Saturday, 16 April 2011

Give them incentives

Dow Chemicals is investing $100 million in making its manufacturing operations more energy-efficient ... and is using an internal competition to select the divisions and plants that will receive the investment.

When (as here) the result is both good for the company and has an altruistic side or a 'greater good', this is a useful way of involving the workforce in the decision-making process.

The competitive element gives people an incentive to think about where energy can be saved or conserved.

However, if all the benefit accrued to the company (rather than some to society more widely), the incentive would have to be more direct ... with some reward going to the individuals or teams submitting 'winning' entries.

Incentives have become rather unfashionable ... but they still work ... but, of course, you have to be absolutely clear that the incentive you are offering will drive behaviour in the direction you expect!

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