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Engaging and training staff

50% of the energy used in commercial buildings is under the direct control of the people working in them. An enthusiastic workforce that looks out for energy waste, and proactively saves energy, will help deliver savings to the bottom line.

If you're embarking on an energy efficiency programme in your business, one of the first steps should be to look at how you can best engage your staff to help. Think of it as harnessing your people power.

People power in action

Video: Find out how Carter Holt Harvey's Kinleith mill saved energy and money through getting staff on board with good ideas and changed behaviour. Watch the video.

Put someone in charge

Any plan or programme to manage energy should have someone accountable for its successful delivery. Appointing someone to the role - or making it a formal part of an existing employee's job - shows commitment on the part of management.

Who's right for the job?

Taking charge of an energy programme requires wide-ranging skills. A good energy manager or coordinator may have an engineering, technical, accounting or administration background. Being able to gain the respect and buy-in of others across the organisation is key.

Is it a full-time job?

Only organisations spending a substantial amount on energy can usually justify a full-time energy manager. In most businesses the position is part-time, and one of several responsibilities. But no matter how small the energy bill, it is vital that responsibility is specifically delegated and included in a job description.

What do they need to succeed?

The energy coordinator will be effective only if they have the time and resources to do the job. Ideally they could have a percentage of their time allocated to focus on energy issues. They are also more likely to succeed if they're supported by a team or committee that can offer different expertise (e.g. marketing, finance, HR, procurement).

What does the job involve?

Read the details about key responsibilities and a sample job description.

Step-by-step guide to getting staff on board

A good staff awareness and motivation programme will harness everyone's ability to reduce energy waste on a daily basis. Use our step-by-step plan to help you get the staff on board, and start seeing the results of your people power quickly. The plan will walk you through:

  • Building the team: Changing people's behaviours is a big task, and you'll need all the help you can get to make the changes successfully.
  • Finding out what staff think: Before you create a programme, it's really important you know what people think about saving energy, what would motivate them to save energy, and what problems you might come across when you implement the programme.
  • Planning: This is where the work really begins. Here you'll put together your plan for a successful programme, including timelines and how you'll go about changing people's behaviours.
  • Implementation: You've done your research, you've got your plan. It's time to make it happen!
  • Review: It doesn't just stop after implementation. You'll need to evaluate the programme and make changes to it if some things aren't working.
  • Maintenance: The aim is to change behaviours for good, and this means putting plans in place to make sure energy efficiency is part of your workplace culture.

Download your Staff Awareness & Motivation guide