Sustainability in business:why it's important and how to be mindful in your Marketing

In our current business climate, we are seeing that profitability is not the only factor in being successful; a business must have ethical social and environmental practices to be sustainable. The sustainability (or lack thereof) of your business affects not only how customers perceive you and whether they’ll give you business (88% prefer sustainable businesses), it’s also a huge factor for investors. While consumers look to brands to help them live more ethically and responsibly, investors look for a company’s long-term success potential as informed by their impact on social and environmental change. A Nielsen report on sustainability concluded that “sustainability is no longer a niche play: your bottom-line and brand growth depend on it.” See below for ways to increase your sustainability by positively impacting people and planet. PeopleThe people affected by your company ranges from your employees, to the workers supplying goods or services used by your business, to the community at large. Consider the ways you can help your employees thrive in and outside of work; they’ll be better employees as a result. Increase the diversity of your board of directors and ensure small shareholders are treated well. Expand your community development efforts and get involved. PlanetCompanies have a huge impact on the planet, much more so than individuals, which is why it is imperative to take responsibility for protecting the environment. Investors pay attention to factors such as a company’s carbon footprint, water usage, and if the materials they use are sourced ethically. Consumers look at how eco-friendly packaging is, or if they can do business with you paperlessly. Assess, Compare, ImproveSustainability reporting has been around for decades, but has been less accessible for smaller businesses who lack the resources to invest in analysis and reporting initiatives. B Lab, however, offers an online platform called the B Impact Assessment to evaluate how companies interact with their workers, customers, community, and environment. Not only is it free to use, it is the most credible tool used for this evaluation. Visit bimpactassessment.net to assess where your company stands, compare yourself to other companies, and learn how to improve. Sustainable Promotional productsMake a statement with your giveaways by choosing items that promote sustainability. Opting for quality products will benefit you anyway; your branding will have much more exposure than a single use item. See below for some product ideas. 

balance for better

 Today is International Women’s Day! This year’s theme, Balance for Better, is all about actively working towards a more gender balanced world. As we are woman-owned and 71% of staff being women, we are very aware of the challenges women face in the workplace and beyond. Whether it’s making sure there is adequate representation of women in leadership roles, closing the pay gap, eliminating sexual harassment, or any of the other issues women face, there is still work to be done. The good news – the future looks promising! After coming from other companies that were male-dominated, many of the women at Bradley are thankful to work at a company comprised of so many other women. We feel that there is more of a sense of collaboration in this environment. While it can sometimes feel like being a woman is a constant battle for respect and opportunities, from it, we have seen a unique comradery amongst women, especially in the business world. Our female brand managers feel that many of their female clients prefer working with someone who is a woman as well. There is a shared understanding of the things that have to be overcome, so there is an instant bond. Years ago, our industry was made up of mostly men. The disparity is lessening, but that has not been without its challenges. As a woman, you have to work extra hard to combat gender-based discrimination in order to succeed. We are proud to be woman-owned and to be a company full of strong women. We understand the need to better the balance and are hopeful that in the years ahead there will be increased gender equality in our world. How are you working towards creating gender parity in your workplace and beyond? ​

 Do Your Promotional Products Spark Joy? Our Top 4 Items for Promoting Your Brand Through KonMari​

 With the recent release of Netflix’s hit show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, the desire to organize the home is on the rise. In case you missed it, the KonMari method is organizing consultant Marie Kondo’s process for optimizing joy by getting rid of clutter and storing belongings in a smarter way. She utilizes containers of all shapes and sizes to bring order to drawers, cabinets, and shelves. Separating your storage into compartments and storing similar things together allows for ease in locating the items when you need them. As the saying goes, there should be a place for everything and everything in its place. A more organized home and work space reduces stress and increases productivity, making this a great idea for internal use within your organization as part of wellness programs or externally as a client gift. We picked our 4 favorite items to use with the trendy KonMari method of tidying that can be branded. Not only does this increase visibility of your brand due to repeat exposure, it shows you’re on top of the latest trends. Better the lives of your clients or employees with these great branded organizational items.​

Building a Wellness Program Part 3 ​

 How to Start a Wellness Program: Employee Buy-In As with any initiative, making it clear that management is excited about the wellness program is an important step toward success. The simplest way leaders can promote their wellness programs is to maintain a healthy lifestyle themselves. Employees notice these things and tend to model them. Think about it - If you had a manager who was maybe overweight and knew that he smoked five packs a day and was a heavy drinker and yet he was telling you that you need to start this wellness program, it just wouldnʼt seem right. Once you have management fully on board, it's time to market the program to employees. There are traditional poster and e-mail methods of spreading the word, but there's also an opportunity to have a little fun. You can create fun videos or send out promotional items centered around wellness. How to Start a Wellness Program: Evaluate It's hard to nail down a rate of return on improved health. But, in a business environment, it can be important to try. Depending on availability, some methods to consider are absenteeism rates, productivity measurements, and surveys about morale to quantify the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of a wellness program.If your company doesn't track these factors, you can still assess how effective your wellness program is and where it needs improvement by asking your employees. Assessment in a smaller organization can be as easy as asking, “Are you pleased with the program? Do you feel that it's helped you? What other programs would you like us to offer?”. Just remember that wellness should be a part of your overall company culture. If this is embraced, it will have a positive effect on almost all areas of your business. Topics: Human Resources, Employee Recognition, Management, wellness program, employee wellness    ​

Building a Wellness Program Part 2

 Although it would be great if every company could install a gym on-site or hire a full-time wellness coach, there are less expensive ways to make a difference in the health of our employees. Some simple steps that don't cost anything are implementing a no-smoking policy or a walking program, can make a big difference.Some additional ideas are:● Leveraging websites (some free) for employees to take health and   wellness quizzes● Ignite friendly competition between employees by having them log   steps from their pedometers, a weight loss challenge, or a   healthy eating challenge You can also use a combination of ideas   and assign points to each activity participated as part of a 12-week   program. These activities can include things like drinking a certain   amount of water or going for a walk on their lunch breaks.   People can not only achieve their personal goals and improve   their biometrics over the 12 weeks, but tend to also maintain these   goals in the future. The Partnership for Prevention has outlined three components of proven promotion practices for workplaces, and there are cost-effective, creative ways to implement all of them. Tobacco According to the CDC, Men who smoke incur about $16,000 more in lifetime in medical expenses and are absent from work four days more per year than men who do not smoke. Women smokers incur about $18,000 more in expenses and are absent two more days than their non-smoking counterparts. If there is one wellness benefit that will save you the most money, helping employees become non-smokers is it. "The most cost saving service that is out there is really offering comprehensive tobacco benefit," Lindsay says. "That should really be one of the first things an employer should do."The CDC recommends that insurance providers offer smoking cessation benefits that cover at least four counseling sessions as well as prescription and over-the- counter nicotine replacement medication with no co-pay. Ask your broker to keep these guidelines in mind when you are purchasing insurance.Most states also offer free tobacco quit lines that you can advertise to your employees. Local chapters of organizations like the American Cancer Society or the American Lung Association also may offer free support in the form of quit smoking classes. You can also give your employees a cash bonus or prize if they can maintain being “tobacco free” for a set period of time (say 6-8 weeks). Health Screenings Simply reminding employees to get cancer screenings and supplying them with information can be an effective way to improve their health. Post flyers in bathrooms, send e-mails, distribute fact sheets, or make posters. Allow for paid time off for screening appointments, and help employees remember to make those appointments in the first place by referring them to a free reminder service such as this one. If you're willing to go a step further, you can offer on-site screening services by cooperating with your local American Cancer Society or local hospital. Fitness and Nutrition Most people spend a majority of their waking hours at work, which means they make many of their choices about their fitness and nutrition at work. Here are some simple things that an employer can do to make healthful choices easier to make:  ●  Subsidize healthy options in vending machines with junk food    options. For instance, charge $1 for a cupcake but only 25 cents    for an apple.   ●  Set up a walking club before or after work.   ●  Start a pedometer challenge with a goal of 10,000 steps a day.   ●  Provide a safe place to store bikes in the office.   ●  Encourage employees to take the stairs.   ●  Buy healthy food for meetings instead of junk food.   ●  Host Weight Watchers meetings at work. Programming decisions won't mean anything without creating an environment that can back up behavioral changes. "The pitfall would be to make it a flash-in-the- pan kind of program, where you do one activity and it's limited to one luncheon where you bring someone to talk about [the program] and then you don't do anything else," Lindsay says. "It's really got to be a continued effort. You have got to make an investment; it's not going to be just handing out pamphlets. It's going to be something that is integrated in our business. It's a way we do business." In the end, it is all about coming up with a program that brings benefit to your employees and the organization as a whole. A healthy approach can not only just be great for the body, but for the mind and overall daily culture. Please check in next week for insights into getting employee buy-in!  Topics: Human Resources, Employee Recognition, Management, wellness program, employee wellness    ​

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