To get a team of employees, including managers, to work toward a common "green" goal, I have often wondered to what degree financial incentives would push the process. Would employees and managers be more driven or even work extra hours to implement the steps necessary to save energy and water and reduce waste? I have seen little evidence of owners linking environmental performance to compensation but I don't think it is such a bad idea.
During a conference I attended last year I suggested the idea of incentives and met resistance from some owners. Their thinking: We are already paying our managers and employees enough, especially in a recessionary economy...why should they need incentives to work hard?
Yesterday I posted an article about HEI Hotels & Resorts receiving a corporate Energy Manager of the Year award from the Association of Energy Engineers. Within that article there was mention of an incentive program launched at the beginning of 2009 by HEI. The company started a competition among its hotels. Prizes ranged from gift cards to flat-screen TVs. Associates were rewarded for reductions made in energy consumption. The program appears to be working as the company, through October 2009, had observed a reduction in energy consumption of approximately 8 percent when compared to 2008.
I believe incentives linked directly to savings, even if they take the form of a contest, are a great idea. They are obviously working for HEI. What do you think?