Give incentives and recognition

Good work deserves a pat on the back. Really good work deserves a prize, preferably given in front of a large audience. Whether it’s a coffee mug or a check, incentives and recognition are great ways to motivate your occupants or employees to achieve even greater energy savings.

It’s not all just selfless giving though. By providing incentives and recognition, you’ll help sustain momentum and support for your program.

Free food goes a long way

Consider starting small with something like a pizza party, ice cream social, bagel breakfast, or other food rewards for hitting goals or making progress.

So do cash and other prizes

Depending on savings levels, you may also consider awarding cash or prizes for great energy-saving ideas or to energy champions.

For example, Cleveland Clinic created an incentive program in which it shares a portion of the savings from the utility budget, which staff members can use to improve their work space. Other ENERGY STAR partners tie energy savings to pay-for-performance, bonuses, and employee rewards. Hines hosts an ongoing program to reward employee ideas that satisfy specific triple-bottom line requirements at the Silver ($1K), Gold ($5K), or Platinum ($20K) levels. As of 2014, there have been 16 recipients – 13 Silver, two Gold, and one Platinum!

Make it official

Complement ENERGY STAR recognition opportunities with internal validation. Recognize the individuals or teams who made a difference. The recognition will mean more if it’s given formally (for example, at an awards ceremony or during an all-hands meeting) or if it comes from senior management.

For example, Hines implemented a Best Practices in Operations and Engineering Employee Recognition program to reward the best ideas submitted by employees. And New York Presbyterian Hospital hosts an annual Green Carpet Awards recognition event with senior leadership support.

HEI participants with prizes for energy efficiency challenge.

HEI Hotels & Resorts awards prizes like flat screen TVs to its greatest energy savers.