If you’re looking for employee engagement ideas and also want to find a way to save energy in the workplace, combining the two can be a win-win for small business owners and employees alike. Workers are increasingly drawn to companies that share their values. Building a company that values sustainability and reducing its carbon footprint can be one way to recruit and retain employees for whom this is important. When employees value creating an energy efficient workplace, it may help increase your bottom line because they will be motivated to save energy, which can also save money by lowering your energy bill in the office.
Why is having an energy efficient workplace a financial win for a small business owner? The Environmental Protection Agency says that many small business owners believe that energy efficiency is the fastest, least expensive, and largest single solution for simultaneously saving energy and money, as well as preventing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. A recent U.S. Small Business Administration poll shows that 82% of small businesses surveyed have taken one or more steps to reduce energy use.
Small business expert Anita Campbell, founder of Small Business Trends, agrees that savvy small business owners use a company’s culture as one way to attract and retain employees. “It’s one of those factors they will take into account, a secondary factor,” she says. “Does the company have the same values? Will the workplace be the kind of place where they will feel comfortable? If you’re into recycling [and the company isn’t], you’re going to feel out of place and you’re going to know it. For those who care about it, it can be a significant factor.”
Losing employees can be costly, which makes employee retention particularly critical for small businesses, Campbell says. “The numbers tell the story,” she says. “If you only have 10 employees and you lose one, you’ve lost 10% of your workforce.”
On the recruiting side, the right working conditions and company culture can be a small business’s biggest selling tool, Campbell says. “If you’re a small business, you can’t compete with large companies with extensive health plans, but you may be able to sell your business to prospective employees based on working conditions — how good it feels to work there, that everyone there feels like they’re part of something bigger and share values,” she says. One of those shared values can be environmentally and/or energy-focused.
So, how do you motivate employees to improve energy efficiency in the workplace? Campbell offers these five tips to engage your employees with ways to lower your energy bill in the office:
Using these and other employee engagement ideas in the office can help save energy in the workplace while retaining great team members. Who knew you could lower your small business energy bill while also engaging employees with fun, sustainable business practices that align with your company’s values? Want to learn more? ENERGY STAR has a number of programs to help small business owners get started making their companies more energy efficient, including a downloadable booklet that outlines how to make energy savings a part of everyday business and several employee engagement ideas to raise awareness for your action plan.
Also, check out our energy savings tips for small businesses post and our small business checklist for energy savings for other pointers on saving energy in the workplace.
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