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Wyoming Business Tips for Aug. 14-Aug. 20


August 8, 2011 — A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Susan Jerke, Wyoming Entrepreneur SBDC Regional Director

"How can I engage my employees in my green, sustainable business goals?" Janie, Casper

There is enormous opportunity for businesses that make the effort to become more sustainable.

You have also recognized the importance of engaging your employees as key players in creating and sharing the impact. By moving your efforts to a company focus, the results will business innovation from the top down and the bottom up.

Green the business with your employees. Know and share the value of sustainability by offering training in sustainable business practices. Communicate key values that include healthier lifestyles, social responsibility, environmental responsibility, simple living and having a voice when the company makes important decisions.

Excite your employees by making their workplace environment healthy and happy. Look for ways to add natural lighting to work spaces, open the windows to allow fresh air to circulate, implement a wellness program and make work more family friendly.  Consider flexible hours to accommodate children's school programs and sport activities.

Start a "green team" to encourage everyone to begin to listen to each other, develop initiatives and share knowledge. Help employees take their green living practices home with them. Allow time to spend on new ideas and let your employees know their opinions and efforts matter. The results will be stronger, more trusting working relationships and a healthier business.

Incorporate sustainability into the company's mission statement and prioritize how you will measure success and identify what is important to customers.

When you and your team achieve successes, communicate the results. For example, our office participates in a program launched by our city. We are listed as "Green Partners" on their website, we sport a special sticker on our entrance door and included news of the special designation in a monthly newsletter. While communicating successes, use the opportunities to discuss future areas for improvement.

Don't worry if you aren't there yet because not every business has discovered how to be more sustainable. The folks at Wyoming Entrepreneur can help assess where your sustainability efforts are right now. Sustainability has been woven into our business plan outline and we can help take a look at your products or services. We can then move forward to incorporate green practices throughout your entire company.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments is available at http://www.wyomingentrepreneur.typepad.com/blog/.

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, e-mail wsbdc@uwyo.edu or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.

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