Carrot Vs. Stick, Honey Vs. Vinegar

Sustainability now claims a higher seat at the management table, as the price of being wasteful gets steeper. Commitment has become more than an annual effort on Earth Day, as institutional investors look at what large enterprises do in terms of sustainability. Companies are judged on behavior and ethics, and commitment to protecting the environment is part of the package.

Printing always comes under scrutiny when enterprises seek more sustainable business practices. Employees may feel their printing habits come under the microscope as well. Print users must be on board for print sustainability to succeed, but management must be careful not to fall into traps that demotivate employees.

Research cites two big employee demotivators:
• Keeping a close eye on them
• Not providing any support or guidance

Employees who feel overly monitored may be less motivated to voluntarily and enthusiastically change their habits. Studies show Big Brother governance and patterns of micromanagement actually encourage the opposite results. That’s why it’s a good practice to look for ways to positively impact users’ printing behaviors in their environment.

Peace, Love and Daisies

Changing printing behavior in a fun, positive, proactive way promises a more enduring, committed change. Studies finds that employees are more motivated by positive feelings even more than by money.

Psychology Today reported research results that confirm this. The specific survey question was: “What motivates you to excel and go the extra mile at your organization?” and these were responses from over 200,000 employees (money was down on the list):

• Camaraderie, peer motivation (20%)
• Intrinsic desire to a good job (17%)
• Feeling encouraged and recognized (13%)
• Having a real impact (10%)

Daisy on the Desktop

The Xerox® Print Awareness Tool is based on that approach, too. The Xerox Print Awareness Tool contributes to the triple bottom line and promotes sustainable habits at a personal level. Users see the impact of their individual printing choices at their desktops in real time.

The tool has a small daisy that sits on the desktop. At the beginning of each month, users get printing points, and as they print things like email or web pages, or simplex output instead of duplex, the tool subtracts points – and daisy petals. The visualization of the daisy losing its petals becomes a strong motivator.

Users can see their actual print usage with this easy, interactive desktop interface, and take steps to improve print behavior. Each gets a personal view of print performance, not one that shares individual print performance across colleagues. Employees get monthly emails with detailed reporting on their habits over the past month. Trends and comparison data show individual usage compared with company’s goals, so each employee can see how they supported enterprise sustainability.

The user’s dashboard offers sustainability tips and suggestions for improvement. Customizable eco-tips let enterprises add content that’s especially meaningful for your company or industry. Organizations can post their own sustainability initiatives or behavior requests right on each dashboard.

Data for Tracking and Reporting

The tool collects data that sustainability officers and IT leaders can use for tracking progress, reporting results and making decisions. Data can also be used to stack rank departments and peer groups, so managers can recognize and reward groups for meeting enterprise goals.

In a world of restrictive policies, the Xerox Print Awareness Tool takes print governance in an entirely different direction. It’s fun. It’s all about awareness. It doesn’t stop anything about what users print. No finger pointing. No humiliation or intimidation. The tool has a low barrier to entry, but a high value to a business. It leverages the things that motivate employees, instead of focusing on demotivators.

Through each user’s contribution, your organization is one step closer to decreasing overall print costs and achieving corporate social responsibility and sustainability goals.

Click to see a video of the Xerox Print Awareness Tool in action.