How to involve teams in the CUBE challenge and, more broadly, in energy saving and sustainable development?
Generally speaking, communication is essential in a company to successfully inform and involve all employees. It is what unites and creates team spirit.
The same applies to the involvement of employees in sustainable development issues and more specifically, in energy saving at the office.
To help you in the construction of YOUR CUBE project, here are a few ideas:
1. BUILDING YOUR GREEN TEAM
Many candidates have shed light on the fact that, in order to bring together and involve as many occupants as possible in CUBE, at least one referent per site must be designated. This person’s goal is to support and lead occupants during the CUBE competition year, centralizing energy-saving ideas and initiatives and diffusing these among the distinct building teams.
Nevertheless, it’s preferable to build an entire team (with a great name like “Green Team” for instance), in order to motivate one other and come up with the most appropriate solutions for each building and set of occupants. The most interesting way to bring groups together is to have at least one person from each sector on the green team, especially if your organisation has many employees (read more about Natixis’ experience here).
Another key point is to involve your organisation’s communications department in the Green Team as well, in order to implement the action plan together and ensure all occupants are well-informed of their participation! If a communications department does not exist, you can start CUBE by defining your communications plan. Below are a few ideas to include or keep in mind!
2. EFFECTIVE AND FUN COMMUNICATIONS
Creating an internal communications plan is a great way to organize and program CUBE activities throughout the year. Establishing your plan will also help raise awareness on the sustainable development actions that will be implemented.
As you will have understood, it is important to know what affects or triggers your employees. We are not all sensitive to the same things depending on our sectors, our education or our age.. For instance, for older occupants it could be interesting to highlight the consequences of our actions on future generations. Stressing this as well as the need to act now, could help develop team spirit among this group of occupants.
Awareness on sustainable development varies greatly depending on the employees (cf. the IFPEB study on transferees). It is therefore necessary to think of actions that will allow for an exchange between the “transferees” and the most “skeptical” among team-members.
Cf. the testimony of the city of Angers which created a tailor-made communications action plan for the CUBE competition.
3. ORGANISE FUN ACTIVITIES TO RAISE AWARENESS AMONG EMPLOYEES
Indeed, activities remain one of the best ways to unite and strengthen teams and occupants in your building. These events & activities are also a time to unwind from work, learn new things and possibly commit to the environment and new goals.
To stimulate as many people as possible, games and challenges are very efficient.
Here are a few ways to involve your occupants:
- Create internal challenges (i.e. the person who forgets to turn off extension cords every night will have an X (your team can choose!) on their desk for a week).
- Create teams per floor (an internal CUBE per floor)
- Make a mini internal competition with a reward for the one who does the most actions (turns off the light, unplugs the PCs… cf. Eco-responsible at the ADEME office)
- Begin with games :
- Quizzes, challenges… it’s up to you to be creative!
- Create stickers to encourage employees to take the stairs for instance
- In winter: encourage occupants to bring their warmest (or ugliest) Christmas jumpers to reduce the use of heating (cf: Natixis’ experience feedback).
- Organise sharing events (breakfasts or casual informational meetings for example)
Promote bottom-up communication:
- Create a suggestion box to get feedback & ideas from occupants
- Carry out satisfaction surveys
- Allow occupants to share their opinions and good ideas on post-its, perhaps devoting a wall to it in your building (cf. return from Quai Vendeuvre)
4. TO VALUE & HIGHLIGHT EVERYONE’S ACTIONS AND EFFORTS…
One of the crucial points to engaging all of your occupants, is to recognise & highlight eco-gestures being carried out in the building and to showcase these in internal communications.
To do this, cubists have been very inventive and have managed to create a real craze. Here are a few ways to communicate internally and to promote your employees’ actions:
- Prepare internal articles on CUBE updates.
- Post on social networks
- Create a trophy or gift/reward for the team that is the most involved in eco-gestures and/or who has achieved the best results
- Distribute non-judgmental (non-guilting) flyers on eco-gestures.
- Place posters (or post-it notes) in strategic places in the building to display building rankings & results.
- Assemble your own newsletter and create a specific email for CUBE (see feedback from the Belval Luxembourg Fund)
- Ensure that occupant comfort is at the centre of the discussion surrounding energy savings
5. FOLLOW CANDIDATE MEETINGS, UPDATES & CANDIDATE FEEDBACK…
Many documents have been produced by the CUBE competition team since its launch in 2014. You can find these on the IFPEB’s website or on the CUBE 2020 website. Numerous feedback articles are published, as well as articles on current events in the non-residential sector. In particular, you will find information sheets on energy transition tips, produced in partnership with the ADEME, which include elements seen in this article. Please do not hesitate to have a look at the documents and sheets available in your candidate space as well!
Candidate feedback provides an opportunity to inspire, be inspired, and to, perhaps, find resemblances to your team in certain situations. The aim is to share ideas that may help you find solutions to potential difficulties you may encounter. You can also find the SOCIOCUBE study that was carried out following the first edition of the competition. This very interesting study describes the most efficient actions and approaches to involving all employees. But don’t forget: the most important rule is to be creative and in tune with your employees! Together you can make beautiful things happen and propose solutions that are sustainable, fun (perhaps more so at times than others!) and efficient. Our candidates have shown us and continue showing us that: the way to achieve the most energy savings starts together, with an aware, committed and informed team.
So what are you waiting for?
If this article has inspired you or if you have additional ideas/experiences on this subject, please do not hesitate to share them with us by sending us your solutions to this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to hearing from you!