How To Organize an Annual Daily Employee Raffle

Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP
November 29 2018
My daughter and I have a tradition. We go out on Black Friday and shop for all the best deals: everything from KitchenAid Mixers to DeWalt power tools. We do it as a gift of appreciation to all of our employees and to improve employee engagement. We shop the best deals on Black Friday, design a festive display for the raffle event, and watch the fun begin.

The raffle is always a fun and exciting time for employees. We have perfected the event over the years, and the following tips will help you create a daily celebration at your business.

How to Conduct a Daily Holiday Raffle for Employee Engagement

Plan to have raffle from December 1st up until you close for the holiday. This gives your employees something to look forward to each day at work and builds excitement as the holidays get closer.

Raffle Items

Shop for the best deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Utilize promo codes to get the gifts at reasonable prices. Your budget determines the number and variety of gifts you’ll be able to offer. At InfoMart, we generally look for items in the $30–90 range, with a few gifts going above or below this.

This year, I followed Walmart’s advertisements, filled my cart with all of the best deals, and came out over $8K. I waited until Black Friday savings kicked in at 10:01 PM before I checked out—and my cart was reduced to less than $5K. I have to admit, this event was strictly fun at first, but it has become a very strategic project to make sure we get the best gifts at the best prices; lower costs means more gifts for all!

The Experience

As I always say, the experience matters the most.  You want to make sure that you don’t just give the employees a gift, you give them an atmosphere and excitement.

We have  dedicated place in the office for our holiday display. It’s on a tall run of cabinets, and every year my daughter scales the filing cabinets and does a cat walk as she decorates and puts together the raffle stage.  In previous years, we created a long list of the naughty and nice boys and girls (you can imagine who was on the list!).  This year, our theme is the Grinch. Every employee recieves a personal letter from us, with their raffle tickets, explaining the process.

Raffle Tickets

You can do one, two, or even three raffles a day. Usually, we start out with two a day and escalate to three near the end. Giving out the raffle tickets is another opportunity to engage your employees.

My daughter and I write up a letter and staple two raffle tickets per employee to the note. Temporary employees are given one ticket. Executives are not allowed to participate in winning raffle items, but they participate by drawing the raffle tickets.

All tickets are put in a container. The raffle ticket number chosen is emailed out to minimizes the interruptions to the workday.

Daily Drawing

Different executives manage the drawing each day. We announce the raffle number of the winners via email. To not disrupt business, employees stand up at their desks and watch the drawing from their cubicles. It’s fun to see people with their headsets still on, watching and ready in silence. All employees are eligible, and if someone is out of the office, a co-worker checks their tickets for them.

When an employee has the winning raffle ticket, they then select their gift. We have done gift selection in a variety of ways in the past:

  • All the raffle gifts are wrapped and placed together. Once a person’s raffle ticket is called, they select any gift from the pile.
  • Wrap and number each of the gifts. After winning, the employee draws a number and receives the corresponding gift (this prevents people from guessing what the gift is based on size and shape).
  • Last year, we put numbers on decorated ornaments and had winners choose their favorite. Each ornament corresponded to a gift.

I think we have finally perfected process—and stopped gift shakers and peekers from having an advantage!

The last drawing we do is for the decorations.

You can make this employee engagement event simple or grand, depending on what you like best. The staging and planning can be time consuming, but it truly adds to the company culture and makes your employees happy. I remind myself that this is more than a raffle when I find myself getting stressed. It is a labor of love for my employees, and the hard work is always worth it.

How do you engage your employees during the holiday seasonShare your thoughts with me at @ByTammyCohen on Twitter or connect with me on LinkedIn, and don’t forget to come back for the rest of our Holiday Employee Engagement series over the next few weeks.

About Tammy Cohen

Tammy Cohen, an industry pioneer and expert in identity and employment screening, founded InfoMart 30 years ago. Deemed the “Queen of Screen,” she’s been a force behind industry-leading innovations. She was most recently the first-to-market with a fully compliant sanctions search, as well as a suite of identity services that modernizes talent onboarding. Tammy revolutionized the screening industry when she stepped into the field, developing the first client-facing application and a due diligence criminal search that has since become standard for all background screening companies. Cohen has received national awards and honors for her business and civic involvement, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Women-Owned Firms in Atlanta, Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year award, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Kathryn Woods Racial Justice Award, and a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record. To learn more about Tammy, visit

About InfoMart

InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for 30 years, providing businesses the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. They develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search. The WBENC-certified company is a founding member of the Professional Background Screening Association, and they have achieved PBSA accreditation in recognition of their consistent business practices and commitment to compliance with the FCRA. The company is dedicated to customer service, speed, and accuracy, and it has been recognized for its success, workplace culture, and corporate citizenship with over 45 industry awards. To Get the Whole Story on InfoMart, please visit, follow @InfoMartUSA, or call (770) 984-2727.

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