Shrinking your food footprint isn’t as daunting as it may seem. By eating in a more sustainable way, you can lower your environmental impact, protect ecosystems and contribute to food security not just for us, but for future generations, according to The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.
A 2014 study reported that 83 percent of Americans consider sustainability when buying food, but Americans are shockingly unaware of how much food they are wasting on a daily basis, according to a study from the International Food Information Council Foundation.
Here are three simple steps to creating a more sustainable diet for you and your family. (more…)
Alliance to End Hunger
Back in 2013, I joined the Alliance to End Hunger after a decade as a corporate lobbyist. As with any major life change, this one had implications on our family routines. One night over dinner, my husband and I talked about my new job with our children — then 8- and 6-years old. That evening at bedtime, my daughter, Sarah, said thoughtfully, “But Mommy, if you end hunger you won’t have a job anymore.” My response to her was “And wouldn’t that be wonderful.” (more…)
Brigette is responsible for leading the North American Safety Team to drive our Zero Harm culture and improve the Quality of Life of our employees, clients and customers by keeping them safe.
As we celebrate National Safety Month in June, I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on creating a workplace where safety comes first. (more…)
Seniors North America
The long-term care and senior living industry continues to face workforce challenges. The number of people requiring care keeps rising, and the available labor pool to provide those services isn’t keeping pace. Finding and keeping talent is no longer an HR challenge, but a strategic business priority. Yet, most companies are unable to attract the right talent and/or build lasting relationships with their employees in an effort to overcome the challenges in today’s market. (more…)
Vacations are essential for improving employee quality of life. A major U.S. longitudinal study of 12,000 middle-aged men found that taking an annual vacation is associated with reduced risk of death due to heart disease. Vacations also improve employee performance. Iowa State University economics professor Wallace Huffman found vacations can boost productivity as much as 60 percent for up to two months following the vacation. Yet, Glassdoor.com reports that many employees are not using their full paid-time off allotment.
As summer swings into high gear, it’s vacation season in offices across America. With temperatures high and the kids out of school, it behooves employers to encourage employees to use some of their paid time off. Here are three quality of lifehacks to encourage employees to take their PTO.
Educate Employees on the Importance of Vacations
Communicate to employees the importance of taking PTO for themselves and the company. Jill L. Ferguson, Founder of Women’s Wellness Weekends, reports in the Huffington Post, that vacations reduce stress, improve heart and mental health.
It’s also important to encourage employees to disconnect while on vacation. A study conducted by Tel Aviv University found that employees who remain connected during vacation do not get the same benefits as those that disconnect.
One of the main reasons employees do not take a vacation is because they fear it will impact their work. A study by GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communications and the U.S. Travel Association found that 37 percent of employees were fearful that they would return to a mountain of work. Others said it’s harder to take time off when they have a more senior position or that they want to show that they’re dedicated to their job.
With this in mind, employers can address these concerns by cross-training their workforce so work can be covered while employees are on vacation. This will allow employees to take their vacation without worrying about what will be waiting for them when they return.
Have a formal check-out or handoff procedure
Nothing will guarantee a frostier welcome back to the office for employees if they have not identified the work that needs to be covered while they’re on vacation. Help employees make a list of the tasks that will need to be accomplished while they’re out. Then divvy those tasks up among multiple people so that no one person feels overburdened. Once you’ve identified specific people to tackle each task, brief each one on how to accomplish it, either individually, as a group or in a detailed email. Also, alert them to any emergency issues that could come up—no matter how unlikely—and where they can find the information they need to handle them.
How does your company encourage employees to take a vacation? How does your company manage their workload while employees are out? Share in the comments section below.
How do we decide what to eat every day? Most of us would probably say that we consider our health when we’re selecting food. But our food choices are also influenced by how much time and money we have, as well as intangibles like our cultural heritage and emotions. (more…)
As we prepare to celebrate Father’s Day this month, we do so knowing that the days of a bread-winning father and a stay-at-home mother are no longer the reality for most families. In fact, both parents work in 59.1 percent of married couples with children in this country.
Sodexo North America
President, Sodexo Canada
The 2016-2017 edition of President to President, titled “Integrated Approaches to Student Living and Campus Housing—Enhancing Quality of Life and Performance,” focused on issues, trends and opportunities related to campus life. University presidents from around the country shared their views and experiences on the relationship between life on campus and student success, comfort, and performance. Key takeaways included the importance of student living, diversity and inclusion on campus, safety & security, student retention and fostering resiliency. (more…)
Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation
In the world of fighting hunger, innovation comes in many forms. It can come from a new use of technology—like our Stephen J. Brady Stop Hunger Scholar Jack Griffin, who developed an app that uses GPS to tell people in need where they can find a food bank. Other times, it can be using an old technology in a new way, such as using food trucks to create mobile kitchens that bring hot meals to people in need, a method employed by other Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation grant recipients.
After so many years of living my life by the clock and my Outlook calendar, I sometimes wonder what it must be like for the residents we serve when they first retire. The majority juggled demanding personal and business schedules. Did they feel a sense of relief when they no longer had to check a personal device to stay on top of their day – or was there a void?
Now, instead of going cold turkey, an increasing number of senior communities offer residents multiple digital ways to keep track of their still-busy schedules. (more…)
June is National Dairy Month, so we decided to highlight the benefits of adding naturally nutrient-rich dairy foods to your diet. Dairy foods—milk, yogurt and cheese—are an important source of high-quality protein and essential nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamins A and D. In fact, studies show that including dairy foods as part of a healthy diet can improve the overall quality of your diet and help reduce the risk of osteoporosis, heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure in adults. Dairy foods are also recognized by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association for contributing calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D that likely play a role in dental health. (more…)
Sodexo North America
Professional cleaning isn’t just about cleaning restrooms and mopping floors anymore; today’s Environmental Services teams must focus on preventing the spread of illness and infection.
In our ever-shrinking world, we’ve seen infectious pathogens travel even more quickly from person to person. Organisms like MRSA and VRE have been created by overuse and incorrect use of antibiotics, and outbreaks like Ebola and Zika spread quickly due to increased global travel. Many of these pathogens can live on surfaces like tables, counters, door handles, computers and tools, where they can pass from person to person. (more…)
More and more, employees expect their employers to share their commitment to the environment. A study released last month showed that 69 percent of U.S. employees surveyed want to see their employers take a public stand on clean air, water and open spaces.
Creating or rejuvenating a recycling program at work offers employers an opportunity to connect with their people on a topic they feel passionately about, to build leadership skills and to potentially save their organization money. (more…)
Energy & Resources
Diversity surrounds us every day.
We can see diversity everywhere: in life experience, education, cultural background, gender and sexual identity. In the workplace, celebrating diversity means acknowledging the many identities that make an employee unique. To accept these unique identities, we first have to understand them. Understanding is a key step in creating an inclusive environment where employees feel acknowledged and valued. (more…)
Sodexo North America
A strong company requires core values, exceptional leaders and dedicated employees, among other attributes. Unfortunately professional development for employees is often overlooked despite its highly beneficial impact on company performance. Industry leaders know that professional development is necessary to help employees achieve their full potential. However, many don’t realize the benefits of professional development also include keeping talent engaged and excited about their careers. “Investing time in your employees and giving them the tools they need to develop is incredibly important for output quality, morale and retention,” Entrepreneur reports.
Your team’s professional development can be strengthened in a number of ways. For instance, mentorship is a great gateway for passing down wisdom and helping to build confidence. The best mentorships create mutually beneficial relationships: the mentee learns to deliver quality work and strengthen their talent, while the mentor strengthens his or her leadership skills. A great mentor experience is one where “you have the chance to reflect on and articulate your own expertise and experience—something you probably don’t take time to do otherwise,” Forbes says “Along the way, you may see patterns you didn’t spot before.”
Another great way to foster professional development is to encourage employees to attend conferences and lectures. Conferences, while great for personal development, also benefit the entire team, Inc.com reports – besides, there’s no better way to utilize the information learned than to share it with others.
Another way to help your team continue growing professionally is to encourage them to join professional organizations and/or employee resource groups. Great for networking, employee resource groups provide team members with the connections needed to make an impact in the workplace. Designed to promote diversity, ERGs make for a more inclusive workplace. However, ERGs need members to be engaged: “ERGs are only as effective as the overall commitment of their members and the incremental benefits they receive for their participation,” Forbes says.
Encouraging professional development is limitless considering all the creative ways we’re able to influence our employees. Recently, Sodexo implemented the Certified Executive Chef Training Program at Georgia Tech where 16 Sodexo chefs trained for the official American Culinary Federation Certified Executive Chef examination. Designed to enhance our students’ dining experiences, the Certified Executive Chef Training Program acts as a great form of professional development for our employees. A wonderful way to encourage employees to reach their highest potential, professional development let’s your team know you care about them.
For those looking to remain at their highest potential, it’s necessary for senior employees to actively seek professional development to keep up with industry trends. Encouraging our employees to join employee resource groups, continue their education and attend conferences helps them to advance and grow as professionals no matter what stage of their career. An exceptional employee is one that never stops learning!
How do you challenge yourself and your team to keep learning on the job? Share your ideas in the comments section.
70 is the new 40. Age is just a number. You’re only as old as you feel.
Clichés aside, seriously; what’s age got to do with it?
As my colleague David Boyd Williams wrote in a recent blog on ageism – leveraging the wealth of experience that older adults offer is good for our society. And, when senior living communities highlight their residents’ vibrant contributions, they underscore the great things inspired age can bring. (more…)
Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation
As summer begins, many of us are looking forward to spending time enjoying the freedoms we’re blessed with as Americans. On Memorial Day, our Nation will take the time to pause and respect the true meaning of these moments, the true price of those freedoms.
At the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation we make it our mission to honor those sacrifices every day. Through thousands of need-based scholarships awarded to the children of Marines and Navy Corpsmen each year, we’re committed to upholding a promise that no Marine ever has to sacrifice an education for their children.
But of all the ways we honor Marines by educating their children, none is more meaningful than our Heroes Tribute Scholarship Program.
After 9/11 we knew we needed to do more to support our Marines serving in harm’s way. Beyond, tuition assistance, they needed to know that no matter what came next, their children would never be denied the opportunities they served to defend. With a promise of $40,000 to each child of any fallen Marine, this scholarship program aims to provide that peace of mind.
For us, and for these families, it’s about much more than dollars and cents. It’s about investing in the legacy of these Marines and delivering the most lasting tribute we can offer; the promise of a bright, successful future for their children through education. Take the case of scholarship recipient, Taylor Baum, who we met for the first time when she applied for a scholarship in 2014.
Taylor, the daughter of Gunnery Sergeant Ronald Baum USMC, was young when she learned the true meaning of sacrifice. Her father, GySgt Baum was killed in action on May 3, 2004 while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. A rocket-propelled grenade impacted the vehicle he was in – GySgt Baum passed away as he was seeing to the welfare of his Marines, in order to ensure their safety, while disregarding his own. He was survived by his wife, and three young children; Taylor was just seven years old. Few of us can understand the grief that followed the events of that day, but Taylor recently helped me understand what those formative years were like for her:
“In that moment, I felt as if nothing would ever be the same – nothing would ever mean as much as it did when he was around. But as time passed and the hurt became slightly more bearable, I made an important realization: my father would be so disappointed if his absence led to any reduction in my progress towards success. As a man who epitomized sacrifice for a greater America, I decided I would live my life trying to uphold the pride he had in me when he was still alive.”
It’s our honor to ensure children like Taylor succeed. With the help of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, Taylor enrolled at Pennsylvania State University and is pursuing her degree in electrical engineering and neuroscience. Taylor has focused her strength towards becoming an exceptional student – she’s a double major and maintains a near 4.0 GPA. Taylor knows that life is precious, she’s living hers to the fullest and in addition to her studies is taking time to explore her individual passions like performing in her band and writing slam poetry. Today, Taylor is carrying on her father’s legacy through a life of Honor, Courage, and Commitment and it’s our promise to be there for her while she pursues her educational dreams.
This Memorial Day, we’re proud to partner with companies like Sodexo to support Marine families, not only through tuition assistance, but also with the peace of mind that we’ll always be there when they have a son or daughter in need. To learn more about the impact you can have when you Honor Marines by Educating Their Children, visit www.mcsf.org.
That’s what wide-eyed Andrew asked after his first meal at a No Kid Hungry supported summer meals site in Baltimore. When a volunteer assured him that, yes, they’d be back at the same time the next day, Andrew looked up into the volunteer’s eyes while lifting up his pinky and asked, “Pinky swear?” (more…)
You might not think of your workplace as a health hazard, but the effects of sitting all day at the office, grabbing a handful of candy as you walk by your coworker’s desk every day, and not drinking enough water are just a few of the unhealthy habits that can take a toll on your health. Here are three Quality of Lifehacks that can make for a healthier you in the workplace and a more productive workday. (more…)
Sodexo North America
As a provider of dining options for colleges and universities around the world, it’s our job to monitor what consumer trends are saying about college dining and, more importantly, what students want to eat. It’s evident that Generation Z, the generational cohort younger than millennials, is changing the workplace but many don’t realize that they are also taking the culinary industry by storm — challenging the food preferences of baby boomers and leaning toward a fresher, less-processed food movement. (more…)
Sodexo North America
Facilities management has long been a male-dominated career field. In fact, it may be even more lopsided than many other male-dominated fields: In facilities management (FM), men outnumber women in leadership roles by nine to one, according to a recent survey from the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources.
That’s slowly starting to change, however, as a growing number of women are beginning careers as facilities managers. It’s a welcome change, and one that’s likely to improve the quality of life in many facilities. (more…)
If you work in an office building, how do you feel about your workspace? Do you find your workspace, whether it’s a cubicle, open workspace, or private office, to be cramped, dark or stuffy? If so, research shows that this can impact your happiness, health and productivity.
With this in mind, here are three hacks to help improve your workspace:
Only 33 percent of US workers report being engaged in their jobs according to a report issued earlier this year by Gallup. A whopping 51 percent of U.S. employees say they are actively looking for a new job or watching for openings.
So, what drives engagement and what can organizations do to attract and retain the best talent? (more…)
Data Analytics for Healthcare Outcomes
“Big Data,” the phenomenon every industry and professional is hailing as the next great innovation-driver, has its origins in part in the healthcare industry. In today’s fast-paced environment, Big Data is likely to play an increasing role in helping hospitals stay ahead of the curve in the ever-changing healthcare industry. (more…)
Nearly half of the American workforce is female. And estimates are that nearly 85 percent of those women either are or will become mothers. In a tightening labor market, it’s more important than ever for companies to have “mom-friendly” workplaces if they want to attract and keep some of their best talent.
With Mother’s Day around the corner, here are three Quality of Lifehacks for building a welcoming environment for working mothers. (more…)
Sodexo North America
Transfer students are an important contribution to the University ecosystem. They bring different experiences and perspectives to the campus environment and have a unique set of needs for life on campus. Ensuring that transfer students receive a convenient, safe, and personalized experience is vital to driving continued transfer student enrollment and retention. More importantly, it is every education institution’s responsibility to support this subset of students and prepare them for success. (more…)
Canada is home to an Indigenous population of 1.4 million. Their quality of life, when compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts, is impacted by factors that many of us can’t imagine.
Only about 40 percent of Indigenous adults in Canada have graduated high school. Many Indigenous adults experience poor health. Beyond this, many Indigenous people face discrimination, poverty, and poor living conditions on reserves.
As it relates to the workforce, close to 40 percent are unemployed. Those that are employed have a significantly lower income than non-Indigenous workers. CBC News reported last year that there is a $27 billion labor pool of Indigenous workers waiting to be tapped. (more…)
Chair of Sodexo Pan-Asian Network Group (PANG)
May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and museums, educational institutions and other organizations around the country are paying tribute to the impact Asian Americans have had on American culture.
Whether they were born in the U.S. or immigrated here, Asian Americans are more likely to be well educated than the average American. Nearly half of Asian American adults – 49 percent — have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared with 28 percent of all Americans. Asian Americans also have lower unemployment rates, and higher average weekly pay than other races, according to the Harvard Business Review. (more…)
On-site Service Solutions,
Sodexo North America
The business realm can be frustrating. Trends fluctuate, consumer demands vary, and competition is fierce. Proven success is cultivated based on how well a business plans strategically, analyzes trends, and, most importantly, differentiates from their competitors. In an industry driven solely by consumer satisfaction, where negotiations and deals are made on the daily, being unique to your competitions isn’t practical — it’s necessary. (more…)
Sodexo Global Healthcare
Ten years ago it was enough to treat patients’ clinical needs—if the medical or surgical treatments were a success, the patient left satisfied. Improving the patient experience was a supplemental priority for hospitals. Now patients and potential patients pay attention to how they receive clinical treatments and how healthcare providers communicate with them both before and after they leave the hospital. Their perception of care drives hospital revenue and reimbursements, hence making Patient Experience a core element of healthcare services. (more…)
Did you know that what your children eat today can have a lasting impact on their health and well-being for a lifetime? Eating healthy, nutritious food is not only important for a child’s normal growth and development, but can also help them maintain a healthy weight and lead to a better quality of life. (more…)
Sodexo North America
President, Sodexo Canada
Often a stepping stone from childhood to young adulthood, college acts as a safe environment in which students can explore life beyond high school before entering the workforce. As these students anticipate a taste of independence, many of their parents face the confusion and discomfort associated with preparing their child for the next phase of their life. The college experience, albeit one of the most transformative experiences for young adults, can be a scary and intimidating journey for parents as they consider their students’ safety on campus. Our job is to build an environment which not only creates convenience for parents and students but also serves as a safe, comfortable place for students to learn and grow. (more…)
Sixty-four years ago, Congress declared that “The Marine Corps must be the most ready when the nation is generally least ready.” The years since have seen that proven out many times over. Marines are the first to respond in times of crisis all over the world, and their excellence is legendary. In 2016 alone, the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) executed approximately 185 operations, 140 security cooperation events with our partners and allies, and 65 major exercises. (more…)
Spring is the season to rejuvenate your home, your body, and your health. And just as we refresh our homes and our wardrobes after a long, cold winter, we can do the same for our diets. Here are 3 Quality of Lifehacks to get started on spring-cleaning your diet.
Those of us associated with senior living often receive several industry newsletters every morning. They almost always include the latest on the hottest topic — staffing, specifically the challenges faced in hiring, training and retaining committed employees to care for residents.
The situation is serious; LeadingAge statistics show that the average employee turnover at Life Plan Communities is 42 percent. National senior living research firm Holleran conducted a study that revealed the average new employee’s “honeymoon period” lasts about a year, Senior Housing News reported. After that, things get challenging and retention falters. (more…)
As April rolls in, baseball is getting into in full swing. Whether you enjoy casually watching your favorite teams on the big screen, or you just go to the games for the food and fun, there are several business lessons you can learn from America’s favorite pastime. Like business, baseball is a game of strategy and planning. In a single inning anything can happen, and each play comes with an element of unpredictability. So how do teams and coaches make informed decisions? And what can you learn from their strategies? Here are three business lessons you can learn from baseball. (more…)
Sodexo Employee Benefits and
Chair of i-Gen
With generation Z poised to enter the workforce and baby boomers beginning to leave it, workplace demographics are changing. To anticipate the shift, companies need to make sure all employees feel valued for their contributions and encouraged to bring their unique sets of experiences and perspectives to the workplace.
Gensler’s research found that understanding commonalities and an integrated system of environment, tools and policies will allow organizations to develop specific workplace strategies to bring out the best from each generation.
Here are few tips to ensure each generation brings their best to the workplace: (more…)
The Power Rangers, the children’s television staple that launched in 1993, is the story of five young people trained to fight the forces of evil—all while wearing colorful costumes. But for an entire generation, it was much more than that. It was one of the few representations of a racially diverse team on television. (more…)
For some seniors, quality of life is not only a function of how they measure enjoyment and fulfillment in life; it is also about how they believe they are perceived by society in general. Questions such as, “Do you see me as someone over the hill or someone with wisdom and experience?” now punctuate the public sphere. How can the experience of seniors be seen as a value to both their own quality of life and that of those around them? Rather than being seen through a narrow lens, the seniors industry has an opportunity to enhance society’s understanding of the significant experiences that older adults offer.
Sodexo North America
In the past, workplaces were designed with the employer in mind. The goal was to get the most productivity out of each employee—often without taking into account the quality of those employees lives. But as a new generation enters the workforce, ideas about how to keep employees productive are changing. We now know that employee engagement boosts productivity over the long term and that creativity keeps companies competitive in a changing world. As a result, workplace design is evolving to put the employee experience first. (more…)
President | CEO, Armed Services YMCA
“If you close tomorrow because of the snow, I won’t be able to go to work.”
“I haven’t had a single break since my husband deployed.”
“I missed another appointment because I didn’t have anyone to watch the kids.”
At the Armed Services YMCA we have heard these and many other examples of why childcare is so important. It can especially make a huge difference in the lives of our young military families. We offer many programs designed to help meet the challenges of military life, but few are as needed as childcare. (more…)
Corporate Services segment,
Sodexo North America
Waste is a crucial issue for businesses; reducing waste doesn’t just prevent pollution and conserve energy, it saves companies money. This is especially evident in the food service industry, where billions of dollars are lost due to food waste. It’s very clear that waste reduction isn’t just about sustainability; it’s a business imperative.
To see an impact—both on savings and sustainability—businesses should take a hard look at their supply chains, and determine how they can save money every step of the way. Good waste reduction strategies take into account how food is sourced, prepared and produced, as well as what’s done with any unavoidable waste created. Here are some strategies to help your organization reduce waste: (more…)
Senior Registered Dietitian,
In today’s media-saturated world, information about health and nutrition is everywhere. But while we have access to more reliable information about nutrition than ever, there are also many scientifically questionable or even false claims presented as fact. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to sort out truths from falsehoods.
One such questionable source is the website “Is It Bad for You?” This site publishes health and nutrition reviews of food products, restaurants and a variety of products and services.
Back in June, 1963 when President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act, there was a clear goal: Make it illegal to pay a woman less than a man for doing the same job, under the same conditions, with the same level of experience, requiring the same skill, effort, and responsibility. Despite its good intentions, the law still hasn’t solved the problem—even after 54 years.
Since then, the issue has become muddied in politics. Selecting April 4th as “Equal Pay Day” is meant to represent how many more weeks a woman must work to catch up to what her male counterpart earned in the previous year. Social and traditional media are full of inspirational stories and calls to action, but also stories that take issue with the arithmetic that led us to this day. And that controversy is exactly why the issue of gender pay equality remains an issue more than half a century later, and why today it’s critical for Americans to stop and think about the work that still needs to be done. (more…)
Sodexo North America
In 1972 Katharine Graham became America’s first female Fortune 500 CEO, leading The Washington Post Company, the fifth largest publishing company at the time, and under her leadership profits grew 20 percent annually from 1975 to 1985. She also became a role model and mentor for many women leaders in male-dominated fields and spoke openly about the issues they faced.
Last year the US hit a milestone with a record 27 female CEOs at the helm of S&P 500 companies. And while there has been progress since 1972, it has not been enough, especially when women are projected to account for 51 percent of the increase in total labor force growth between 2008 and 2018. (more…)
Sodexo North America
Every year during March Madness, fans unite to cheer on their favorite teams as they play in college basketball’s biggest tournament. Madness aside, fans look to one person to lead their team to the championship title — the coach. While March Madness takes place only once a year, coaching a winning team in the business world is a year-round job. Leading a team to victory means coaching employees through mistakes and applauding their successes, among other key strategies. (more…)
Sodexo North America
President, Sodexo Canada
For students, the college experience is a pivotal time of growth. Not only are these individuals learning new concepts and theories through their studies, many are also taking that first initial jump from childhood to adulthood as they navigate life with an increased sense of independence. Whether these students live on campus or commute from home, their experience at college shapes their first impression of life beyond the books. Because of this, providing the foundation for a robust campus community not only enhances the student experience but improves students’ quality of life. (more…)
For many years now, we’ve been making conjectures about the impact millennials could have on the workforce as more of them begin their careers. The majority of millennials—those born between about 1980 and the mid-1990s—are now of working age. Their impact on the workplace isn’t just conjecture anymore: It’s here.
Do you feel you can’t get through the morning without caffeine? In the United States, 80 percent of adults consume caffeine every day. While most Americans enjoy their coffee in moderation, overconsumption can lead to unpleasant consequences. If you find yourself refilling your coffee cup throughout the day you may be familiar with the side effects of caffeine, such as insomnia, stomach issues and increased heart rate. (more…)
Gender equality in the workplace isn’t just a women’s issue. Male leaders can drive gender equality in executive leadership roles by proactively advocating for female leaders in their organizations. As recently noted in Sodexo’s 2016 Diversity report , women comprise 45 percent of the S&P 500 labor force, yet still only represent about 25 percent of executive or senior-level managers, and only 4 percent of CEOs. Here’s another important statistic: McKinsey & Company compared the financial performance of companies with a significant number of women in top management to those without women in top roles. The companies with the highest number of women leaders had the best performance, averaging 41 percent higher return on equity. (more…)
Sodexo North America
Members of Generation Z, the youngest generational cohort, are beginning to enter the workforce. Raised in the era of constant communication and instant gratification, these individuals pave the way for a restructuring of our current workforce. As thought leaders, our job not only calls upon us to monitor workplace trends, but to recognize who influences these changes and the challenges and opportunities they present in the workplace. (more…)
There have always been female warriors, and Women’s History Month is an appropriate time to remember them. While many civilians are aware that the number of women on active duty in all branches of service has risen dramatically, few know the extent of women’s service to our country, particularly in combat roles.
A small number of women have been in combat throughout American history—though they had to disguise themselves as men and enlist under aliases. Deborah Samson Gannett from Plymouth, Mass., was one of the first. In 1782, she enlisted under the name of her deceased brother, Robert Shurtleff Samson, and served in the Continental Army during the American Revolution. She was wounded twice and cut a musket ball out of her own thigh, so a doctor wouldn’t examine her and find out she was a woman. (more…)
Michael J. Chamberlain, VP, Global Marketing
Alixandra Pollack, Director, Research,
and Regional Director, Mexico & Latin America
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees constitute a sizeable global workforce population, and more than ever, leading companies are acknowledging their contributions. With many global organizations now focused on building inclusive cultures in which all employees feel engaged and valued, LGBT issues are becoming a critical priority in workplaces around the world.
Global progress on LGBT inclusion has been most noticeable in countries like the U.S., Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. Japan and Taiwan have also recently introduced antidiscrimination legislation regarding sexual orientation in the workplace. Yet, in some countries, there are no legal protections for LGBT employees, and it’s common to hear that corporate LGBT inclusion policies “don’t apply.” This results in more discrimination, employee fear, high turnover, and heightened rates of harassment and mistreatment of LGBT workers. (more…)
Have you ever thought about how many single parents work at your company? There may be more than you think. According to the Census Bureau, there were approximately 12 million single-parent families in the U.S. in 2016. National Single Parents’ Day, which takes place on March 21, is the perfect opportunity to celebrate single parents and determine how HR policies can better suit their needs. Working parents face unique challenges, but organizations can help alleviate the pressure on single parents with policies that help. Consider these three Quality of Lifehacks for supporting single parents in your workplace. (more…)
Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation
I recently had the opportunity to participate in a leadership education program with a group called Leadership Montgomery (LM). The group’s goal is to build bonds among leaders in the public, private and nonprofit sector to improve the local community.
LM has always been focused on the value of giving and giving back to the community. Recently, they even expanded to include the Corporate Volunteer Council of Montgomery County. The expansion will help them educate businesses on how to partner with and support non-profit organizations. (more…)
Sodexo North America
Change is all around us, so when we think about college enrollment declining and federal funding decreasing, we know we have to think differently about how we can impact student recruitment and retention. An inspiring place to explore is how to impact recruitment and retention rates among first-generation students; it’s a group that, by nature, can help the academic sector expand its reach and further its mission – to teach and support the next generation of informed, educated and civically-responsible citizens. (more…)
Sodexo North America
On a recent business trip, I overheard a young woman who was traveling for business say into her phone, “Mommy just landed. I’ll be home soon to tuck you in and kiss you goodnight.” It made me smile. I can’t count the number of times I’ve said that to my own children—and then prayed the traffic would cooperate so I could fulfill my promise.
I wondered how many other female travelers were making the same promise at that moment. Let’s face it: Today’s working moms are reaching new heights of multitasking. We’re expected to play the roles of mother, homemaker and business professional—often all at once! Adding business travel to the mix creates mores stress and, quite frankly, “mommy guilt” for many women who travel.
It also creates an opportunity to address a critical need among one of the largest growing target markets for airlines: women professionals.
In 2013, Amadeus, a global ticket distribution system for various airlines, outlined several rising trends in the travel industry. One key trend is the rise of women professionals that travel. In fact, international business travel among women is predicted to increase four-fold by 2030. So we can expect airlines to place greater emphasize on travel experiences for women. But when they do, they need to expand beyond cliché gender-specific amenities such as pink bathrobes and travel kits.
Airlines should focus on genderless amenities including quality customer service, healthy dining options, and cleanliness. Additionally, secondary research conducted by Sodexo found that women prefer their travel experience to be quiet with natural lighting and privacy. By emulating at-home conditions, airlines can make business travel that is much more comforting for thoses constantly on the road.
Sodexo, as the leader of Quality of Life Services, knows the epitome of exceptional service hinges on all customers’ needs, regardless of gender. Share in the comments section below how you think airlines can great a better travel experience for women.
Jennifer Williamson is Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications for Sodexo North America. Sodexo’s 133,000 employees in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico provide more than 100 unique services that improve performance for 12,000 client partners and improve Quality of Life for 15 million consumers every day.
It’s no surprise that nutrition and health experts recommend cutting back on sugar as a key to healthy eating. Sugars added to foods and beverages are “empty” calories, and diets higher in added sugars are associated with negative health effects, including an increased risk of heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
And there’s a good chance that you’re eating more sugar than you should. Take this quick quiz to test your sugar smarts in observance of National Nutrition Month!
The main source of added sugars in our diets is table sugar.
False. The two main sources of added sugars in our diets are sugar-sweetened beverages (soft drinks; sports, energy and fruit drinks) and snacks and sweets (cakes, cookies, ice cream, candy and other desserts). These sources account for about 70 percent of the added sugars in U.S. diets.
All sugars are added sugars.
False. Naturally occurring sugars, such as those in fruit or milk, are not added sugars. There are many foods that we eat every day that are naturally sweet, which means they contain carbohydrates (sugars) as part of their chemical design. You can find a variety of added sugar ingredients listed on food labels including cane sugar, brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, evaporated cane juice, dextrose, fructose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, invert sugar, malt syrup, maple syrup, molasses, raw sugar, sucrose, agave syrup, trehalose, and turbinado sugar (“sugar in the raw”), to name a few.
Most of us eat too much added sugar.
True. In fact, most Americans exceed the recommendations for added sugars, consuming about 270 calories—nearly 17 teaspoons—of added sugars daily.
There is room to include limited amounts of added sugars in your diet.
True. Healthy eating patterns limit added sugars, not eliminate them. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 recommend consuming less than 10 percent of total calories per day from added sugars—a limit of no more than about 12 teaspoons (50 grams) of sugar for a 2,000 calorie diet. And the American Heart Association recommends women limit added sugars to no more than 100 calories per day (about 6 teaspoons of sugar) and men, no more than 150 calories per day (about 9 teaspoons of sugar). While you may be thinking, “I never eat that much sugar”, keep in mind that the average 12 ounce soda contains about 10 teaspoons of added sugar.
Ready to turn your awareness into action? Here are a few tips.
- Take inventory. Do you know how much sugar you’re eating? As a first step, identify any obvious sources of added sugars in your diet—like soda, candy, cookies, flavored coffee drinks, “sports drinks and bars” and dessert—and swap them for healthier, sugar-free or lower-sugar options. Choose diet beverages, water/zero-calorie flavored water, and fruit as a naturally sweet treat.
- Cut back. Read labels to compare the amounts of added sugars in foods, and choose less sweetened, lower-sugar versions. Try to find labels on foods that say “no added sugars”. For instance you will see this health notice on canned fruits, juice and many breakfast cereals. Limit sweet treats and reduce portion sizes; try cutting the amount of sugar in recipes by half.
- Create a sugar budget. Decide how you want to “spend” your daily added sugar allowance. Making smart food and beverage choices that help you manage your sugar intake today is a good long-term investment for a healthier future!
Share in the comments section below how you plan to reduce sugar in your daily diet.
Are you feeling a little sluggish this morning? You’re not the only one. Daylight saving time officially began this weekend. This shift costs Americans an hour of sleep.
When it comes to work, losing any amount of productivity due to poor sleep can make or break your efficiency for the day. With this in mind, here are three Quality of Lifehacks for saving time and boosting productivity at work. You may even save enough time to get back the hour you lost this morning. (more…)
Sodexo North America
President, Sodexo Canada
International students bring to American college campuses a sense of inclusiveness and diversity. In return, U.S. students expose their international counterparts to American customs including the ability to practice freedom of speech. In both cases, this mutually beneficial alliance formed among American students and those from abroad fortifies the campus community by and large. (more…)
Napoleon has been credited with the saying, “An army marches on its stomach.” An infantryman himself, Napoleon understood first-hand the importance of supplying an army on the move in which it was common practice for each soldier to procure his own food from villages along the campaign trail. (Apparently “locally sourced” and “farm to table” had an entirely different connotation in the early 19th century!) So dire was the need to feed the troops, food-related innovations, such as boiling and canning, were inspired during Napoleon’s infamous campaign to Moscow (Diary of a Napoleonic Foot Soldier, Jakob Walter, 1991). (more…)
Sodexo North America
During March we observe Women’s History Month, an opportunity to celebrate the many contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. Today, March 8th, marks a focal point during this commemorative month — International Women’s Day (IWD). IWD is a global day dedicated to celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. Both occasions mark a moment-in-time to reflect on how far women have come in the workforce. (more…)
Global Chief Diversity Officer
College students’ social encounters on campus shape their college experience. Therefore, it is imperative that campuses foster inclusive environments where all students feel valued, respected and celebrated. This in mind, the need for a sense of belonging is more pressing than ever. Our society’s tendency to display racial intolerance, cultural disengagement and lack of understanding across differences calls for more culturally aware campuses. (more…)
For over 100 years, International Women’s Day has been a reminder to recognize women’s contributions to the American workforce and economy. Women in the workplace have come a long way, but there is still a long way to go before women are treated equally to men when it comes to financial compensation and social acknowledgment at work. For example, men still receive more recognition at work for their successes than women according to a recent survey by Bamboo HR.
With this mind, consider these three Quality of Lifehacks for supporting women’s success in your organization in celebration of International Women’s Day and every other day of the year. (more…)
March is National Nutrition Month®, a nutrition education campaign hosted every year by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics—the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. This year’s theme, “Put Your Best Fork Forward,” is a reminder that each of us has the power to make better food and beverage choices that add up to a healthier diet—one forkful at a time.
While you’ve probably heard a lot about what you should eat, the message of “eating one forkful at time” also highlights the importance of the amount of food we eat. In fact, how much we eat is one of the most important parts of building a healthy diet, and can affect your weight and risk for chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Here are some simple portion control strategies you can put into practice at your next meal to make every bite count, whether you’re eating out or at home.
Let your plate be your guide: Visualize your plate in portions to help manage serving sizes as well as nutritional balance. Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, one quarter with a protein food (meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, soy products, nuts and seeds) and the remaining one quarter with a grain-based food (bread, pasta, rice, oatmeal), preferably whole grains, and add a serving size of dairy (one cup of milk or yogurt, or 1.5 ounces of natural cheese) to complete your meal. Tip: for more information about food groups, visit ChooseMyPlate.gov.
Give yourself a hand: Instead of weighing food on a kitchen scale, use your hand as a simple measurement of food portions. A serving of chicken, fish or beef is about the size and width of your palm. A serving of starchy carbohydrates like pasta, potatoes, cereal and rice is about the size of a clenched fist (about 1 cup). A serving of butter is half a thumb; for salad dressing or oil, a whole thumb (about 1 tablespoon); and peanut butter, 2 thumbs’ worth (about 2 tablespoons). A serving (one cup) of fruit or vegetables is about the size of a clenched fist. Tip: for personalized nutrition advice and meal planning, consult a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN).
Downsize at the diner: If you’re dining out, eating the right portion size can be tricky, as most entrées can serve 2-3 people. Plan to split an entrée with a friend, or cut your meal in half when it arrives and put one half in a to-go box before you start eating. If menu items are available in a variety of sizes, order the small size instead of a medium or large. Tip: choose a healthy appetizer or salad rather than an entrée.
Read the label: Many packaged foods actually contain multiple servings. For example, a 20-ounce bottle of soda contains 2.5 servings, and a 3-ounce bag of chips, 3 servings. To manage the amount of calories and nutrients from foods and beverages you eat each day, check the Nutrition Facts label for the number of servings in the container. Tip: purchase single-serving sizes of snack foods or pre-portion healthy snacks like nuts, fruits and veggies into single-serving bags for a sensible grab-and-go option.
To learn more about healthy eating every day of the year, visit Sodexo’s Mindful site.
If you’re like many American workers, you collaborate with colleagues who work remotely on a regular basis. In the U.S. alone, 3.7 million employees now work from home at least half the time. New data suggests that this scenario will only become more common—80 to 90 percent of the American workforce expresses a desire to telework at least part-time, according to globalworkplaceanalytics.com.
A flexible teleworking policy can be a great way to recruit talent, improve morale and boost employee engagement. However, there are real quality of life challenges to take into account for those looking to implement or improve a work-from-home policy. Teleworkers can experience professional isolation, which is a perception of both social and professional seclusion from the rest of the company. Missing out on workplace camaraderie and being overlooked for input on important decisions can make it difficult for telecommuters to feel heard and involved in their organizations. Here are a few steps you can take to implement a telework policy that works for both your company and your employees.
Make it official. Provide official guidance resources to set remote workers up for success. When implementing a telework policy, it can be tempting to deal with rules and issues on an ad hoc basis. However, legitimizing teleworkers with official and easily accessible policy documents will help them understand their role in the company and empower them to advocate for themselves.
Engage in-office staff. Often, companies don’t teach on-site staff how to effectively work with telecommuters. It can be challenging to manage a direct report that telecommutes, so offer trainings for managers on topics like how to perform a yearly review over the phone. In a conference with both teleworkers and in-person staff, it’s easy to overlook people not in the room. Brief meeting facilitators on how to engage teleworkers during brainstorms and meetings. For major company announcements, remind high-level executives to consider questions and comments gathered from remote employees.
Create a “telecommunity”. Teleworkers can feel especially isolated when the rest of the office is together for a fun event, like an office party. As a general rule, when spending company time or resources on on-site staff, consider how you can provide a similar experience for the teleworking community. For instance, in lieu of an on-site holiday party for remote employees, use a similar per capita investment to deliver a special holiday gift. Then, offer a teleworking-community-exclusive platform to encourage employees to share photos and stories from their holidays at home.
How do you engage teleworkers at your workplace? Tell us in the comments.
On February 26th movie fans all over the world tuned into the 89th Academy Awards ceremony, better known as the Oscars, where the best films of 2016 were honored. La La Land has received a record 14 Oscar nominations, but it’s another film and its story that is gathering much critical acclaim and popular following.
Hidden Figures tells the true and inspiring story of three African American female pioneers –Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson — who played an integral role in NASA’s space-race success in the 1960s. Since its release the film has received 25 industry awards and 61 nominations. And earlier this month the film became the highest grossing Best Picture nominated film, beating out La La Land with a box-office total of $119.4 million. (more…)
Sodexo Government North America
General Lucian Truscott, a highly decorated U.S. Army officer who was recognized for both his leadership and service during World War II, stated in his 1954 memoir Mission Commands: A Personal Story, “The American soldier demonstrated that, properly equipped, trained and led, he has no superior among all the armies of the world.” I could not agree more! During my tenure leading Sodexo’s Government segment in North America, which is the nation’s largest federal foodservice contractor, I have seen firsthand the tremendous work our brave service men and women exhibit each and every day, and it never ceases to amaze me. (more…)
Watching R2D2 and C3PO in the Star Wars series performing heroic tasks to assist Luke, Leia and Han Solo (and their predecessors) in their battle against the Empire seemed very natural to me. We saw them as real characters and an integral part of the world they participated in.
Given that sourcing caregivers to care for our elderly citizens is a major issue for the senior living industry globally, the development of robotic solutions is well underway. Dependency ratios – the proportion of working age people to the elderly – are growing. And, for the first time in human history, people aged 65 and over will outnumber children under age 5 before 2020. These two age groups will then continue to grow in opposite directions. By 2050, the proportion of the population aged 65 and older (15.6 percent) will be more than double that of children under age 5 (7.2 percent). This unique demographic phenomenon is unprecedented. (more…)