Today we consider the fourth step on the road to energy saving, when we introduce key contributors who will pull it all together. We have been on quite a journey. We started by developing a management system and then followed up with practical improvements, while challenging the assumptions behind the energy bills we may have paid unchallenged in the past.
After we knock off the big-ticket savings, managing energy becomes a process of improvement characterised by smaller increments. Kaizen is the classic model and it includes everybody in the organization from the janitor to the CEO. I inverted the pyramid deliberately, because ideas deserve considering no matter where the originator parks in the company yard.
People ? our people ?are truly central to the process. Energy adds extra leverage to their efforts, keeps them warm in winter, cool in summer and powers up the ovens in the company canteen. They are brimming over with ideas because that is the nature of being human. The best managers are those who release this potential and participate in its flowering,
It is important not to threaten job security. So many savings-driven initiatives have ended in job losses that people on the shop floor automatically suspect another round. Shrinking carbon footprints is about making the world a better place for everyone. We become more effective when we turn ?increasing profit? into making the enterprise sustainable in itself.
Engaging employees is more than office circulars and speeches at the Christmas Party. Organizations are organic places where trust grows slowly but conflict can flare in a moment. Before involving your people in your energy ?kaizan? make sure your words and intentions overlap perfectly. You will be amazed at the power you unlock in your people.
The best way I know of doing this is through your health and safety structure, which then becomes your environment, health and safety structure EHS. As you explore this idea at safety committees you find these things overlap, in the sense of creating people-centric environments at work and home.
That said, there is no magic formula for achieving employee engagement. The fact that people universally want a cleaner planet is the power to tap into. One way to form a team is to create one artificially and give it a task. The other is to work together towards a shared objective. Which one do you prefer?
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