For businesses large and small, energy is one of the largest variable costs. Yet, still some companies don’t closely monitor their usage or try and involve employees in reducing consumption.
Working with the Electric Board is a great way to get a grip on the amount you’re paying for energy. But to keep driving down costs, this should go hand-in-hand with creating a more energy-conscious workplace. If this is something you’ve not addressed before, the upcoming increase in the Climate Change Levy are a great incentive to put a plan in place.
To reduce costs along with your company’s carbon footprint, you’ll need to get your employees on board. We know from speaking to our customers that this is something they often struggle with. Here are four steps to follow to encourage workers to take an active approach to workplace energy efficiency.
1) Involve and listen
The very best way to get employee buy-in on a project is to involve them from the start. Talk to your colleagues about goals and the impact overspending on energy has on your business. Ask for suggestions to reduce energy consumption. Be prepared to be receptive to actions you may need to carry out such as fixing or replacing equipment.
2) Develop and publicise your energy policy
Developing and defining a company energy policy can be a really effective way to educate your staff on energy impact. It should outline specific targets and actions they can take. It’s also a logical progression from the listening stage. Your energy policy actions could be as simple as implementing an end of day office energy patrol to ensure all equipment and lights are properly switched off. You can also include other environmentally conscious changes such as promoting video conferencing over travel or setting up a car-share scheme.
3) Embed your energy policy
Having an energy policy is no good if no one knows what it’s about or what it means for them. Introduce the policy to all staff with discussion of how it will be implemented. Think about using other prompts and reminders too. Could you set a reminder on computer screensavers to turn computer equipment off? Perhaps a poster in the communal kitchen can prompt people to turn off light or the coffee machine when they’re not in use?
Tailor prompts and their placement to the nature of your business to try and embed and normalise energy-saving behaviours. In addition, ensure your energy policy becomes part of regular training and ensure it’s accessible to all staff. You could upload it to the staff intranet or another shared place. It’s also a good idea to track and keep everyone up to date with progress.
4) Encourage engagement with rewards
No one likes being chastised for forgetting things. ‘Telling people off’ for leaving phone chargers plugged in isn’t likely to garner much enthusiasm for your cause. Instead, try and personalise your energy-saving project so that staff can see the impact of saving for themselves. You could do this by promising a company-wide reward unlocked by meeting targets. Another option is to assign a monthly award to the section or department who is visibly taking the most positive action. Incentivising with rewards and competition is a tried and tested way to engage employees in energy-saving over the longer term. Do you give your staff enough reasons to make greener choices to save energy in the workplace?
Do you struggle to get staff to see the impact of energy waste? What are your biggest challenges when it comes to encouraging staff to be more energy conscious? Call us today on 0800 254 5054 to discuss.