As I near retirement, I’m reflecting more on my career and the learnings that shaped my rise into senior leadership. I didn’t climb straight up the proverbial corporate ladder – but I looked at every new job as an opportunity to expand who I was as a leader. It seems only fitting to pass along a few of my most valued experiences to the next generation of senior leaders.
Many workers feel that although they do their job and do it well, they don’t have the passion for the work that they once had—or maybe it was never there in the first place.
Ever feel like you are not getting the credit you deserve at work? Do you worry your contributions are going unnoticed? In this interview, George Chavel, President & CEO of Sodexo North America, talks about the issue of “credit” and how expecting recognition for everything you do in a team environment is unrealistic and a red flag for most senior leaders. He encourages managers to focus less on getting credit and more on positive stakeholder impact.
A corporation is nothing without its people. They are the heart and soul of any company and can be the factor that sets an organization apart from its competitors. Developing that workforce in a way that helps maintain a competitive edge in the marketplace has become more critical than ever.
Welcome to the New Normal: The average business professional has 30-100 projects on their plate, is interrupted 7x/hour, and unlocks their phone 110 times a day. We are pressured to ‘innovate or stagnate’ amidst constant change.
We’re bombarded with endless to-do lists at every turn—at home, on the job and especially in regard to our health. Eat plenty of kale, broccoli, quinoa and yogurt. Exercise 30 minutes a day. Get up and walk around every hour. Get plenty of sleep. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming. But there are some simple ways that can help you stay energized, nutritionally balanced and reduce your likelihood of developing diabetes.
As CEO of Government Services for Sodexo North American, I have the unique opportunity – and the privilege—to interact with our military personnel every day, both at client sites and within our organization. I have a deep appreciation for their mission, and I am constantly awed by their stories of bravery in the field and selfless acts of courage.
Across the country, colleges and universities are teaming up with dining services and student leaders to build a more sustainable approach to food on campus. Recently George Mason University (GMU) joined The Campus Kitchen Project, becoming the 47th college campus in the national network. GMU Student volunteers will be re-purposing leftover food from campus dining facilities and delivering it to shelters in the local community. GMU will have the honor of serving The Campus Kitchen Project’s five millionth meal.
On behalf of the children, families and community of the South Bronx, I thank you for opportunity to share my story, my passion and my mission with you. One might wonder what a teacher from the South Bronx – the poorest Congressional District in America – would have to say? The answer is simple; Green Bronx Machine! Many years ago my students and I began to observe that as waistlines expanded, engagement and opportunities in school decreased, school performance suffered, and hope and ambition became minimized. Originally an after-school, alternative program for high school students, Green Bronx Machine has evolved into K-12+ model fully integrated into core curriculum. Our students grow, eat and love their vegetables en route to spectacular academic performance.
Why do so many of our favorite memories involve sharing a meal or a snack or a drink with family and friends? How is it that so many special occasions are punctuated with love, kinship, hospitality…and a great meal? Why do we feel the adrenaline rush when we try something new and exciting and delicious….and we love it so much we take a photograph to share with our kindred spirits across the world?
Sodexo North America
President, Sodexo Canada
What’s past is NOT prologue, according to Jean Paul Gladu, President and CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. In his presentation during Sodexo’s inaugural Quality of Life Conference, he said that to make progress, “…government and industry should stop worrying about the past and look more deeply at their future. I think we spend too much time looking behind us and we’re not focusing, or at least looking ahead at what opportunities lay in front of us.”
Corporate brand is not just about what you do, it’s about who you are as an organization. I’ve talked before about how that brand has become a key to attracting and keeping your workforce. One of the crucial components to a company’s brand centers on the choices it makes in the world of philanthropy. It’s not just a question of sharing wealth in a responsible way, but about choosing those with whom you share it in a way that reflects the values held by your company and its employees.
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The mission of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being and quality of life of people around the world. The OECD works with governments, labor and business to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems.
Every community struggles with issues, challenges and injustices. Youth can be powerful agents for change and heal divisions within communities. A change agent is someone who uses their voice and actions to foster and create positive change. Young people have advocated for voting rights, civil rights, immigration reform and LGBT rights. Even small actions can make a difference. Youth have the energy and idealism to eradicate the injustices they see in the world. Even on a small scale youth can make a significant impact and foster positive change.
Sodexo’s Donna Ford, Vice President of Strategic Management, Chooses Quality of (Work) Life
Article originally published on Womenetics.com.
Employees are the heartbeat of an organization. No one knows that better than Donna Ford. As Vice President of Strategic Management at Sodexo, Donna and her team provide “quality of life services,” for companies around the globe.
A corporation is nothing without its people. They are the heart and soul of any company and can be the factor that sets an organization apart from its competitors. Developing that workforce in a way that helps maintain a competitive edge in the marketplace has become more critical than ever.
Global Chief Diversity Officer
Can you name the world’s largest emerging market? Most would say China or India or maybe even Brazil. But Sylvia Ann Hewlett, CEO of the Center for Talent Innovation, argues that women are in fact the largest emerging market. While this might seem like a novel idea, companies should be paying close attention to the economic power women wield. According to Financial Planning women control the majority of personal wealth in the United States, own businesses that contribute $3 trillion annually to the economy, and are due to inherit 70% of the $41 trillion in intergenerational wealth transfers in the next 40 years.
The rapidly expanding global economy has prompted the growth of work teams comprised of individuals from diverse backgrounds with different values, experiences, perspectives, knowledge, and skills. Greater diversity in the workforce can positively impact organizational outcomes, including performance. Understanding the advantages of workforce diversity helps you establish an organization with a competitive edge. But companies can only fully leverage the power of their diverse employees by creating comprehensive, thoughtful and fully integrated diversity and inclusion initiatives that encourage engagement and align with the ultimate goals of the business. Creating an environment where inclusion is the expectation and people feel welcome, safe and able to contribute fully will result in heightened innovation, increased productivity and greater organizational effectiveness.
One of a CEO’s toughest but most crucial roles is overseeing change within an organization. It’s not just a matter of making the tough decisions that change requires, but about being able to see the change approaching. Whether it’s change a company has chosen, or one that’s forced upon it, the process can only be guided by a leader who can effectively balance the public and human sides that change brings.
The marketplace is flooded with articles, books and even phone apps trying to solve the question of what makes people happy. While happiness may seem like an esoteric concept, its origins are now being broken down to a science. Similarly, when it comes to employee engagement, figuring out what it takes to create a work place where employees are happy (and therefore more productive) has become a scientific pursuit of trying to find the right solutions. However, research shows that even with all the time, effort and dollars companies have spent to address employee engagement, the overall rates of employee satisfaction and happiness are still less than desirable.
Innovation. It’s one of those buzzy business words you hear in commercials for cars or even vacuum cleaners or perhaps read in full-page ads printed in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. But what does it really mean to innovate in 2015?
Women have made huge strides in their pursuit of higher education and now earn more associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees than men. Yet they remain noticeably absent from STEM careers despite strong job growth in the past decade and solid projections for continued growth. There’s a lot of incentive: according to Forbes, careers in STEM industries offer better compensation and more career advancement opportunities. In fact, women who hold STEM positions earn 92 cents to the dollar versus 77 cents for women in other fields.
We love technology. We live in a digital world. On our wrists or through our fingertips, most of us are connected to a device 24/7. Technology is present in almost every aspect of daily life. Growing numbers of people would rather communicate over social networks, email or text than to have a face to face conversation.
Sustainable work spaces are becoming more prominent. Investing in sustainability benefits business, employees and the environment; it’s a win-win. By recognizing the value in sustainability, innovative companies can improve the health and well-being of their workforce—while supporting business goals.
Global Chief Diversity Officer
Millennials, the next generation of leaders, ranks quality of life – their own and others’ – highly. This defining perspective will change organizational paradigms around the world within the next decade.
In the past several decades, there has been a dramatic demographic shift in the workforce. Not only do women now make up almost half of the workforce, but there are more pregnant workers than ever before and they are working later into their pregnancies. According to the National Partnership for Women & Families, holding a job during pregnancy is more common than at any other time in history. In a recent survey, 61 percent of respondents reported being employed during pregnancy. More families depend on women’s income than ever before. According to the Pew Research Center, women are the primary or sole breadwinners in nearly 40 percent of families with children.
Every year the month of September is dedicated to celebrating the importance of eating breakfast as a part of a healthy balanced diet and active lifestyle. The power of breakfast is often underestimated. The food we choose affects our energy level, our ability to focus and our power to think clearly. This has been proven with students in the classroom and with athletes on the field—it stands to reason that it makes a difference in the workplace as well.
A new quality of life economic model is developing thanks to communications, green energy and transportation connected via the platform of the Internet of Things. This glimpse of the completely new economic paradigm that will fully emerge over the next 25 years was offered by Jeremy Rifkin at the inaugural Quality of Life Conference sponsored by Sodexo in New York in May. Rifkin, an economic and social theorist, writer and political advisor, sees the new economic paradigm coupled with extensive sharing of information and goods—like cars—leading to an improved overall quality of life for people and the planet.
Do you have a “monkey mind?” This wonderfully colorful description describes someone who starts thinking about the challenges of the day ahead the moment they wake up—their mind racing through a list of have to’s, should have’s and why did I’s? As Entrepreneur points out, a restless mind can cause trouble sleeping, poor decision-making, anxiety and even depression—none of which helps us excel during a demanding day. A monkey mind distracts us from the task at hand, creating stress and impairing productivity.
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In our continually growing and evolving global environment, Millennials have a unique perspective as a result of being raised during an era of incredible social and technological change. According to a May 2015 TIME report, the 53.5 million millennials (aged 18-34) now constitute the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. In fact, Pew Research, estimates Millennials represent one in three American workers. While there are many opinions, positive and negative, on the Millennial generation’s dependence on technology, we cannot ignore the fact that these digitally-oriented, social networking savvy future leaders are rapidly changing what work looks like and how it gets done.
Food matters. The nutritional value and appeal of their food makes a difference to the scientists on the International Space Station. That point was made during a panel discussion “Is Food the Cure?” by Vickie Kloeris, Manager, International Space Station Food System, NASA Johnson Space Center. She was joined by Dr. Frédéric Saldmann, Cardiologist, Nutritionist and Writer, and Lawrence A. Soler, President and CEO, Partnership for a Healthier America. They were among the speakers that I was privileged to hear at Sodexo’s inaugural Quality of Life Conference.
Senior Registered Dietitian,
With food allergies on the rise, and 15 million Americans allergic to one or more foods, chances are good that someone you work with, go to school with or are friends with will have a food allergy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergies are a growing food safety and public health concern that affects between 4 and 6 percent of young people in the U. S. Allergic reactions can be life threatening and have far-reaching effects on the individual and their families, as well as the school, college or university they attend. The Food Allergy Research and Education organization (FARE) has designed the “Be A PAL – Protect A Life from Food Allergies” campaign for younger children, but college students away from home and family for the first time have unique challenges and need even more support from their friends and fellow students.
Employers have enjoyed a substantial advantage in the labor market since the Great Recession began nearly seven years ago. At the peak of unemployment in 2009, there were roughly five unemployed workers per job opening, creating a buyer’s market in which businesses could afford to skimp on programs aimed at motivating and retaining workers. Of course employees would continue showing up for work; no one else was hiring.
Is recognition the holy grail of employee engagement and corporate success? It’s become an article of faith in the last decade or so and the subject of a lot of research.
According to the Pew Research Center Americans widely believe that men have a better shot at leadership positions in business and politics, even as majorities say that men and women make equally good leaders. There is little consensus, however, on why women remain underrepresented in these fields.
LinkedIn recently summarized findings from data that measured gender diversity across several industries. They found:
- A leadership gap showing a difference in females represented in membership overall and members in leadership positions
- This gap is most pronounced in healthcare, retail and financial services
- In accounting firms, women represent nearly half of the total employee base, but only 26% of leadership
- Companies that operate in e-learning and information services industries have the most gender equal workforces
- Insurance, commercial real estate and venture capital all have leadership gaps of 16% or higher
And current trends are not helping close this gap. A Forbes report revealed that the most popular majors for women include History, English language and literature, Nursing, Accounting, Psychology and Business Administration and Management (which is number one). In contrast, Kiplinger’s list of most in-demand degrees center more on STEM fields and include Finance, Civil Engineering, Economics, Information Technology, Software Engineering, Management Info Systems and Computer Science.
Creating interest and opportunities for women around STEM-related fields is an important step towards realizing greater economic success and equality for women across the board. But it requires more effort by individuals and by companies. According to WhiteHouse.gov, supporting women STEM students and researchers is not only an essential part of America’s strategy to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world; it is also important to women themselves. Women in STEM jobs earn 33 percent more than those in non-STEM occupations and experience a smaller wage gap relative to men. And STEM careers offer women the opportunity to engage in some of the most exciting realms of discovery and technological innovation.
Women who want to move up the ladder at an accelerated pace should consider coursework in skills that will make them more sought-after in the marketplace and position them for advancement. This may include advanced computer skills, finance or project management. And companies must do more to identify, encourage and support women who have in-demand skill-sets. Stretch opportunities, mentoring and sponsorship are just a few of the ways organizations can encourage the next generation of women leaders.
Another role that appears less common – but is, frankly, more beneficial – is that of a coach. A coach’s conversations are more directive because their job is to help their client achieve his or her specific workplace objectives or goals. In other words, a good coach understands what you need to do to get ahead and helps you do just that. While coaches are often assigned only to executives by a company, the Wall Street Journal published a compelling article on the process and benefits of finding your own career coach. An experienced and objective coach may be the best career investment, providing sound advice on what courses to take, which skills to polish and what organizations are the best suited to quickly advance your career.
Michael Norris is COO and Market President for Sodexo Corporate Services and a strong advocate for the new performance frontier: Quality of Life. Mr. Norris is committed to developing the next generation of STEM leaders – both women and men – and helping to prepare all young leaders entering the workforce to be successful.
I recently had the opportunity to hear a true agent of change share a compelling case for the need to redefine what it means to be successful in today’s world. Arianna Huffington, Chair, President and Editor-in-Chief, The Huffington Post Media Group, shared a detailed roadmap for positive lifestyle change during her keynote speech at the inaugural Quality of Life Conference. She had just come from the funeral of Sheryl Sandberg’s husband, Dave Goldberg, and she posed the question: “Why is it that our eulogies are so different from our resumes?” People’s resumes often bear little resemblance to their eulogies. We are not spending our days aligned with the values people will remember us for.
Sodexo North America
Leading a team in today’s business world is a bit like conducting an orchestra. Just like a conductor, you provide clear direction, set the pace for your players and control team dynamics. As long as everyone is playing from the same sheet of music in perfect harmony, you can deliver a great performance.
Eating fish is a smart choice. It’s a lean protein with great health benefits. But some varieties of seafood have been overfished or caught in ways that may cause lasting damage to our oceans and marine life.
I grew up on a small family farm in South Georgia. Small family farm is code for hard work and community. On our farm, we didn’t own all the farm equipment we needed, nor did the surrounding farmers, but collectively we organized and shared resources and when it came time to harvest, everyone worked together as a community. Working together for the success of all: to me, that’s community. You take care of each other, you take care of the land and it will take care of you.
Strong businesses need healthy engaged employees. The average person spends more time at work than in any other daily activity and for many of us, that means eight plus hours spent sitting at a desk in front of a computer, on the phone and in meetings. While rising healthcare costs are certainly a driving factor in the equation, companies are realizing that employee health and well-being is central to their employees’ engagement, productivity, performance and overall quality of life. Since these are all factors that affect the bottom line, it only makes sense for organizations to create an environment and foster a culture that is more focused on the health and well-being of employees.
As the summer winds down, so does my internship. I can’t help but wonder what college is going to be like when I return. Who’s going to be living in my residence halls? How long is the walk to my first class? What will my senior year be like? But for one in five school-aged children in America, they are wondering what will be served for lunch on the first day back. That’s because one of every five children in our rich and prosperous country is food insecure—they don’t know how or when they will receive their next meal.
Prior to joining the No Kid Hungry Youth Ambassador program, I was not aware how widespread the issue of childhood hunger was in my community and in our country, nor was I aware of its devastating effects. I thought hunger was something that occurred in other places, to other people. But as I embarked on my Youth Ambassadorship, I quickly began to learn about and understand the negative impact hunger can have on children, families and communities. In the United States, 14.5% of families are food insecure, but in the state of Texas that number jumps to 18%, according to USDA’s Household Food Security Report. Nearly 1 in 5 Texans (4.41 million) are living in poverty. As a student at Baylor University, I was compelled to do more to address this silent epidemic.
Do you start your day with a run or workout? Good start, but it’s not enough. If you work in an office, you’re sitting yourself to death.
Did you know that children are at risk of going hungry in Los Angeles County more than in any other county in the nation based on a report from Feeding America? According to Share Our Strength, more than 1 million children and teens in Los Angeles are eligible for subsidized meals and may be at risk of hunger, especially during the summer months. Of those, 650,000, more than half, are considered “food insecure.”
How brave are you? Do you really know what your employees think of you? Are you willing to have a meaningful conversation and ask your employees what they really think? Do you care?
You should—an employee’s relationship with his or her manager is a leading driver of employee engagement. And engaged employees work harder, stay longer and perform better. According to Harvard Business Review “the best managers make a concerted effort to get to know their employees and help them feel comfortable talking about any subject, whether it is work related or not. A productive workplace is one in which people feel safe – safe enough to experiment, to challenge, to share information, and to support one another.”
Sure, it can be a bit intimidating—and it can be equally nerve-wracking for employees to provide constructive feedback to their bosses. However, understanding what your team thinks—and what will make them happy —is crucial to becoming a better manager. Good management is predicated on effective two-way communication and candid feedback helps you grow and improve as a person and as a leader.
Entrepreneur summarizes the benefits of asking your employees for feedback, and offers one popular option, commonly referred to as a 360-degree review. While in theory knowing what’s working and what isn’t is a good thing, the reality is asking for feedback can be difficult, especially from people you manage. It may not always be easy but by welcoming constructive, solution-minded input, you can position yourself as an approachable leader committed to the growth of the company and its employees. There is always room for improvement and strong, insightful leaders will make the most of the opportunity to listen (and actually hear) constructive criticism. In addition to letting your employees know that you genuinely take their input seriously, you can demonstrate your commitment to personal and organizational growth. The end result is more personal insight and a happier, more cohesive team. You will also find that the process surfaces some useful ideas that can improve both productivity and quality of life for employees.
Ultimately, the purpose of 360-degree review is to promote personal and organizational growth and development. When executed correctly, 360-degree reviews can help both employees and leadership to better understand how one’s role impacts the mission and goals of the organization. When receiving feedback from multiple people and perspectives all at once, individuals can better understand how their work and behavior influences the other people. From peers and coworkers to reporting staff and supervisors, multilateral feedback is often considered more accurate and more credible then traditional structured performance reviews.
Human Resource expert Susan M. Healthfield consulted Indeed.com when researching what questions should be included in a 360 review. She points out that without a clearly defined format with specific questions, employees’ free form answers may provide a lot of interesting information, but not data that will help the leader grow. Questions should cover interpersonal skills, motivation, efficiency and problem-solving abilities. Framing the questions effectively helps your employees understand what you want to know and helps you act on the feedback you receive. For example a good question might be structured like this – Does this employee exhibit leadership qualities in the roles he or she plays in the company? If so, can you provide examples of how he or she positively contributes through his/her leadership? If not, how can the employee improve his/her leadership?
When it comes to asking for and receiving feedback from employees there is no universally accepted method. Instead, leadership must examine the specific culture and climate of the organization in order to appropriately determine which methods would be most effective. The way in which an organization introduces, monitors, and evaluates the effectiveness of the 360-degree review process is vital to its ultimate success or failure.
By encouraging the multidirectional flow of information and communication within the workplace, employers, managers and employees can work together to develop a more cohesive team and productive work environment. Increasing feedback effectiveness directly influences business results, which is why improved communication between a manager and employee drives higher levels of employee performance, development, and engagement.
Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Or in this case the courage to know, to understand and to act. Are you brave enough to become a better leader?
Michael Norris, COO and Market President of Sodexo Corporate Services, was invited to share his insights on the importance of STEM education in the Health Care field at the University of Phoenix Healthcare Forum. In an associated post on the University of Phoenix’s blog, Michael outlines why more emphasis needs to be given to STEM careers in healthcare, the fastest growing segment of STEM jobs. For example, clinical nutrition and clinical technology management are projected to grow 21 percent and 30 percent respectively from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations.
“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.”
~ Dr. Maya Angelou
It is one thing to read an article or hear a news story about hunger; however, it’s another thing to witness it firsthand. More than 16 million children live in households that lack the means to get enough nutritious food on a regular basis. According to the Atlanta Community Food Bank, 1 in 7.5 people, or an estimated 755,400 people, in metro Atlanta and north Georgia turn to food pantries and meal service programs to feed themselves and their families each year. This includes more than 164,000 children! Together with the Sodexo Feeding Our Future program, the Andrew and Walter Young Family YMCA is working to combat childhood hunger in Atlanta by providing meals to those children most at risk of food insecurity during the summer months.
Ever wonder what it takes to provide over 20,000 meals for a community in one summer? This video will give you a glimpse into how our dedicated team at Texas Christian University makes this happen:
According to a The Gallup Organization’s Twelve Elements of Great Managing, praise and recognition are essential building blocks of great workplaces but unfortunately these are the same elements that consistently receive the lowest ratings from employees. Therefore, I guess it is not surprising that Gallup also found only 13% of employees worldwide feel truly engaged at work. Getting the best performance out of your employees means keeping them engaged. The bottom line is that when employees feel truly valued and appreciated, they are more productive, serve your customers better and are more likely to stay with the company. I often work with companies that want to achieve a higher level of employee engagement but think the costs associated with implementing an employee recognition program will be prohibitive. I always tell them the same thing – Employee recognition is not a cost or expense; it is an investment in the growth and development of your business.
The nature of business is evolving. Our interconnected, technology-driven world yields new philosophies on how and where work gets done. This flexibility questions the effectiveness of traditional office spaces and presents an opportunity to rethink the work environment.
Just because the world is more interconnected than ever before does not automatically make us all good global citizens. We must also recognize how and why this interconnectedness can inform and enrich our lives. And that is where the mission of the World Affairs Council D.C. plays an important role.
Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data — so much that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone, according to IBM. This massive accumulation of information is commonly referred to as Big Data. Predictive analytics or other advanced methods are used to extract value from Big Data that has the potential to help organizations make faster, more intelligent decisions. And better decisions can mean greater operational efficiency, cost reductions and reduced risk.
These hot summer days inevitably make me nostalgic for my childhood in Pittsburgh. For me, like most kids, summer meant lazy days playing in the sprinkler and waiting for the magic moment when my parents would suggest we go out for ice cream. But for kids like Paul, summer prompts a very different memory.
Last week I had the privilege of attending the fifth annual Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America meeting. The event brought together nearly 1,000 leaders from business, philanthropy, and government to develop solutions for economic growth, long-term competitiveness, and social mobility in the United States.
The story of the Hermione, Freedom’s Frigate, is a fascinating history lesson. From her first voyage across the Atlantic in the 18th century, to her present day struggle for rebirth, it’s the story of the bond between two nations and the value of freedom that we often take for granted. To those of us in France who have followed her reconstruction over the past 20 years, it’s a story we want to share with the rest of the world.
“Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you.”
One in five children is at risk of hunger in the United States—that’s 16 million children going to bed and waking up without regular access to food. Children concerned about where to find their next meal are not capable of focusing or performing well in school. While the numbers are staggering, the real issue is the impact food insecurity has on our nation’s youth. Proper nutrition is critical to a child’s development. Not having enough of the right kinds of food can have serious implications for a child’s physical and mental health, academic achievement and future economic prosperity.
Nearly 100 years ago, at the end of the First World War, the World Affairs Councils were founded in the spirit of fostering international engagement. We can be grateful for the unique role they have played in promoting an informed debate on international affairs. Then as now, the world demands a global education. Our greatest challenges today, be it international migration, eradication of poverty, or climate change, transcend borders, are by definition shared by the world community.
Winning the battle for talent is one of the biggest hurdles senior leaders are facing. In the ever-increasing competitive landscape for recruiting and retaining talented employees, companies are looking to more holistic strategies to gain the advantage. For organizations intent on attracting and retaining the best talent, the office environment is a key aspect to promoting a culture of engagement, innovation and high performance.
Today we celebrate World Facilities Management Day (World FM Day), dedicated to acknowledging and applauding the men and women across the globe who undertake the challenging responsibility of maintaining the safety, efficiency and usability of our workspaces. Not every profession has a day dedicated to the importance of their work – but since 2008 we’ve paid tribute to the unsung heroes of the built environment: Facilities Management Professionals. Facility management is a critical component in caring for the assets and infrastructure of a business, but it’s also critical for employee quality of life, performance and engagement.
An investment in global education is in fact an investment in the power of young people. When we invest in education in Africa, we empower young people to tackle the challenges their countries face, generate solutions, mobilise others to act, address inequities, and help to reduce poverty.
The world’s population is growing at a staggering pace, which is a relatively new phenomenon. After expanding only a tiny fraction for tens of thousands of years, according to History.com, the population hit one billion in the 1700s. The following century, the number of people in the world quadrupled.
As we survey the health landscape, the top challenge we face in Florida is the challenge of weight. Only 36 percent of Floridians are at healthy weight; one quarter are obese and the rest are overweight. Over the next 20 years in Florida, obesity is expected to contribute to millions of cases of preventable chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer, costing an estimated $34 billion.
The prevalence of chronic disease continues to grow in staggering numbers across the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that as of 2012, about half of all adults (or 117 million people) have one or more chronic health conditions and 25 percent have two or more chronic health conditions. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently noted that 48 percent of all health care spending in 2006 was for the 50 percent of the population who have one or more chronic medical conditions. Similarly, the American Heart Association estimates the total cost of diagnosed diabetes in 2012 was $245 billion, including $176 billion in direct medical costs and $69 billion in decreased productivity.
While most kids look forward to a summer of sun and fun, for those who rely on school meals, summer can be a time of uncertainty with regard to if and where their next meal will come from. During the school year, 21 million kids receive free and reduced-priced breakfasts and lunches. For many of them it’s the most dependable source of food that they have throughout the week. During weekends, holidays and the summer when schools are closed, that reliable source of nutrition is no longer available to them. In fact, when school lets out for the summer, only 3.8 million actually participate in summer meal programs. That means 86% of eligible kids may not have access to regular meals during the summer months. Simply put, this is unacceptable.
Chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and chronic pulmonary conditions are becoming a huge economic burden in the U.S. Earlier onset of chronic disease and its development in more working-aged adults has caused a decline in the overall health and quality of life of employees, resulting in days away from work and subpar job performance. Adding to the burden is the cost of treating chronic disease—estimated to account for about 75% of national healthcare expenditures.
Given employees’ busy and demanding lives, sleep is a necessity—but its importance is all too often overlooked. Getting enough sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind and more. Yet, it is estimated that around 30% of adults don’t get enough sleep. According to a 2008 National Sleep Foundation poll, almost a third of American employees report that daytime sleepiness interferes with their daily activities at least a few days each month. In fact, sleep loss affects so many adults that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has labeled insufficient sleep a public health epidemic.
Over the course of my 35-year career in energy and construction, I’ve watched as trends in office design have evolved from being merely a space to get work done to a true working environment that fosters social interaction, collaboration, knowledge-sharing and best of all, productivity. Even though office spaces have evolved to meet the demands of modern working styles, there is still progress to be made and inefficiencies that need to be addressed.
There is a tremendous amount of discussion around the childhood obesity epidemic and its impact on immediate and long term health and wellbeing. According to the Centers for Disease Control, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. In fact, as of 2012 more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.
Health Care Systems,
Sodexo North America
Calvin Johnson, Sodexo Health Care Systems President and retired U.S. Army Captain, shares his thoughts on the special meaning of Memorial Day. In addition to the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day is a time to reflect on the sacrifices and honor the more than 1 million men and women who have given their lives in military service to our country so we can enjoy the liberty, justice and freedom we have today.