Staff are a company’s number one asset, and this is equally true when it comes to energy efficiency. After all, who better to identify the “energy guzzlers” in the workplace than the people who encounter them on a daily basis? One thing is certain – only with this collective practical knowledge will you be able to make the most of your considerable potential for achieving savings.
Once your targets and measures are in place, the next step is implementation. Here, too, there are good reasons to involve the workforce at an early stage – only staff who can actively help shape change feel they are being taken seriously and are prepared to alter their own behavior. With that in mind, we have five tips for successfully getting your employees on board:
If employees are to be committed to a goal, they must be convinced of its necessity. You must therefore be able to answer the following questions:
In this context, it has been shown that a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic motivating factors works best when it comes to getting through to staff. Improving energy efficiency serves various purposes, ranging from remaining competitive from cost cuts to reducing the company’s carbon footprint for the benefit of the planet and future generations.
In terms of personal motivation, it also helps if you make the way each individual employee can influence energy consumption tangible – by highlighting the potential savings in the relevant unit or team, for instance.
Being successful in regard to saving energy stands and falls with the behavior of the entire management team, especially members of the Management Board. It is they who guide the workforce. After all, if you ask something of others, you must also ask it of yourself – otherwise, you lose your credibility. It is therefore absolutely essential that you set an example by being energy-efficient yourself in your day-to-day business activities.
The group dynamic in the teams is a vital factor when it comes to initiating a process of change. Most people look at how their colleagues are behaving. You should therefore identify supporters of the energy-saving measures as potential disseminators. It is also important to win over the opinion leaders in your workforce. Another possibility is utilizing staff who are particularly admired on a professional and personal level by promoting them to the role of “energy mentors”. Acting as contacts for their co-workers, they will explain energy-saving measures and offer tips for implementation.
It can take individuals up to 60 days to change entrenched habits, and this period is much longer for organizations. To maintain the momentum of the change process, you should therefore regularly provide new impetus and report on progress. Furthermore, you should ensure a good flow of information in all directions. This is the only way of making sure any suggestions and concerns reach you. Regular dialog in and between individual teams ultimately helps ensure knowledge is passed on and challenges are overcome together.
Based on the “measure it or forget it” principle, the best strategy is to chart the current energy consumption and the savings made on a daily basis (in kWh or monetary terms) and, for example, display this on information screens that everyone can see. That makes it clear at a glance how the company is doing.
Energy efficiency is a marathon, so it’s important to keep setting interim targets that can be met in the short term. You should also celebrate such interim achievements – by organizing a company event, for instance. That keeps motivation high and shows making an effort is worthwhile. Finally, serious though this issue is, there should be no shortage of more light-hearted elements. You could channel your staff’s competitive instincts by organizing quizzes or energy-saving contests, for example.
Getting the entire workforce involved can be a challenge – but it pays off. Besides making an important contribution to protecting our environment and saving on costs, you can also motivate your staff and increase their level of satisfaction and identification with your company.
So get HEIDELBERG to help you improve the energy efficiency of your business – comprehensively, quickly, and sustainably. Get in touch with us for further information about our “Energy efficiency workshop”, where we cover all energy-relevant topics – from getting staff involved to paper waste. We will analyze your particular resource and energy efficiency and, in this way, highlight potential for savings in your printing operations.
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