Encouraging cost savings by employees is a difficult subject to tackle successfully. Ideas can vary from the obscure to the downright impossible to implement. However, businesses must realize that their staff can be a significant asset in the war against cost and waste and that they should be encouraged to participate. But should businesses encourage their employees to take part?
1. Ensure that everyone is aware that reducing costs is a collective responsibility that is shared by everyone; not just management.
2. Ensure staff understand the rationale behind saving costs and they can relate it to their function/role.
3. Develop your means of communication! Often those at the front line can see where money is being wasted, but the messages never filter upwards.
4. Encourage staff to think both green and mean. Green in the sense of saving energy and mean in the sense of being mean with money.
5. Think up how to incentivize employees for suggesting ideas that can be implemented.
6. Consider the use of consultants carefully. Where organizations are looking to save money utilizing consultants can impact staff morale – where they are used ensure that the workforce fully understand why!
7. Develop a plan/schedule to show when/how ideas will be implemented.
8. Lead by example. If you can be seen to be implementing cost cuttings, then this will foster a culture where people do actively think about reducing costs and it becomes part of the culture of the organization, not something added on later!
9. Some organizations find it useful to have an Energy Champion who will work with staff and management to try to reduce costs.
10. Finally ensure that you keep staff updated with what savings have been made and how much money was saved. This will ensure that their interest is retained and more money is saved in the future.
Encouraging staff to save costs in the workplace is not easy, but it can and should be done, in order to ensure that the workplace is cost effective and uses as few resources as possible.