Hosting a salon contest for employees can be a really effective way to get people motivated and raise productivity levels at your business. Indeed, many salon owners are using games and contests all the time to get hair salon team members more engaged and active.

Many of them say that contests are some of the best ways to motivate hair stylists. This is because people tend to be competitive at heart and enjoy the spirit of competition that comes from a good contest and the unique rewards that come from winning hair stylist salon games.

But you might not know where to start when it comes to setting up a game or stylist contest for your hair salon staff. This guide will help. We’ll cover some great salon retail contest ideas and salon competition inspiration to get you going.

What You Will Learn

This article will look at salon staff motivation ideas to increase their performance, focusing on games and contests. We’ll look at 25 different contest ideas you can run at your business to raise staff engagement and productivity.

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  1. Why Do You Need Salon Competitions and Sales Games?
  2. Salon Contest for Employees Ideas<
  3. Salon Retail Sales Games Ideas
  4. Salon Incentives for Employees Ideas
  5. Conclusion

Why Do You Need Salon Competitions and Sales Games?


So why are competitions and games such a good idea in salons? Well, if you’ve ever asked “How do you motivate a salon staff?” then you should know that salon contests can be incredibly motivational. Here are just some of the biggest benefits you get when you create a contest or run a challenge for your stylists and staff members:

  • Higher levels of motivation throughout your entire team.

  • Selling a higher number of products and making more service sales to clients.

  • Getting personnel engaged, excited about their work, and more productive each day.

  • Boosting morale around the salon, which can lead to better experiences for customers too.

  • There’s also the fun factor! Games and contests are fun to experience and allow your team to do something enjoyable while they work.

Do not miss our post on salon staff retention ideas.

Salon Contest for Employees Ideas


Salon contest for employees ideas
Salon contest for employees ideas
  • 1. Salon Employee of the Month Contest

    This kind of contest has been around for years, especially in the retail sector. But even though it’s old, it’s still a super method you could use at your salon. Each month, you pick the best-performing employee and hang their photo on the wall or give them some sort of certificate.

  • 2. Most Improved Seller

    Similar to the “employee of the month” contest, this contest is focused on the employees who show the most improvement per week or month. It motivates less successful members of the group to work harder in offering services to clients and raising their own personal figures. It also contributes to the overall success of the salon. So it’s a win-win for everyone.

  • 3. Team Contest

    Teamwork is a big part of the salon industry. So you might want to encourage your employees to work together for success. You could divide them into teams with their own service and sales targets to reach. Whichever one does the best by the end of the month gets a prize.

  • 4. Retention Rates Competition

    You could also make a contest focused on raising salon retention rates. This can really help salons that are struggling to retain loyal clients. It gives your stylists a reason to improve their service levels and get to know each client, offering the very best services and encouraging every client and customer to come back time and time again.

  • 5. Customer Review Contest

    This is another fun idea. It’s all about salon customer reviews and feedback. You can read client reviews each month and see which stylist got the best scores or star ratings. It also works from a business perspective, as it makes your stylists work harder to please clients with their service, while also encouraging each client to write social media reviews and promote your brand.

  • 6. Best Customer Makeover

    You could also challenge your employees to carry out the very best client makeover service of the month. This stimulates them to take before/after pictures that you can use for creating service marketing, while also working harder on advanced styling services like colors and wedding hair, for example.

  • 7. Most Clientele Increase

    Monitor the numbers of clients for each stylist in your salon over the course of a month, year, or set period of time. Whoever gets the newest clients wins. This can stimulate your stylist team to work hard and grow your salon clientele number list each week.

  • 8. Most Upsells

    Upselling is a great way to get more money into your salon business, but sometimes, your team members might forget to try to sell extra products at the end of each service. An upselling contest can give them a reason to never forget.

  • 9. Share the Knowledge

    Make knowledge and tip-sharing a part of your workplace culture by rewarding staff who tech one another with tokens and prizes. This will help to make your salon more teamwork-oriented.

  • 10. Grab That Dough

    Grab a $50 bill (or more or less, depending on your budget) and offer it as a prize to whoever makes the first sale of the day. Then, whichever person makes the next biggest retail sale takes the bill, and so on, all the way to the end of the day. Whoever posts the biggest sale by the end of the day (or week) wins the cash prize.

  • 11. I Love This!

    Ask your stylists to choose products they really love. Then make a table, matching each stylist with their chosen product. You then challenge them to sell as much of that product as possible. Whoever sold the most wins.

  • 12. ‘Most Wanted’ Clients

    Do you have a dream client? Like a local celebrity or industry leader? Well, offer your group a reward to try and bring them in for appointments. Whoever lands the biggest client is the winner.

  • 13. Best Sales Team

    This is a simple one, but effective to boost salon retail sales and encourage more upselling among your employees. Simply track sales figures for different teams. See who got the most growth in sales to decide the winner at the end.

  • 14. Highest Conversion Contest

    This kind of competition is aimed to reward whichever person gets the best conversion rates. For example, you might see who can convert the most clients into joining your VIP club or loyalty award program.

  • 15. Re-engage Past Clients

    You could also encourage employees to bring back former clients who have started using other salons. Ask them to get in touch with your salon’s old customers and focus on getting them to make appointments and return to you.

Salon Retail Sales Games Ideas


Salon retail sales games ideas
Salon retail sales games ideas
  • 1. Trivia games

    Set up a trivia game to see how much your employees know about the services and retail products you offer.

  • 2. A Stylist’s Wheel of Fortune

    Make a wheel with prizes and fun things on and allow your high-performing or employees to spin it.

  • 3. “Bingo!” Activity

    Assign numbers to retail products and services. Stylists have to make progress and post all the numbers on their own personal bingo board to win.

  • 4. Sales Poker

    After making a certain amount of sales, employees can draw card. The more cards they get, the better their chances are of winning exciting salon staff incentives.

  • 5. Sale Race

    Keep track of sales in a fun and unique way, such as race cars going around a course or horses on a track.

  • 6. Pass the Buck

    Whenever someone makes a sale, they get to hold some prize money. Whoever is holding it at the end of the week gets to keep it.

  • 7. Complete the List

    Give your teams a page of tasks to complete. They have to work through the page. Whoever completes the highest percentage of the page tasks wins.

  • 8. Pass the Parcel

    A parcel with a prize inside gets passed around to each person who makes a sale, and they get to rip off a layer of the paper. Whoever gets the final layer gets to keep the gift.

  • 9. Have a Raffle

    Give tickets for achievements and positive acts, like sales and good reviews. More raffle tickets will result in a higher percentage chance of winning the draw.

  • 10. Roll the Dice

    Create 12 squares on a board with numbers from 1 to 12. Whenever someone makes a sale, they put their name in a square. When the board is full, you roll the dice and see who won.

Salon Incentives for Employees Ideas



Salon incentives for employees ideas
Salon incentives for employees ideas
  • 1. Good Old Money

    Cash is a simple award to use for all kinds of competitions. Everyone likes it and needs it, and you can adjust the amount to suit the situation.

  • 2. Wages Increase

    For the more serious competitions, you can even offer a wage boost or promotion as a very exciting award.

  • 3. Paid Trainings

    This is a good option to choose if you’d like to educate your team and assist in their growth but can’t afford to send everyone.

  • 4. Favor from the Manager

    A favor could include more flexible hours, switching shifts, getting to leave early, an extended lunch break, or something else nice.

  • 5. Parking Pass Giveaway

    If you don’t have enough parking room, this can be a great way to decide who gets it.

  • 6. Paid Time Off

    Paid time off can be a huge incentive for your salon retail contest ideas.

  • 7. Gift Cards

    You can offer out free gift cards and coupons for a free service at the salon or for other related businesses.

  • 8. Products

    Retail products can also be included in your upsell contest ideas; winners get to keep the products of their choice. You could even work together with retail companies who might be willing to sponsor the contest you run.

  • 9. Anything Valuable

    It doesn’t always have to be about retail products and work benefits. Awards can be anything your team cares about and regards as valuable.

  • 10. Trophies

    Sometimes even something with no actual monetary value can be an incentive, like a certificate or custom trophy.



Contests can come in many forms, from simple “Best Worker” competitions to contests focused on selling the most services or offering the best levels of customer service to get the best feedback. There are all kinds of ways in which any salon owner can break the mold and get creative with this concept. And there's a lot of room for imagination in terms of awards, too.

So, if you're looking for a way to encourage teamwork, raise revenue, and get people being more productive each day, hosting a salon contest for employees is the way to go. Hopefully, this article has given you the inspiration you need to get started.


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