Gone are the days when the organization energy manager would (or could) work alone. Today, energy conservation is the work of everyone: more energy stakeholders mean better communication is needed; the value of energy information is on the rise; energy reports have to be tailored for different audiences; tasks are multiplying; and the lines between departments are blurring.
Plus, energy performance mandates (public and private) are proliferating, and the tools of the energy management trade are becoming more powerful and complex. All these factors impact staffing and training, and they suggest that the successful energy manager is the one who can build (or rebuild!) an energy management team.
Whether you're starting from scratch, or trying to ramp up a flagging energy management program, here are five ways to build your energy management team.
Don’t waste your time on the doubters.
In any organization there are people who just don’t get it. It’s tempting to try to convince them to join the “cause,” but it really doesn’t pay to waste your energy on them. Instead, focus on building a strong team with the people who are ready to get onboard. They'll be the ones who can initiate some positive momentum in your organization.
Find your fans.
Believe it or not, you’ve got fans. You’ve just got to find them, and that means going wherever they are. Try to enlist ad hoc members from different departments and different areas of your organization. Send out a general email, put a blurb in the company newsletter, or ask a prospect to lunch. You might be surprised who wants to get involved.
Welcome new viewpoints.
Remember, your team members don’t have to be energy experts. You can teach them about energy. As long as they really want to be a part of the team, they are going to bring value. New perspectives, even if uninformed, can challenge your own thinking and bring out your best. Cultivate a spirit of openness and volunteerism, and before long you’ll be delegating significant tasks and multiplying your effectiveness.
An ounce of enthusiasm is worth a pound of expertise. The goal is to create a team that you can rely on to create positive momentum through their enthusiasm. It's much more important to recruit someone who wants to be a part of the team—someone who is going to participate and give you their viewpoints. You can always provide instruction on the energy side but what you can’t do is create enthusiasm for those who don’t want to be part of the team. So keep an eye open for enthusiasm, and value it!
It’s never been easier being green. Saving energy AND money is a win-win situation for your institution. Look for new ways to share the energy management message internally and externally. Build bridges with your organization’s media/PR team, and communicate your energy management accomplishments regularly. As your visibility grows, internally and externally, so can your vision!
Content for this blog was derived from a new EnergyCAP eBook: 10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers.