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WaterSense announces Partners of the Year

BY HBSDealer Staff

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently honored five organizations as 2012 WaterSense Partners of the Year. The awards program recognizes WaterSense partners who help advance the overall mission of WaterSense, increase awareness of the WaterSense brand and demonstrate overall excellence in the water efficiency arena.



WaterSense-labeled products and more than 2,600 WaterSense partners nationwide have helped American businesses and households save 287 billion gallons of water and $4.7 billion in water and energy bills.



“WaterSense is proud to partner with these champions of water efficiency who share our mission to protect the future of our nation’s water supply,” said Nancy Stoner, EPA’s acting Assistant Administrator for Water. “The 2012 WaterSense Partners of the Year were exceptional in their efforts to support innovative approaches to help people and companies save water and money on utility bills nationwide.”



WaterSense recognized the following Partners of the Year: 



Manufacturer Partners of the Year

American Standard Brands earned a Manufacturer Partner of the Year Award for developing a WaterSense-labeled toilet model that can be installed without tools. American Standard also toured the country with an educational display that demonstrated how WaterSense-labeled faucets, toilets and showerheads work. 


Kohler Co., a three-time WaterSense Manufacturer Partner of the Year, introduced its most water-efficient dual-flush toilet in 2011. The company also more than doubled the number of WaterSense-labeled showerheads it offers and supported and participated in the “Wasting Water Is Weird” consumer education campaign to promote water conservation.



Retailer Partner of the Year

Lowe’s Companies became a three-time WaterSense Retailer Partner of the Year by supporting and participating in the “Wasting Water Is Weird” campaign to promote water conservation and training its sales associates on water savings and usability of WaterSense-labeled products. Lowe’s customers saved about 4 billion gallons of water in 2011 with WaterSense products.

Promotional Partner of the Year

Colorado Springs Utilities was named the WaterSense Promotional Partner of the Year for helping a local builder create the first WaterSense-labeled home in Colorado. The utility also encouraged commercial kitchens in the area to try pre-rinse spray valves that helped save more than 20 million gallons of water.



Builder Partner of the Year

KB Home, a two-time WaterSense Builder Partner of the Year, built nearly 100 WaterSense-labeled homes in 2011 and introduced a model home designed to achieve net-zero energy use and the highest levels of water and other resource efficiency.



The Partner of the Year awards were presented at the WaterSmart Innovations conference in Las Vegas. 

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Advice for employers: Stress total rewards

BY Rebecca R Hastings

The SHRM 2012 Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement survey published Oct. 3, 2012, includes commentary from several experts, as well as a few key recommendations for employers.

Among the recommendations:

Develop existing employees. Frequently, employees have skills and abilities beyond the position for which they were hired, the report notes. HR professionals can help their organizations identify such skills and prepare employees to fill higher-level positions, thus opening up positions that require lower skill levels, which might be easier to fill.

Communicate about total rewards. Research shows that compensation/pay is very important to employees, yet satisfaction levels are low. HR professionals can share information about the organization’s compensation philosophy, help employees understand how their compensation/pay is determined and communicate frequently to employees what their total rewards package includes.

Build a bridge between employees and senior management. Two of the top five contributors to employee job satisfaction were their relationship with immediate supervisor and communication between employees and senior management. Employers can train line managers regularly and involve them in strategy meetings and activities, so they better understand the organization’s vision and share it with their direct reports. Line managers can be encouraged to listen to and push employee feedback up to senior management.

In total, 600 employed individuals randomly selected from an outside survey research organization’s web-enabled employee panel completed the online 2012 Job Satisfaction and Engagement Survey.

Detailed statistics comparing findings over time, as well as by race, gender, generation and other factors, where statistically significant, are included in the report’s appendix.

Rebecca R. Hastings, SPHR, is an online editor/manager for SHRM.

©2012 SHRM. All rights reserved.

Have HR-related questions and concerns? Get access to essential forms, policies and guides, plus a live call center, at ToolkitHR.com, powered by HCN and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

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Survey: Mobile devices to get big play over the holidays

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Research results released Wednesday by multichannel commerce solution-provider MarketLive found that mobile will be used heavily for researching deals, making purchases and connecting with merchants across channels this holiday season.

According to the annual "Mindset of a Multi-Channel Shopper" survey, in 2012, customers will spend about the same amount on holiday gifts as last year — but a greater share of that spending will be online.

Of the more than 1,000 shoppers surveyed, 33% said they will do ‘All’ or ‘Most’ of their shopping on the Internet this holiday season. That’s a significant jump from last year’s 25%.

The survey revealed that 16% of consumers plan to do ‘All’ or ‘Most’ of their shopping via a smartphone or tablet this holiday season — that’s up from just 3% who planned to shop via mobile device last year. And 29% (up from 12% in 2011) said they’ll use their mobile phone to research gifts prior to a store visit.  Also, 43% of the shoppers surveyed said they are ‘Very’ or ‘Somewhat’ likely to use their mobile devices for redeeming coupons when making an in-store purchase.

When asked about the most important factors in choosing merchants to shop online this season, ‘Good Value’ was number one with 87% of the shoppers saying that value was ‘Most’ or ‘Somewhat’ important. Price came in second, with 85%.

Across the board, shoppers placed more importance on the reasons they shop online than they did last year. Saving money, locating hard-to-find products, and saving time ranked as the most important reasons for shopping online for the majority of shoppers. However, shoppers are also placing more importance than ever on:

Online peer recommendations/reviews (45% of shoppers said these are ‘Very’ or ‘Somewhat Important’ this year as opposed to 34% last year) and finding more personalized gifts (50% of shoppers said this was a ‘Very’ or ‘Somewhat Important’ reason for buying online, versus only 41% last year).

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