Brigette is responsible for leading the North American Safety Team to drive our Zero Harm culture and improve the Quality of Life of our employees, clients and customers by keeping them safe.
As we celebrate National Safety Month in June, I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on creating a workplace where safety comes first. (more…)
Seniors North America
The long-term care and senior living industry continues to face workforce challenges. The number of people requiring care keeps rising, and the available labor pool to provide those services isn’t keeping pace. Finding and keeping talent is no longer an HR challenge, but a strategic business priority. Yet, most companies are unable to attract the right talent and/or build lasting relationships with their employees in an effort to overcome the challenges in today’s market. (more…)
Vacations are essential for improving employee quality of life. A major U.S. longitudinal study of 12,000 middle-aged men found that taking an annual vacation is associated with reduced risk of death due to heart disease. Vacations also improve employee performance. Iowa State University economics professor Wallace Huffman found vacations can boost productivity as much as 60 percent for up to two months following the vacation. Yet, Glassdoor.com reports that many employees are not using their full paid-time off allotment.
As summer swings into high gear, it’s vacation season in offices across America. With temperatures high and the kids out of school, it behooves employers to encourage employees to use some of their paid time off. Here are three quality of lifehacks to encourage employees to take their PTO.
Educate Employees on the Importance of Vacations
Communicate to employees the importance of taking PTO for themselves and the company. Jill L. Ferguson, Founder of Women’s Wellness Weekends, reports in the Huffington Post, that vacations reduce stress, improve heart and mental health.
It’s also important to encourage employees to disconnect while on vacation. A study conducted by Tel Aviv University found that employees who remain connected during vacation do not get the same benefits as those that disconnect.
One of the main reasons employees do not take a vacation is because they fear it will impact their work. A study by GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communications and the U.S. Travel Association found that 37 percent of employees were fearful that they would return to a mountain of work. Others said it’s harder to take time off when they have a more senior position or that they want to show that they’re dedicated to their job.
With this in mind, employers can address these concerns by cross-training their workforce so work can be covered while employees are on vacation. This will allow employees to take their vacation without worrying about what will be waiting for them when they return.
Have a formal check-out or handoff procedure
Nothing will guarantee a frostier welcome back to the office for employees if they have not identified the work that needs to be covered while they’re on vacation. Help employees make a list of the tasks that will need to be accomplished while they’re out. Then divvy those tasks up among multiple people so that no one person feels overburdened. Once you’ve identified specific people to tackle each task, brief each one on how to accomplish it, either individually, as a group or in a detailed email. Also, alert them to any emergency issues that could come up—no matter how unlikely—and where they can find the information they need to handle them.
How does your company encourage employees to take a vacation? How does your company manage their workload while employees are out? Share in the comments section below.
How do we decide what to eat every day? Most of us would probably say that we consider our health when we’re selecting food. But our food choices are also influenced by how much time and money we have, as well as intangibles like our cultural heritage and emotions. (more…)
As we prepare to celebrate Father’s Day this month, we do so knowing that the days of a bread-winning father and a stay-at-home mother are no longer the reality for most families. In fact, both parents work in 59.1 percent of married couples with children in this country.
Sodexo North America
President, Sodexo Canada
The 2016-2017 edition of President to President, titled “Integrated Approaches to Student Living and Campus Housing—Enhancing Quality of Life and Performance,” focused on issues, trends and opportunities related to campus life. University presidents from around the country shared their views and experiences on the relationship between life on campus and student success, comfort, and performance. Key takeaways included the importance of student living, diversity and inclusion on campus, safety & security, student retention and fostering resiliency. (more…)
Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation
In the world of fighting hunger, innovation comes in many forms. It can come from a new use of technology—like our Stephen J. Brady Stop Hunger Scholar Jack Griffin, who developed an app that uses GPS to tell people in need where they can find a food bank. Other times, it can be using an old technology in a new way, such as using food trucks to create mobile kitchens that bring hot meals to people in need, a method employed by other Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation grant recipients.
After so many years of living my life by the clock and my Outlook calendar, I sometimes wonder what it must be like for the residents we serve when they first retire. The majority juggled demanding personal and business schedules. Did they feel a sense of relief when they no longer had to check a personal device to stay on top of their day – or was there a void?
Now, instead of going cold turkey, an increasing number of senior communities offer residents multiple digital ways to keep track of their still-busy schedules. (more…)
June is National Dairy Month, so we decided to highlight the benefits of adding naturally nutrient-rich dairy foods to your diet. Dairy foods—milk, yogurt and cheese—are an important source of high-quality protein and essential nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamins A and D. In fact, studies show that including dairy foods as part of a healthy diet can improve the overall quality of your diet and help reduce the risk of osteoporosis, heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure in adults. Dairy foods are also recognized by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association for contributing calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D that likely play a role in dental health. (more…)
Sodexo North America
Professional cleaning isn’t just about cleaning restrooms and mopping floors anymore; today’s Environmental Services teams must focus on preventing the spread of illness and infection.
In our ever-shrinking world, we’ve seen infectious pathogens travel even more quickly from person to person. Organisms like MRSA and VRE have been created by overuse and incorrect use of antibiotics, and outbreaks like Ebola and Zika spread quickly due to increased global travel. Many of these pathogens can live on surfaces like tables, counters, door handles, computers and tools, where they can pass from person to person. (more…)
More and more, employees expect their employers to share their commitment to the environment. A study released last month showed that 69 percent of U.S. employees surveyed want to see their employers take a public stand on clean air, water and open spaces.
Creating or rejuvenating a recycling program at work offers employers an opportunity to connect with their people on a topic they feel passionately about, to build leadership skills and to potentially save their organization money. (more…)
Energy & Resources
Diversity surrounds us every day.
We can see diversity everywhere: in life experience, education, cultural background, gender and sexual identity. In the workplace, celebrating diversity means acknowledging the many identities that make an employee unique. To accept these unique identities, we first have to understand them. Understanding is a key step in creating an inclusive environment where employees feel acknowledged and valued. (more…)