How to Highlight Hidden Talents in Your Workplace

You already know that it’s important to recognize your employees for the skills they bring to their job tasks, but did you know that you can also recognize them for the talents they have in things outside the office? Your employees are full of hidden talents. Maybe they like to bake, or sing karaoke on Saturday nights. Other employees may be expert fantasy league managers or win every sports related “You Pick” contest. Either way, your employees have talents and hobbies that make them feel great. Why not bring those feelings into the workplace by hosting your own challenges and games that allow your employees to be recognized for doing what they love?

Cooking and Eating Contests

Everyone loves food. Cooking, baking, and eating delicious goodies is something everyone can enjoy. Dessert_Champion_2018

Why not host a company cook off to see who your most talented chefs are? Hosting a cook off is a way to show case employees for their creative kitchen skills. Traditionally, chili and BBQ get the spotlight when it comes to cooking competitions. Get creative and host a cook off for the best macaroni and cheese or tastiest taco fixings. For employees who have a sweet tooth, try hosting a bake off. Invite employees to bring in their favorite desserts to share. Be sure to have set criteria for judging the food dishes. Once a winner is selected, present them with a trophy or plaque as a monument of their accomplishment. Employees will have a great time competition, eating, and socializing with each other and they will get the chance to share some of their hidden talents with their peers.

Each year, thousands of people gather in Coney Island to watch the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. It’s another fun way to celebrate food and showcase a different kind of talent. Your workplace is full of people who are up for a good challenge. Try hosting a food competition where eating is the name of the game. Foods traditionally used for eating contests include pie, chicken wings, hotdogs, ribs, and pizza. These kinds of challenges are best hosted during company picnics and cookouts.

Fantasy Sports and You Pick Contests

Believe it or not, fantasy sports are a great employee engagement activity and motivator. Even employees who don’t enjoy sports can get into the spirit of the competition.

Fantasy sports promote communication, strengthen relationships, and provide a healthy competition. While most compete for fun, others take their fantasy game to the next level and create unique trophies to represent their league and motivate players. Unite your league by gifting participants with a league jersey to wear during company outings to local sports pubs and enjoy comradery while watching the real sports games and discussing fantasy league results together. Fantasy_Football_2018

If you have a small company, or don’t have enough employees interested in creating a fantasy league, try a simple You Pick contest or bracket challenge. Invite employees to pick teams they think will be the winners of upcoming sporting events. Employees can compete to see who has the most correct picks. Bracket challenges are great for March Madness basketball and other tournaments. You Pick contests can be done weekly for football and baseball games. These type of challenges are simple to host and allow employees to bring their love of sports into the workplace.

Talent Shows

One of the best ways to celebrate the hidden talents of your employees is to host a good old-fashioned talent show. Plan and host an event that puts the spotlight on your employees. Giving your employees a way to showcase their talents can create more openness in your workplace. It can also make employees feel more connected when they share and are recognized for the things they are good at.

Make it a competition and give awards in various categories like best showman, or most unique talent. Give employees the opportunity to share their talent with clients and social media followers by creating a video to share on the company’s website or social sites.


Employees who feel appreciated and accepted in the workplace are more likely to stay engaged and continue producing great work. By creating fun competitions that help showcase their talents and bring a little of their hobbies and interests into the workplace, you can create an atmosphere that is fun, open, and collaborative. Your employees want to be recognized for the things that they are good at, including the things they do when they aren’t in the workplace. Whether it’s through cooking, competing in games, or displaying their talent in front of their coworkers, find ways to showcase your employee’s talents and give them recognition for sharing!

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