In a recent press release, budget motel chain Motel 6 reported that an energy-saving employee incentive program they implemented allowed the organization to save $233,000 last year alone.
The incentive program, according to Hospitality Net, is part of the chain’s Phoenix My Break Room program and involved Motel 6 workers from facilities throughout the nation. The workers were motivated through incentives to boost their motel’s efficiency over a six month period.
Particulars of the incentive strategy included monitoring and calculating each location’s “electricity savings and percentage reduction of energy consumption in kilowatt hours.” The information gathered would be compared to the prior year’s data.
Director of energy and environment services for Accor North America Renee Swoger noted, “The rising cost of electricity is one of our biggest challenges." She added, “We know that the key to helping reduce this cost, and therefore reduce our impact on the environment, is through a conscious effort by each team member to change the way they use energy." Accor is the multinational hotel corporation that owns Motel 6.
The focus of the program was to foster “energy-conscious” employee actions in the workplace and routines of all Motel 6 staff. The program ended in October 2010, at which time the results were tallied. Winners were chosen among the chain’s ten operational regions; the motels that achieved the greatest efficiency were rewarded with a “break room” make-over based on the “company's award-winning Phoenix room design.”
To sweeten the pot, workers at the chain’s top locations were rewarded for their energy saving efforts with free flat screen TVs for their break rooms.
While there was no cost to implementing the program, the results were noteworthy.
Non-cash employee incentive programs are proven to be cost-effective. A recent study conducted by the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) titled Motivating Today's Workforce: The Future of Incentive and Recognition Program Design is one such study that attests to this fact.
Chairman of the IRF board of trustees Jeff Broudy noted that these types of incentive programs are “highly effective in helping a company meet specific goals and objectives."
IRF’s results demonstrate that workers are ‘positively’ motivated by employee recognition based on their skills, advancement, and productivity. It also shows that employee engagement and motivation are not necessarily enhanced by monetary rewards.
IRF president Melissa Van Dyke noted, “Money is not all employees seek." She adds that as businesses, thus the employee base, move toward knowledge rather than brawn, rewards that recognize “the mastery of a skill and the personal innovations exhibited along the way are very effective."