NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
London, United Kingdom, 2007/11/19 - Whilst it’s all very well mastering the legislation and installing the latest hardware, are British firms all too often underestimating one of the most important elements of any energy efficiency drive – their workforce?.
The buzz around energy efficiency at the moment is getting really quite loud. The environmental, economic and legislative imperative for change is exceptionally clear and the tools required to kick your efficiency drive into action are now widely available.
However, whilst it’s all very well mastering the legislation and installing the latest hardware we are forced to ask, are British firms all too often underestimating one of the most important elements of all – their workforce?
“Success in energy efficiency can only be achieved when the workforce is enrolled and participating” states Trevor Floyd, of the Tenby Consultancy Group, quite unequivocally. “Never mind all the legislation, that is for the management, staff need to be given guidance on how, why and when to be proactive.”
Every energy management strategy involves three key elements – Information, technology and people. As John Mulholland of NIFES is only too aware, “all three need to be in dynamic equilibrium and are dependent on each other. If you invest in energy saving technology but neglect people solutions, the energy you saved by technology is then dissipated by the wasteful habits of end users. Workforce engagement is an essential ongoing priority for an effective energy management strategy.”
“In our own homes it is almost second nature for us to turn lights and equipment off when we leave the room” explains Lisa Wilkinson of t-mac technologies, “but in the work place we tend to think it’s not our responsibility or we don’t even think to turn them off – an attitude which needs to change if staff are to fully engage in a company’s energy saving practices”.
At present, best estimates have suggested that only somewhere in the region of 15% of businesses in this country have a coherent energy strategy for their employees. With the significance of staff engagement really quite clear, why on earth is this the case?
In short there seem to be two primary reasons – Ignorance and a lack of resources. Senior managers are often simply “…not aware of the potential of people power to make a difference or believe it can’t work” explains John Mulholland. “Either way it is a lack of vision and leadership”.
Energy management is an issue not just for the energy manager but for the entire workforce.
10 steps to better staff engagement:
1. Know where you stand – research current levels of awareness in your organisation;
2. Start at the top – gain senior level commitment;
3. Plan for the future – take 3 to 4 months to properly develop an all embracing people solutions campaign;
4. Set measurable targets – know what you’re aiming for and keep and eye on progress;
5. Allocate responsibility – recruit a campaign team;
6. Train key energy users – spread the web of engagement far and wide;
7. Launch the campaign – ensure that everyone knows where they stand;
8. Use the power of mass media – distribute appropriate material;
9. Continue to monitor consumption – quantify your gains;
10. Maintain momentum – don’t allow initial enthusiasm to wane, instigate incentive schemes and regular energy walkabouts.
For a thorough guide to improving staff engagement and your full blueprint for legislative compliance, reduced costs and improved social standing book now for a place at the Efficient Energy Management Summit in London on December 6 - 7.
Efficient Energy Management Summit
6th – 7th December, 2007 – Royal Garden Hotel, London