Tag Archives: Healthy Business Bloomington


Conscious Capitalism: Finding Your Higher Purpose

A special thank you to Tim Tucker, co-owner of Express Employment Professionals (www.expressbloomington.com) for the great following submission!

For some time now, businesses have been gaining a bad reputation. Ideas like capitalism, profits, wealth, and entrepreneurship once inspired and garnered praise, but now they are increasingly being vilified. There are many reasons for this, some justified and some not, and the reality is that some blame lies on both sides of this argument. But, as business owners, it is within your power to help change this image and show that at least your business has a conscience.

In the recently released book “Conscious Capitalism,” authors John Mackey of Whole Foods Market and professor Raj Sisodia “argue for the inherent good of both business and capitalism.” They propose that “entrepreneurs are the true heroes in a free-enterprise economy, driving progress in companies, society and the world.” To support this, they present four specific principles that companies should follow to not only communicate this reality to the world, but also grow their organization. The first principle to consider is to find your higher purpose.

Make a Difference:
Forbes defined the process of finding your company’s higher purpose as uncovering the difference it is trying to make in the world. This is something the most profitable and highest esteemed companies have in common – they all know their purpose. Disney exists to use our imaginations to bring happiness to millions. 3M is in the business of improving every company, every home, every life. The American Red Cross is daily enabling Americans to perform extraordinary acts in the face of emergencies. Do you know what your business purpose is?

Create Value:
Mackey and Sisodia believe that “business has a much broader positive impact on the world when it is based on a higher purpose that goes beyond generating profits and creating shareholder value.” Psychology has shown that it’s vital for individuals to find purpose and meaning in their lives. And it’s just as important to the business itself. Finding a higher purpose for your organization is all about creating value, an idea that is all too often confined to just marketing or advertising. Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, explains their stores “are our canvas upon which we can paint our deeper purpose of bringing whole foods and greater health to the world.”

Discover Your Business’ Purpose:
Defining the value that your company brings to the world is a step that some owners naturally do during the strategic planning part of the start-up process, but sometimes that purpose can get lost. For other business owners, this is something they never even consider. But it’s not too late. You can uncover your company’s ultimate purpose by asking and honestly answering some questions:

• “Why do we exist?”
• “Why do we need to exist?”
• “Why is the world better because we’re here?”
• “Would we be missed if we ceased to exist?”
• “What core values animate the enterprise and unite all of our stakeholders?”iStock_000011979035XSmall

As you uncover your business’ purpose, it’s important that you don’t negate growing your company or being profitable. Mackey and Sisodia believe that profitability is best achieved by not making it the primary goal of the business. After all, you can’t fulfill your higher purpose of fueling growth and progress within your community if you don’t generate profits. As a business owner, you have the unique opportunity to run an organization that serves a higher purpose and to change peoples’ lives for the better, which will ultimately prove that businesses have a conscience, too.


Promoting a Healthier Workplace

Whether you are running your own business, or working for it, you may think the last thing you need to consider is health and wellness at work. However, studies have shown that stress can take a toll not only on physical and emotional health, but productivity and performance in the workplace.

Establishing a healthier work environment from the top down will increase the health and efficiency of your employees.  Workplace wellness programs encourage a healthier lifestyle that can enhance time utilization and decision making of workers.  The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce formed the Healthy Business Bloomington Initiative to help businesses promote wellness in the workplace. Businesses which implement workplace wellness programs might save when it comes to medical care costs, safety problems, and rates of absenteeism.  Even if you are not in the position to employ a comprehensive wellness plan, there are many small steps your business can take to increase the health of your workers.

1. Implement healthier eating choices. Offer your employees healthy meal and snack options that help fuel their performance while satisfying their nutritional need.  Consider replacing sodas with water, milk, or tea.  If possible, stock the break room with fruits, vegetables, and other healthy options.

2. Promote exercise. Encourage 2 minute stretch breaks every hour. Organizing regular stretch breaks provides a mental break from the work routine, which results in stress reduction.  Endorse exercising by partnering with a local gym to offer a discount for your employees. An active body is linked to an active mind, so regular exercise will increase your workers clarity and concentration.

3. Emphasize health education. Break time seminars are key opportunities for helping employees learn about healthy habits. Recruit speakers to lead session on healthy meals, stress management skills, and keeping active.  Keep sessions enjoyable but educational.

4. Be attentive of mental health. Unmanaged stress can lead to job dissatisfaction and absence from work for related health conditions. Consider offering an employee assistance program for employees who have excess stress, financial problems, or depression.  Also persuade employee to take simple steps on their own to reduce stress.

5. Make health apart of the work culture. Add healthy facts to company email and communication. Or even simpler, post healthy tips in the break room.  Building a healthy environment will result in more healthy and happy employees.

If, after trying a few ideas and trial runs, a wellness program seems right for your business, consider the Healthy Business Bloomington Initiative to help your business promote a healthier work environment.

 Please visit www.ChamberBloomington.org for more information.

Adapted from “8 ways to Promote Wellness in the Workplace” by Lauren Lastowka

On the Road to Good Health

In February, The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, along with its Health Care Team, hosted the Healthy Business Bloomington Breakfast and Wellness Showcase. This was the third year for the event that helped to launch The Chamber’s Healthy Business Bloomington Designation program which was formulated to support the development and expansion of organizational policies conducive to healthier employee lifestyles.  At this year’s event, we were thrilled as we watch more than 125 individuals from varying sized organizations within our community discuss ways to make their businesses more healthy.

Worksite wellness programs and prevention are sound ideas whose time has definitely come. Wellness is more fun and costs far less than treating disease. Studies suggest that for every $1 invested in a worksite wellness programs, a company saves $3 to $5 in health and safety costs. Organizations that invest in wellness programs might reap the financial incentives through savings on medical care costs, disability pay, rates of absenteeism, turnover and safety problems.

But, what about a small business with 25 or less employees? Businesses of this size may be the most in need of a wellness program. Small businesses are the hardest hit by health insurance costs and often suffer more with frequent absenteeism or lack of productivity. Unlike larger businesses, small businesses owners frequently lack the resources to provide worksite wellness programs that feature such offerings as on-site fitness centers or customized on-line support – but that doesn’t mean that a wellness program can’t be implemented.

Many of our local small businesses understand the advantages of providing a wellness program and have created dynamic programs that work well within their business model.

To recognize the work and progress of our small businesses, The Chamber’s Health Care Team created a new Small Business Healthy Business Bloomington Designation application especially designed for those businesses with 25 or less employees. The new small business application was introduced at our February Healthy Business Bloomington Breakfast & Wellness Showcase and we’re excited to add more names of businesses to the growing list of those recognized with a Healthy Business Bloomington designation.

Every initiative – whether it’s a new diet or a new fitness regime – begins with a pledge to begin. To help businesses take their first steps towards a healthier workplace, The Health Care Team also created a new Worksite Wellness Pledge which includes simple steps a business pledges to implement as part of their worksite wellness program. The simple act of signing this pledge signals the beginning of the wellness process for both the organization and the employees. Signing the Worksite Wellness Pledge is a great way to jump start a health and wellness program for your employees.

The bottom line is that workplace wellness programs can and do benefit any size business — small or large. Since 82 % of the United States population is linked in some way to a worksite, and because employees spend a minimum of about 200 hours a month at work, the impact of a worksite wellness program can be far-reaching.

If you already have a worksite wellness program in place – we applaud your efforts and hope you will download a Healthy Business Bloomington Designation application. Please utilize the resources found throughout our community and at The Chamber’s website under our Healthy Business Bloomington section. If you don’t currently have a wellness program, I encourage you to take a closer look at how some simple, healthier changes can make a major difference within your organization. Please download a copy of our new Worksite Wellness Pledge and use that as your first step towards better health. Together, we will build healthier businesses and a healthier community.

Please visit: www.ChamberBloomington.org for more information.

Exciting Times at The Chamber

What a crazy last couple of weeks. Of course I broke my New Year’s resolution to blog every week the second week of 2011… At least I’m jumping back on the horse and trying again this week.

It has been a bit of a whirlwind these past couple of weeks as The Chamber hosted the first Women Excel Bloomington luncheon of 2011 on Tuesday, January 18, there was a snow storm later that week that delayed the hYPe Launch, but we were finally able to have the launch event on Monday, January 24. Last week we also had the first Business After Hours of 2011 at the Monroe County Building Association Home Show the evening of January 27, and an ABC: About Business Connections that focused on credit card processing with Infintech on Friday, January 28. This week, we host our first Healthy Business Bloomington Breakfast of 2011 on Wednesday, February 2, another ABC on February 8, and the first hYPe professional development event on February 9. Then, on February 23, we host the first BizLink event of the New Year focusing on website optimization.

Whew, just typing all of those events made my fingers tired, but we think it is important to offer a variety of different events so that all business, small and large, for-profit and not-for-profit all benefit from their Chamber membership. We also encourage non-members to attend many of our events, get a feel for what we are all about, and explore the many benefits that come with Chamber membership.

Do you have a suggestion for a new event or ideas to make current events better? We want feedback from you so that we are meeting our member’s needs. If there is something we are not doing, or something we could do better please let us know so that we can discuss as a staff your suggestion and possibly make changes to improve our service.