2017
Healthcare Services
Recognizing who puts the ‘care’ in Healthcare
Aster Angagaw
Aster Angagaw

CEO, Specialty &

Canada Healthcare,

Sodexo North America

Healthcare is a hot topic – who gets it, who pays for it, who insures it. Oftentimes, though, there’s something lost in the discussion and that’s who provides our healthcare. Specifically, who are the people employed to care for others and what are the challenges they face? (more…)

Community Engagement
On Thanksgiving, 1 in 6 Children Wonder if They Are Going to Eat
Gerri Mason Hall
Gerri Mason Hall

President,

Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation

SVP & Chief Human Resources Officer,

Sodexo North America

Humbled and grateful. These are the two words – and feelings – that keep coming to me as I reflect on my experience with the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation. And it’s these words that seem the best description of how I’m feeling this Thanksgiving as I step into my new role as President of the Foundation. (more…)

Health & Wellbeing
Save Room for Dessert
Ellie Krieger
Ellie Krieger

Registered dietitian
Sodexo culinary ambassador

First, let me dispel a common myth: Nutritionists do enjoy sweets. Dark chocolate is pretty hard for me to resist. And sometimes I just need to make chocolate chip cookies! What I don’t love, however, is the notion of a guilty pleasure. No one should ever feel bad when they’re eating something that tastes good. So I propose taking that phrase out of our vocabulary. (more…)

Inclusion
Three Quality of Lifehacks for Honoring Veterans in the Workplace
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

Every year on November 11, we honor those who have made sacrifices to serve our country in the military. Americans know this day as Veterans Day, and we honor those who have served and are still with us. In Canada it’s called Remembrance Day, and we honor those who have sacrificed their lives for their country. (more…)

Universities
Examining the Value of Traditional Campus Services in an Increasingly Technology-Centric World
Jim Jenkins
Jim Jenkins

CEO, Universities East,
Sodexo North America

Technology has had a dramatic and undeniable impact on almost every facet of modern life, and higher education is no exception. From how lectures and course materials are delivered to the immense wealth of learning resources that are available from anywhere at any time, technology has enabled greater access to education than ever before. (more…)

Executive Commentary
Social Media Isn’t All Broken
Joseph Cuticelli
Joseph Cuticelli

CEO – Seniors North America
Sodexo

This week on the news, I saw Congress grill social media executives. I heard about the spread of fake news and the negative things that social media has wrought. There was lots of focus on young people and how they use these forums – I even heard one report when an expert being interviewed mentioned that he was an undergraduate. (more…)

Executive Commentary
How Many More Sleeps Mommy? – The Other Hidden Barrier to Women at Work
Charlotte Jensen
Charlotte Jensen

CEO Sports & Leisure,
Sodexo North America

Some of the buzz these days surrounds women in the workplace and the various barriers to their professional advancement. My personal experience over the years, probably like many others, has varied between amazing bosses and mentors who encouraged me to grow, and of course the not so great bosses and the leaders who felt threatened and excluded me. Over the past 9 years, my journey has been more about the evil two words we call “mommy guilt.”  It’s the other hidden barrier that so many of us share which often holds women back from the next big promotion. (more…)

Health & Wellbeing
Three Quality of Life Hacks for a Healthier Halloween
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

It’s that time of year again when the streets are filled with spooky decorations, carved pumpkins and children dressed as their favorite characters. The Halloween holiday means stockpiles of candy will likely be around your house or office, making it hard to resist extra sweets. And while sugar is fine in moderation, excessive sugar consumption can lead to weigh gain, obesity and type 2 diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, the CDC recommends that we get no more than 10 percent of our daily calories from sugar. (more…)

Executive Commentary
Where ‘Me Too’ Can Take Us
Lorna Donatone
Lorna Donatone

CEO, Sodexo Schools Worldwide President,
Sodexo North America

The “#MeToo” social media campaign is extraordinary and enlightening. Clearly, we all need to take seriously that so many women are posting and tweeting those two words to say that they, too, have been harassed or assaulted. (more…)

Executive Commentary
An Ally at the Intersection
Gerri Mason Hall
Gerri Mason Hall

President,

Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation

SVP & Chief Human Resources Officer,

Sodexo North America

Imagine a room with 4,000 people from every state and 40 other nations. It’s a giant room which intersects many ages, genders, races, abilities and ethnicities along with a diverse range of talents, experience and professions. In fact, they come from more than 250 employers including my own, Sodexo. You might wonder what makes this global business conference unique? (more…)

Sustainability
Partnering to Address the Challenge of Food Waste
Andrew Shakman
Andrew Shakman

Co-founder & CEO
LeanPath

Imagine if every year Apple threw out one third of its Iphones. Made them, shipped them, threw them out. Or imagine if Toyota threw out a third of the cars it made. Samsung a third of its TVs. Its ridiculous to even imagine. (more…)

Universities
The importance of Environment Higher Education
Rob Hailey
Rob Hailey

Senior Associate Vice President,
University Services,
Tulane University

Shifting global trends have had a significant impact on the business, economic and political landscapes—and the academic world is not immune. (more…)

Executive Commentary
What Every Chef Knows & Every Business Needs to Learn
Lorna Donatone
Lorna Donatone

CEO, Sodexo Schools Worldwide President,
Sodexo North America

Chefs often say the first thing they learn in the kitchen is how to avoid waste. Today, one chef is bringing attention to the staggering problem of large-scale waste: Anthony Bourdain with his new movie, “Wasted! The Story of Food Waste.” (more…)

Seniors
Three Quality of Lifehacks to Creating a Comfortable Space for Seniors
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

The world’s senior population is continuing to grow fast. The United Nations projects that by 2030 the global senior population will grow to 1.4 billion. With this growing population, the number of people impacted by an age-related disease or health condition will significantly increase. For example, more than 90 percent of adults have a deficit in at least one of their five senses, according to the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. (more…)

Seniors
The Five Senses Matter for Quality of Life
Marc Plumart
Marc Plumart

Global CEO – Seniors Segment
Sodexo

We get all of our information about the world around us through our five senses, but as we age our senses often diminish. It’s not just that we lose our hearing or have worsened eyesight. Senses of touch, taste and smell can weaken as well. These sensory changes alter the way we experience the world and ultimately impact quality of life. (more…)

Community Engagement
A South Bronx Sodexo Summer
Stephen Ritz
Stephen Ritz

South Bronx teacher,
Founder of Green Bronx Machine

Now that I’m well into back-to-school mode and looking towards the future, I can’t help but reflect on our amazing South Bronx Sodexo Summer. A summer when twenty children from the largest stretch of public housing in the poorest congressional district in America chose to come together to: (more…)

Inclusion
Closing the Disability Employment Gap
Dawnita Wilson
Dawnita Wilson

Director, Global Diversity and Inclusion
Sodexo

People with Disabilities are among the highest unemployed populations in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for persons with a disability was 10.5 percent in 2016, about twice that of those with no disability (4.6 percent). As employers, this not only provides a significant opportunity to positively impact the workforce, but also, to positively impact the lives of many highly qualified individuals who are often overlooked. (more…)

Workforce & Workplace
Recognition: A Key Dimension for Employee Quality of Life
Ivor MacGregor
Ivor MacGregor

VP, Onshore & Mining,
Energy & Resources
Sodexo

It’s estimated that disengaged workers cost the Canadian business economy over $350 billion annually in lost productivity. According to the Management Journal’s semi-annual Employee Engagement Index, approximately 60 percent of employees are not engaged, 15 percent are actively disengaged at work and only 25 percent are actively engaged. Why are these statistics important to businesses and economic growth? To remain competitive and grow as a business, organizations must stay focused on winning the talent war by hiring talented people and proactively working to keep them. Turnover costs are high — and not just in terms of replacement expense.  It can also cost your company in productivity, and it’s demoralizing to other team members when they see good people leaving the organization. (more…)

Universities
Helping Campus Partners Demonstrate the Value of Exceptional College Experiences
Barry Telford
Barry Telford

CEO, Universities West,
Sodexo North America
President, Sodexo Canada

From the kitchen table to the political stage, the ever-increasing cost to attend college has become a hot topic of discussion. As costs have risen, students have taken on more and more student loan debt and other forms of financial liability to finance their education. Adding to the apprehension, many of these students face an uncertain job market after graduation, making it difficult to manage living expenses and student loan payments. (more…)

Workforce & Workplace
Three Quality of Lifehacks for Incorporating Fitness into your Workday
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

As the weather starts to cool and we start seeing less sun each day, encouraging yourself to work out before or after work becomes harder and harder. (more…)

Health & Wellbeing
When It Comes to Food Safety, It’s All About Education
Brigette Philpot
Brigette Philpot

Vice President Safety,
Sodexo

For those of us in food service, safety is the number one priority. Yes, we also love to serve healthy, delicious and creative cuisine. But when it comes right down to it: we have to start with safety.

In fact, food safety is so important that the month of September is Food Safety Month, an important time to re-focus on everything we do to keep employees and customers safe from foodborne illnesses. (more…)

Workforce & Workplace
The Future Workforce: Attracting Latino and Latina Employees
Dija Ziane
Dija Ziane

Vice President,
Business Transformation – Healthcare
Sodexo

This National Hispanic Heritage Month is a chance to learn more about the contributions that Hispanic and Latino Americans have made to our country — and about the contributions they’re poised to make in the future. (more…)

Diversity
WHY HAVEN’T WE BROKEN THE GLASS?
Lorna Donatone
Lorna Donatone

CEO, Sodexo Schools Worldwide President,
Sodexo North America

Gender equity in business should not be an issue.

This country has more women with secondary degrees than men. Close to half of the labor force is female. In my thirty-year career, I’ve witnessed a sea change in attitude about women in the workplace.

And yet, it is a problem. Glass ceilings are real. We can break them, but first we have to ask ourselves why they exist and why companies motivated to support change end up with lopsided leadership. (more…)

Community Engagement
What’s Stronger Than Monster Hurricanes?
Lorna Donatone
Lorna Donatone

CEO, Sodexo Schools Worldwide President,
Sodexo North America

The natural disasters this hurricane season are leaving damage, both physical and emotional. Even as those most affected mourn and rebuild, they are bracing for more storms.

Amid the chaos, as our teams have been among the thousands in danger along each of the storms’ paths, I feel deep gratitude. Hurricane Harvey, Irma and their kin may be monsters, but they are no match for the human spirit. (more…)

Schools
Three Quality of Lifehacks to Teach Your Child(ren) to Cook
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

Today is National Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day. In most cultures, learning to cook from your parents is a natural part of growing up. It may be connected to a holiday or religious tradition or simply a weekly dinner for a big family with deep ties to its heritage. But for many of us, that tradition sadly takes a back seat to the rigors of our daily existence. Cooking with the kids would be nice, but on a busy school night, dinner is just another chore to check off the list. (more…)

Universities
Data Analytics: Leveraging Insights to Drive Program Innovation
Jonathan Preciado
Jonathan Preciado

Director of Consumer Insights and
Quality of Life Research,
Sodexo Universities

Data analytics has changed the way we view operations, performance, and student outcomes. As Southern New Hampshire University President Paul L. LeBlanc, mentions in the latest chapter of President to President, “Engineering a 21st Century Higher Educational Model:  Guidelines for Leading the Work,” understanding data can be an important step in meeting the needs and expectations of today’s students. Through Sodexo’s interactions with students, educators, and campus administrators, we have seen firsthand how analytics can change the way an institution operates. Taking this idea a step further, data analytics can enable us to design experiences in a way that will have a meaningful impact on student outcomes.   (more…)

Schools
Back to School: The ABC’s of Changes to School Meals
Richard Hill
Richard Hill

VP Marketing
Schools, Sodexo North America

With over 30 million students eating at least one meal at school each day, schools not only offer an opportunity for children to enjoy nourishing food but also a chance to learn healthy eating habits and important social skills.  Meals served through the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program are required to be healthy and nutritious, and they got even healthier in 2012 when new guidelines were implemented as part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, requiring cafeterias limit calories, sodium and unhealthy fats, and offer more whole grains, fruits and vegetables in every meal. (more…)

Workforce & Workplace
Three quality of life hacks to recognize employees for Labor Day
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

The Labor Day holiday has come to represent many things beyond the original vision put forth by union leaders in the nineteenth century. For some, it represents one final dash to the beach for an end-of-summer celebration. Maybe it’s a small town parade with marching Cub Scouts and glad-handing politicians. For others it’s the perfect opportunity to replace an aging washing machine thanks to a “Biggest Labor Day Sale EVER!” None of these things are bad, in fact they have become part of the rituals we’ve come to enjoy each September. (more…)

Universities
Shaping the Future: How Disruptive Innovation is Changing Higher Education
Kevin Rettle
Kevin Rettle

Vice President,
Global Offer Development – Universities
Sodexo

The pace of change in higher education is accelerating faster than any time in history. Today, higher education is a global commodity with all the competition and product diversification of any Fortune 500 organization. Mostly steeped in learning constructs hundreds of years old, today’s colleges and universities are subject to stronger political, social, economic, and technology market forces than ever before and are driven by a generation of students that will not accept the status quo. (more…)

Workforce & Workplace
Three Quality of Lifehacks to Build Office Camaraderie
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

The NFL season kicks-off on Thursday, September 7, when the Kansas City Chiefs face off against the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. With the start of the NFL season comes fantasy football. More than 33 million people will play fantasy football, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association. Coworkers may join a fantasy football league where they pick virtual teams to play against one another. Whether or not it’s a company-organized event, research has shown that fantasy football leagues can boost employee morale. (more…)

Inclusion
Helping Employees Feel Connected in Large Organizations
John LaVeck
John LaVeck

Director of Employee Business
Resource Groups (EBRGs)
Sodexo

In large organizations, it can be easy for employees to feel a little lost. Among dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of people, employees can lose a sense of individuality, and that can lead to a feeling of disconnection and a lack of engagement at work. (more…)

Health & Wellbeing Quality of Lifehacks
Families that Eat Together Stay Together: Three Quality of Lifehacks for Healthy Family Meals
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

Which of the following statements best describes your family’s nutritional habits?

  • We strive to have healthy family meals together.
  • We regularly eat together, but it’s rarely healthy.
  • With our busy schedules, it’s typically what’s ever quickest and easiest.
  • Everyone for themselves.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recognizes August as Kids Eat Right month. It’s a time to highlight the importance of healthful eating and active lifestyles for kids and families. As a leading employer of registered dietitians, Sodexo is an ardent supporter of nutrition for children. (more…)

Diversity
Three Quality of Lifehacks to Bridge Generational Differences in the Workplace
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

A 60-something instructor at a major university was working on a project with an undergraduate student. The student complimented the instructor on her proficiency with technology. The student thought he was paying a compliment to the instructor. The instructor was offended because she believed the implication was that her skills were good “for someone her age,” playing into the stereotype that all Baby Boomers struggle with technology. Little did the student know that the instructor serves on the boards of several technology companies and is a former CEO of a tech company. (more…)

Community Engagement
Fighting hunger in affluent counties
Gerri Mason Hall
Gerri Mason Hall

President,

Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation

SVP & Chief Human Resources Officer,

Sodexo North America

We often think of food insecurity and hunger as something that happens in other countries, or only in the poorest parts of our nation. But the reality is that people are hungry all over the country, including in some of the nation’s wealthiest towns and counties. (more…)

Careers
Tips to Ease Your Nerves When Preparing for your First Internship
Lindsay Scholten
Lindsay Scholten

Marketing Intern,
Sodexo

Internships are a great way to prepare for your future. They can help you discover if the job path you’ve chosen is the right one for you, expose you to the professional world, and equip you with skills, experience and knowledge for a successful career. Since internships are usually one of the first experiences for students in the professional working environment, they can seem a bit daunting. To help ease the nerves, here are five tips I learned during my summer internship to ensure you get the most from your experience. (more…)

Health & Wellbeing
Three Quality of Lifehacks for Eating Healthier at Work
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

Do you feel sluggish or tired at work? Taking simple steps throughout the day to make healthier food choices can boost your mood and productivity.

In fact, employees who eat healthy all day long are 25 percent more likely to have higher job performance, according to the Health Enhancement Research Organization. And the more fruits and vegetables employees consume throughout the day, the happier, more engaged and more creative they are, according to a 2015 study by the British Journal of Health Psychology.

The workplace can be rife with unhealthy foods — from the bowl of candy at the front desk to the box of doughnuts in the kitchen to the cake at a coworker’s baby shower. But have no fear, here are three simple steps for eating healthier while on the job.

(more…)

Community Engagement
Fighting hunger on college campuses
Shondra Jenkins
Shondra Jenkins

Executive Director,
Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation

Many of us assume that the most pressing food issue on college campus is student nutrition.  We think of college as a culture of late-night ramen and pizza. But we often forget that many college students don’t have enough to eat at all.

In fact, as many as two out of three students at community colleges are food insecure, according to a March 2017 report from Wisconsin’s HOPE Lab that was sponsored by the Association of Community College Trustees. (more…)

Quality of Lifehacks
Celebrating the Small Wins: Three Quality of Lifehacks for Improving Employee Recognition
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

One of the most powerful – and least expensive – ways companies can improve employee engagement and commitment is to say a simple “thank you”. The top reason Americans leave their jobs is that they don’t feel appreciated, according to Gallup. Employees, in another study, were asked what leaders could do to improve engagement, 58 percent replied, “give recognition,”

A good recognition program can increase productivity, reduce turnover and enhance job satisfaction. Recognition can be formal with planned, structured programs. But often, the most valued form of recognition is informal, spontaneous and personal. (more…)

Quality of Lifehacks
Three Quality of Lifehacks to Incorporate More Superfoods in Your Diet
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

Are superfoods like kale, acai berry and pomegranate the answer to a healthy diet?  Popularly defined as a food rich in nutrients that offers health benefits, you may be surprised to learn that there is no official list or scientific criteria for the term superfood.  And while most are very healthy, it is unrealistic to expect one or two foods to significantly improve health or prevent disease, especially when eaten as part of an already poor diet. (more…)

Seniors
Facilitating the Human Connection Where it Matters Most
Joe Cuticelli
Joe Cuticelli

CEO, Seniors

Sodexo North America

I recently returned from a trip to Japan to see first-hand the role robotics play in senior living communities. While robots are a growing topic throughout the North American seniors’ industry, Japan’s rapidly expanding elderly population and corresponding caregiver shortage has accelerated the technology.

In her 2014 paper published by Brookings, “How Humans Respond to Robots: Building Public Policy through Good Design,” Heather Knight discusses why she believes robotics will become an accepted part of daily life. (more…)

Schools
How to decrease sodium and increase flavor in school breakfasts and lunches
Chef Michael Morris
Chef Michael Morris

Executive Chef, Sodexo
Putnam City Schools

Five years ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture enacted new, science-based nutrition standards for the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. These standards were the first major changes to school lunches in 15 years, and they do much to improve the nutrition of the meals served to children all over the country.

For those of us who create and serve meals at schools, this offered a new opportunity. We were challenged to come up with new ways to create healthy food that would still appeal to the palates of all kinds of children, including those with allergies or special dietary requirements. (more…)

Quality of Lifehacks
Three Quality of Lifehacks for Safe Summer Grilling
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

Now that it’s the height of summer, many of us will be regularly lighting up the grill while spending quality time with family and friends. A 2016 poll reported that 75 percent of U.S. adults own a grill or smoker. In fact, during the Fourth of July weekend, Americans consumed over one-hundred and fifty hot dogs alone, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.

While our summer cookouts are all in good fun, it’s important to take certain safety precautions as the temperature heats up. Here are three hacks to stay safe during your next grill. (more…)

Corporate Services
Agile Organizations: The Balance of Speed and Stability
Marie-Hélène Sicard
Marie-Hélène Sicard

Vice President,
Marketing and Strategic Planning
Corporate Services,
Sodexo North America

The past few decades have seen unprecedented changes in technology and society. In fact, it seems that in business, the only constant is change.

Today’s top-performing organizations aren’t those that are doing business the way they have for a century, but rather those that adapt and respond quickly to change. These organizations are often called “agile” because they are nimble, responsive and quick to adapt to new technology—and are often some of the earliest to do so. Agile organizations recognize the world is evolving and changing. They work across cultures, borders, and workplaces and quickly move to market. (more…)

Quality of Lifehacks
Three Quality of Lifehacks for a More Sustainable Diet
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

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…)

Inclusion
Addressing Barriers for Women Leaders: Reducing Gender Bias
Dawnita Wilson
Dawnita Wilson

Director, Global Diversity and Inclusion
Sodexo

In 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the landmark Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the first global recognition that there are basic inalienable rights and fundamental freedoms that apply to every human being. The Declaration made clear that men and women have the same rights to basic civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. In the 69 years since then, we’ve made more strides towards gender equality but there is much more work to do in eliminating barriers for women across all aspects of society, including the workplace. (more…)

Community Engagement
Beyond Volunteering: Harnessing the Energy and Optimism of Youth in Advocacy
Rebecca Middleton
Rebecca Middleton

Executive Director,
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…)

Health & Wellbeing
Safety + You = Zero Harm
Brigette Philpot
Brigette Philpot

Vice President Safety,
Sodexo

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
Recruitment and Retention for Tomorrow’s Workforce
Jim Moran
Jim Moran

VP of Human Resources,
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…)

Quality of Lifehacks
Three Quality of Lifehacks for Handling Vacation Season at Work
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

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.

Cross-train Employees

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.

Sustainability
Animal Welfare and the Food Service Industry
Jim Pazzanese
Jim Pazzanese

Vice President of Supply Management
Sodexo

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…)

Universities
University Presidents Share Perspectives on Student Success
Barry Telford
Barry Telford

CEO, Universities West,
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…)

Community Engagement
How Innovation Is Helping to End Hunger
Shondra Jenkins
Shondra Jenkins

Executive Director,
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.

(more…)

Seniors
Retiring Doesn’t Equal Disconnecting
Joe Cuticelli
Joe Cuticelli

CEO, Seniors

Sodexo North America

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…)

Quality of Lifehacks
Three Quality of Lifehacks for adding more dairy to your diet
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

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…)

Healthcare Services
Infection Prevention: The New Standard of Clean
Jeff Paulson
Jeff Paulson

CEO, Healthcare,
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…)

Sustainability
Recycling at Work: Unleashing Employee Activism
Sodexo
Sodexo

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…)

Inclusion
An Inclusive Workplace is Good for Business
Ivor MacGregor
Ivor MacGregor

VP, Onshore & Mining,
Energy & Resources
Sodexo

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…)

Workforce & Workplace
How to Help Employees Reach their Highest Potential through Professional Development
Jim Jenkins
Jim Jenkins

CEO, Universities East,
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.

Seniors
Really Celebrate Older Americans Month
Joe Cuticelli
Joe Cuticelli

CEO, Seniors

Sodexo North America

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…)

Community Engagement
Memorial Day at the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation
Steven Peterson
Steven Peterson

Director, Scholarship Programs
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.

Community Engagement
“Are you going to be back tomorrow?”
Tom Nelson
Tom Nelson

President at Share Our Strength

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…)

Health & Wellbeing
Three Quality of Lifehacks for a Healthier You at Work
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

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…)

Universities
Hungry for More: Generation Z’s Impact on the Food Industry
Jim Jenkins
Jim Jenkins

CEO, Universities East,
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…)

Inclusion
Women Are Changing the Face of Facilities Management
Charlotte Jensen
Charlotte Jensen

CEO Sports & Leisure,
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…)

Quality of Lifehacks
Three Quality of Lifehacks for a Healthier & More Productive Workspace
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

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:

(more…)

Sustainability
Five Ways Sustainability Can Drive Employee Engagement
Sodexo
Sodexo

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…)

Healthcare Services
Using “Big Data” in Healthcare FM: A Growing Trend
Roopesh Chetty
Roopesh Chetty

Vice President,
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…)