Energy efficiency tip of the day (lead from the front with your people)
Businesses often believe that the key to better energy efficiency is to invest in new plant and equipment. But the reality is that people – your staff – are just as important, if not more so. Staff help control equipment and how things get done. They also often hold important knowledge about what actually happens in the front line that can lead to savings. So getting staff support for your Energy Plan therefore isn’t just a ‘nice to have’, it’s essential.
- The way to achieve this is to implement an effective staff awareness and motivation program and the best approach is to develop this with staff to help generate ideas and gain buy-in.
- Educating and motivating your people about energy efficiency is an effective and proven way of achieving valuable energy savings for relatively low cost.
- It’s also crucial if you are to create long-term and sustainable change. It can deliver other business benefits too, such as increased productivity and improved staff morale.
- People enjoy being involved in a challenge that has rewards for the whole community, so make sure you engage them as members of an energy saving team and harness the impact they have on daily energy use.
There are three components underpinning lasting change:
Getting people to change is far more successful if they appreciate why change is necessary. If they understand the ‘why’, staff are often able to identify how savings can be achieved, the results can often be achieved surprisingly fast.
Motivation is a matter of getting people to take responsibility, individually and collectively, to understand that their actions are important. Getting people on board means helping them feel that their actions can make a difference.
- Top level engagement
Senior management has a crucial role to play in a successful staff awareness and motivation program. Without leadership and commitment from the very top, a project can be seen as ‘soft’, be starved of capital and ignored by managers who have other, ‘harder’ performance indicators to meet.
The following six step plan will make sure your team gets behind the Energy Plan for your organization:
- Set up a team
Your ideal team includes representatives at all levels, from across the organization from all stakeholders involved in energy management as operations, maintenance, purchasing, HSE, Engineering and logistics departments.
- Evaluate current attitudes and behaviors
Understanding your staff and organization’s key drivers is vital to building a lasting plan. This can be assessed by proper surveys or direct meetings.
- Identify actions and timelines
Build a plan in stages with SMART goals, clear actions and defined timelines
- Implement your plan
Clear responsibilities are integral to implementing your energy management plan
- Evaluate and review
Reviewing your progress is essential to attaining energy management goals
Continuous improvement results from changing organizational culture over the long term