May 2017
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…)

Inclusion Quality of Lifehacks
Three Quality of Lifehacks for a Mom-Friendly Workplace
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

Nearly half of the American workforce is female. And estimates are that nearly 85 percent of those women either are or will become mothers. In a tightening labor market, it’s more important than ever for companies to have “mom-friendly” workplaces if they want to attract and keep some of their best talent.

With Mother’s Day around the corner, here are three Quality of Lifehacks for building a welcoming environment for working mothers. (more…)

Universities Inclusion
Supporting Transfer Students with Welcoming Campus Environments
Jim Jenkins
Jim Jenkins
CEO, Universities East,
Sodexo North America

Transfer students are an important contribution to the University ecosystem. They bring different experiences and perspectives to the campus environment and have a unique set of needs for life on campus. Ensuring that transfer students receive a convenient, safe, and personalized experience is vital to driving continued transfer student enrollment and retention. More importantly, it is every education institution’s responsibility to support this subset of students and prepare them for success. (more…)

Inclusion
Quality of Life for Energy & Resources’ Indigenous Partners & Employees
Erwin Joosten
Erwin Joosten
Senior Vice President
Engineering & Construction Projects

Canada is home to an Indigenous population of 1.4 million. Their quality of life, when compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts, is impacted by factors that many of us can’t imagine.

Only about 40 percent of Indigenous adults in Canada have graduated high school. Many Indigenous adults experience poor health. Beyond this, many Indigenous people face discrimination, poverty, and poor living conditions on reserves.

As it relates to the workforce, close to 40 percent are unemployed. Those that are employed have a significantly lower income than non-Indigenous workers. CBC News reported last year that there is a $27 billion labor pool of Indigenous workers waiting to be tapped. (more…)

Inclusion
Breaking the Other Glass Ceiling: Asian Americans in Leadership Roles
Linda Lan, PMP
Linda Lan, PMP
Director, PMO, NORAM Strategic Sales
Chair of Sodexo Pan-Asian Network Group (PANG)

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and museums, educational institutions and other organizations around the country are paying tribute to the impact Asian Americans have had on American culture.

Whether they were born in the U.S. or immigrated here, Asian Americans are more likely to be well educated than the average American. Nearly half of Asian American adults – 49 percent — have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared with 28 percent of all Americans. Asian Americans also have lower unemployment rates, and higher average weekly pay than other races, according to the Harvard Business Review. (more…)

Sustainability
Breaking the Cycle of Food Waste
Jude Medeiros
Jude Medeiros
Regional Vice President,
On-site Service Solutions,
K-12 Schools
Sodexo

Food waste is the third largest waste category in our landfills. Approximately 133 billion pounds of food from U.S. retail food stores, restaurants, and homes goes uneaten every year and ends up in landfills, according to data from the USDA. That’s nearly a third of all food produced. (more…)

Universities
Above and Beyond: How to Differentiate from your Competitors
Jim Jenkins
Jim Jenkins
CEO, Universities East,
Sodexo North America

The business realm can be frustrating. Trends fluctuate, consumer demands vary, and competition is fierce. Proven success is cultivated based on how well a business plans strategically, analyzes trends, and, most importantly, differentiates from their competitors. In an industry driven solely by consumer satisfaction, where negotiations and deals are made on the daily, being unique to your competitions isn’t practical — it’s necessary. (more…)

Healthcare Services
Driving the Evolution of Patient Experience
Alison B. Saine
Alison B. Saine
Director, Patient Insights
Sodexo Global Healthcare

Ten years ago it was enough to treat patients’ clinical needs—if the medical or surgical treatments were a success, the patient left satisfied. Improving the patient experience was a supplemental priority for hospitals. Now patients and potential patients pay attention to how they receive clinical treatments and how healthcare providers communicate with them both before and after they leave the hospital. Their perception of care drives hospital revenue and reimbursements, hence making Patient Experience a core element of healthcare services. (more…)