2017
Schools
Kids in the Kitchen
Steve Dunmore
Steve Dunmore
CEO, K-12 Schools
Sodexo North America

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…)

Universities
Promoting Physical Safety Programs and Education on College Campuses
Barry Telford
Barry Telford
CEO, Universities West,
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…)

Government
Ready Before We Are – Semper Fi
Deborah Roberts
Deborah Roberts
CEO Government Services, Sodexo

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…)

Health & Wellbeing
Three Quality of Lifehacks to Spring Clean Your Diet
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

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.

(more…)

Seniors
When Culture Matters Most
Joe Cuticelli
Joe Cuticelli
CEO, Seniors
Sodexo North America

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…)

Workforce & Workplace
Baseball is Back: Here Are Three Quality of LifeHacks from the Baseball Field
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

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…)

Inclusion
Bringing Out the Best from Each Generation
Suzanne Greenlee
Suzanne Greenlee
Director, HR and Benefits,
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…)

Inclusion
How Diversity Powers the Power Rangers
Dawnita Wilson
Dawnita Wilson
Director, Global Diversity and Inclusion
Sodexo

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…)

Seniors
Quality of Life is Not One Size Fits All When it Comes to Experienced Adults
David Boyd Williams
David Boyd Williams
Director of Global Diversity,
Sodexo

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.

(more…)

Workforce & Workplace
Redefining the Workplace Experience
Emerson Foster
Emerson Foster
Vice President, Human Resources,
Corporate Services
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…)

Community Engagement
Childcare critical to military families
William French
William French
Vice Adm., USN, (Ret),
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…)

Sustainability
Waste is a Wonderful Thing to Mind
Pete Witkowski
Pete Witkowski
Senior Vice President of Operations,
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…)

Universities Health & Wellbeing
What’s behind the headlines? Separating health and nutrition facts from fiction
Beth Winthrop
Beth Winthrop
Senior Manager, Health & Wellness
Senior Registered Dietitian,
Sodexo Universities

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.

(more…)

Inclusion
Equal Pay Day: 50 Years in the Making
Sodexo
Sodexo

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…)

Inclusion
Addressing Barriers for Women Leaders: Mentoring
Jennifer Williamson
Jennifer Williamson
Senior Vice President,
Corporate Communications
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…)

Workforce & Workplace
Merging Business and Basketball to Coach a Championship-Winning Team
Charlotte Jensen
Charlotte Jensen
CEO Sports & Leisure,
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…)

Universities
Beyond the Books: Creating a Campus Community
Barry Telford
Barry Telford
CEO, Universities West,
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…)

Corporate Services
Millennials have already changed the workplace. Here’s how.
Mark Bickford
Mark Bickford
President,
Corporate Services
Sodexo North America

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.

Sodexo’s 2017 Workplace Trends Report shows that, as expected, this generation is having a major impact on the way we work today. Our key findings about millennials in the workplace show: (more…)

Health & Wellbeing
Three Quality of Lifehacks for Managing Your Caffeine Intake
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

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…)

Schools Inclusion
Driving Gender Equality by Advocating for Women Leaders
Steve Dunmore
Steve Dunmore
CEO, K-12 Schools
Sodexo North America

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…)

Workforce & Workplace
How Generation Z will Change the Workplace
Jim Jenkins
Jim Jenkins
CEO, Universities East,
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…)

Community Engagement
Proud to Serve
Deborah Roberts
Deborah Roberts
CEO Government Services, Sodexo

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…)

Inclusion
The Importance of Global LGBT Inclusive Initiatives
Catalyst
Catalyst
Audrey L. Gallien, Director, Marketing
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…)

Quality of Lifehacks
Three Quality of Lifehacks for Supporting Single Parents at the Office
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

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…)

Community Engagement
The Many Benefits of Volunteerism
Shondra Jenkins
Shondra Jenkins
Executive Director,
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…)

Universities
Easing the Transition to Campus Life: Recruiting and Retaining First-Generation College Students
Jim Jenkins
Jim Jenkins
CEO, Universities East,
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…)

Corporate Services
Insights on Improving the Quality of Life for Women Travelers
Jennifer Williamson
Jennifer Williamson
Senior Vice President,
Corporate Communications
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.

Health & Wellbeing
There’s No Sugar-Coating the Truth (The Truth about Added Sugars)
Sodexo Health & Wellness
Sodexo Health & Wellness

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Quality of Lifehacks
Three QOLhacks for Saving Time at Work
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

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…)

Universities
How to Enhance the College Experience for International Students
Barry Telford
Barry Telford
CEO, Universities West,
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…)

Government
Military Dining and Quality of Life
Elena Victoria
Elena Victoria
Vice President, Marketing
Sodexo Government

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…)

Inclusion
#BeBoldForChange : Empowering women in the workplace, marketplace and community
Karen Cox
Karen Cox
Senior Finance Director
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…)

Universities
How the University Environment Affects a Changing Demographic
Rohini Anand, PhD
Rohini Anand, PhD
SVP, Corporate Responsibility &
Global Chief Diversity Officer
Sodexo

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…)

Corporate Services Inclusion
Three Quality of Lifehacks for Supporting Women in the Workplace
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

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…)

Health & Wellbeing
Put Your Best Fork Forward!
Sodexo Health & Wellness
Sodexo Health & Wellness

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.

Corporate Services Workforce & Workplace Quality of Lifehacks
Three Quality of Lifehacks for Implementing a Telework Policy
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

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.

Inclusion
Black Women and STEM: How Hidden Figures Is Inspiring a New Generation
Gerri Mason Hall
Gerri Mason Hall
SVP & Chief Human Resources Officer
Sodexo North America

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…)

Government Community Engagement
Quality of Military Life
David Scanlan
David Scanlan
CEO,
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…)

Seniors
Will Robotics Have a Role in Senior Living?
Joe Cuticelli
Joe Cuticelli
CEO, Seniors
Sodexo North America

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…)

Workforce & Workplace
Three Quality of Lifehacks for Recognizing the All-Stars at Your Organization
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

You may have watched this weekend’s NBA All-Star game, but do you know why those players were picked to play? It’s not about points scored or minutes played, and it’s not about the dollars they earn for team owners. They’re chosen by the people most touched by their work. The NBA lets fans pick half of the starting players — and the rest are picked by fellow players and the media who cover them. Coaches pick the reserves. The stars are brought into this national spotlight because their work has made an impression on the people closest to the game — and it’s the fact that fans, peers, reporters, and coaches are responsible for the selection that makes the occasion even more special for the players. (more…)

Diversity
Recruiting Employees with Disabilities
Carol Glazer and Howard Green
Carol Glazer and Howard Green
National Organization on Disabilities

For the 57 million Americans living with disabilities, the largest barrier to Quality of Life is finding employment. There are 30 million Americans with disabilities of working age but  only 20 percent of them participate in the workforce.

The barriers to employment usually stem from stigma about what individuals with disabilities can achieve and contribute to the workforce. A survey that we worked on with PwC found that many people try to hide their disability out of fear that stigma will keep them from getting a job or limit their job options. (more…)

Health & Wellbeing
Three Quality of Lifehacks to Eat Healthy at Work
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

What’s your favorite office snack? Is it candy, chips, cookies, or other treat?

It’s very easy to eat unhealthy while at work. Further, many people may eat breakfast, lunch and snacks at work. Add in a midday gourmet coffee drink, treats provided at meetings, and an office drink fridge, people can easily tank their diets while on the job.

With this in mind, here are three Quality of Lifehacks to eat healthy at work. (more…)

Health & Wellbeing
Cutting back on sugar: Healthy ways to curb America’s mouth-watering obsession
Beth Winthrop
Beth Winthrop
Senior Manager, Health & Wellness
Senior Registered Dietitian,
Sodexo Universities

It’s Valentine’s Day – a day that’s synonymous with love and chocolates. Universally, people love sugar. It is a main ingredient in Valentine chocolates, candies as well as other comfort foods. With this in mind, sugar overindulgence might seem inevitable. Multiple studies show that eating too much sugar is directly correlated to obesity, which can lead to health problems. When it comes to sugar, moderation is key. Reducing the amount you eat is healthy, but that doesn’t mean you have to cut it out completely. (more…)

Universities
Room for Discussion: Encouraging Open Discourse on College Campuses During Times of Social and Political Unrest
Jim Jenkins
Jim Jenkins
CEO, Universities East,
Sodexo North America

The purpose of academia is to nurture and strengthen the next generation of leaders through research and critical analysis. Additionally, higher education aims to encourage individuals to investigate their interests and pursue a greater understanding of the world surrounding them. Today’s college students, many of whom are members of Generation Z, are some of the most inquisitive and confident scholars who demand campus communities built on the theories of peaceful coexistence and safety for all. (more…)

Schools Workforce & Workplace
QoL Solutions Can Help Retain Teachers
Richard Hill
Richard Hill
VP Marketing
Schools, Sodexo North America

Every year, about 13 percent of the nation’s 3.4 million teachers transfer to different schools or leave the profession altogether, according to the Alliance for Excellence in Education in collaboration with the New Teacher Center. It’s estimated that over 1 million teachers move in and out of schools annually, with 40 to 50 percent of teachers quitting within five years.

This issue doesn’t just impact schools, it impacts the entire community, including parents, local companies, and other stakeholder groups. Teacher attrition costs state governments between $1 billion and $2.2 billion annually. (more…)

Health & Wellbeing
Love Your Heart
Sodexo Health & Wellness
Sodexo Health & Wellness

Not only is Valentine’s Day around the corner, but February is also American Heart Month. Heart disease remains the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S.. What better way to show how much you love your heart than by making heart-healthy food choices?  Here’s a simple checklist to help you eat for a healthier heart. (more…)

Health & Wellbeing
Three Quality of Lifehacks for eating a healthier breakfast
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

February is National Hot Breakfast Month. And while chilly February is the perfect time to start your morning with something warm, there are benefits to eating a cooked breakfast year-round. Like all home-cooking, homemade breakfasts are likely to be healthier than any prepared food you could buy at the coffee shop near your office. And while it can be hard to find the time to cook in the morning, there are plenty of things you can make in a few minutes. Making time to prepare them can make your morning a more pleasant experience. (more…)

Inclusion
Best Practices for Accelerating Gender Balance in the Workplace
Rohini Anand, PhD
Rohini Anand, PhD
SVP, Corporate Responsibility &
Global Chief Diversity Officer
Sodexo

Early this year McKinsey and LeanIn.org  released their  Women in the Workplace report, which found that women remain underrepresented across organizations—especially at senior levels of leadership. According to the report, women “experience an uneven playing field, with their odds of advancement lower at every level; there is a persistent leadership gap in the most senior roles; gender diversity is not widely believed to be a priority; and while employee programs designed to help balance work and family are abundant, participation is low among both sexes due to concerns that using them will negatively affect their careers.” (more…)

Workforce & Workplace
How to Score a Touchdown: Three Leadership Tips for a Winning Team
Jim Jenkins
Jim Jenkins
CEO, Universities East,
Sodexo North America

On Sunday, Americans will gather around their televisions to watch the biggest football game of the year. We’ll see teammates forge relationships on the field, work together,  and take home the title.  At work, we want our teams to succeed, too. We want our entry-level employees to make a big impact just like the rookie on our favorite team did. And we hope our senior executives lead as effectively as the veteran QB does.   In fact, by studying leadership on the field, we can learn great strategies for leadership in the workplace. (more…)

Seniors Health & Wellbeing
Doing Winter Better – Why Where You Live Matters
Joe Cuticelli
Joe Cuticelli
CEO, Seniors
Sodexo North America

Snow, ice, cold, slippery roads – and isolation. And that’s on good days, when an ice storm or high winds haven’t knocked down the power lines. No senior in this situation is singing, “Hello, darkness, my old friend.” (more…)

Inclusion
Celebrating African American History
John White
John White
Vice President - Mid-Atlantic Region
Sodexo

During the month of February, the United States celebrates National African American History Month, a time to commemorate the many contributions and accomplishments of African Americans nationwide.  It’s also an opportunity to highlight the impact that  African Americans have had on everything from technology to medicine. Taking time to reflect on these often hidden figures,  who have changed our country for the better, reminds us  of why diversity and inclusion continues to be such an important part of both our history and our future.   (more…)

Workforce & Workplace Sustainability
Quality of LifeHacks for Keeping Your Energy Costs Low in the Workplace
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

Winter brings long nights, cold temperatures—and high energy bills. All of that artificial heat and light uses up energy resources and costs a lot.

While we’re often focused on not running up our heating bills at home, it’s just as important to be aware of skyrocketing costs at the office. Here are a few areas to focus on when cutting costs. (more…)

Universities
Three Ways to Lessen the Impact of Mental Illness on College Students
Barry Telford
Barry Telford
CEO, Universities West,
Sodexo North America
President, Sodexo Canada

The transition from high school to college, for many, is both a daunting and exciting journey. As parents, we view this opportunity as a means to a beginning – encouraging our children to discover self-sufficiency without expecting them to be fully independent. Surprisingly, 2016 statistics show a steady increase in mental illness among college students, a derivative of this newfound independence and the pressure that comes with it. Knowing the signs and following the advice outlined by professionals in the field sets the foundation for beating mental illness among college students. (more…)

Workforce & Workplace
Three Quality of Lifehacks for Creating a Fun Work Environment
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

Most of us spend at least half of our waking hours at work, so why not make it fun?  In fact, research has shown that creating a feeling of optimism and happiness at work can improve employee performance. A survey of HR managers showed that the majority encourages fun at work because they believe it benefits both the individual and the organization. (more…)

Universities
Hunger on Campus: College Students Facing Food Insecurity
Jim Jenkins
Jim Jenkins
CEO, Universities East,
Sodexo North America

Food insecurity on campus is often an unmentionable topic. Many assume that, while enrolled in college, students’ needs are entirely met through financial assistance programs such as financial aid. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. With the cost of public and private universities on the rise, some college students are left to suffer silently while the issue of food insecurity remains a subject of little discussion.  (more…)

Universities
Helping Students Overcome Personal Obstacles to Academic Success
Barry Telford
Barry Telford
CEO, Universities West,
Sodexo North America
President, Sodexo Canada

College can be a stressful time for many students. They often face greater demands, expectations and workloads than in high school. It is also the first time many have been on their own and away from familiar support networks such as friends, family and their local community. The stress of a new environment, lack of familiarity and heightened academic demands can take its toll on a student’s well-being and potentially have a significant impact on their performance and ability to succeed. The transition can be even more challenging for students who must deal with issues that go beyond academics – issues that can have a significant impact on their overall achievement. (more…)

Workforce & Workplace Quality of Lifehacks
Three Quality of LifeHacks for Mentoring Millennials
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

Do there seem to be an awful lot of twenty and thirtysomethings walking around your office these days? Millennials are now the largest generation in the U.S. workforce—they passed Generation X in 2015, according to the Pew Research Center.

 

With so many Millennials in the workforce, developing their talent is important to every organization’s future. Here are a few tips on how to effectively mentor this unique generation.

(more…)

Quality of Lifehacks
Three Quality of Lifehacks to Spruce up Your Workspace
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

This past Monday was National Clean Off Your Desk Day. Although this “holiday” might feel a little made-up, it’s still a good excuse to begin the New Year with a clean and organized workspace. Whether or not you buy into this observance, research shows that your workspace impacts your job satisfaction as well as your quality of life. (more…)

Health & Wellbeing
Is This the Year You Should Go Gluten-Free?
Beth Winthrop
Beth Winthrop
Senior Manager, Health & Wellness
Senior Registered Dietitian,
Sodexo Universities

Thinking of going gluten-free for the New Year?  What problem are you trying to solve?  Does the December deluge of cookies, cupcakes, pies, hot rolls and stuffing have you feeling sluggish and pudgy?  Excess sugar, fat, and calories are more likely to blame than gluten.  Lean proteins, steamed vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and some exercise will help to get your waistline and digestive system back on track.  (more…)

Workforce & Workplace Quality of Lifehacks
This New Year Focus on Improving Employees Quality of Life
Emerson Foster
Emerson Foster
Vice President, Human Resources,
Corporate Services
Sodexo North America

The New Year is always an excellent time for employers to reflect on the previous year and plan for the coming year.

In doing so, it’s important to also reflect on how your company has prioritized improving employees’ quality of life. Meaning, over the past year, has your organization conducted or implemented initiatives that help employees manage their health and wellbeing? Or, made it easier for employees to manage their work responsibilities, as well as their personal ones (e.g., family care). Other factors that impact employee quality of life include the quality of their work environment, the recognition they receive, and their ability to grow and learn at work. (more…)