When I first started getting involved with public service, one of the most shocking discoveries for me as I got deep into the work was just how vulnerable so many families are to food insecurity. I had grown up thinking this was a problem elsewhere, not here.
There’s been good news lately coming from the U.S. Bureau of Labor—employers added more jobs in July and the unemployment rate fell to a near 18-year low. As the American economy continues to strengthen, I believe big companies need to think broader than simply job creation. We need to be thinking about providing opportunities for employees and the health of their long-term careers.
When we think about adding new jobs, what gets me most excited is the possibility that comes with those jobs. I want our new hires at Sodexo to see their job as the start of great opportunity. You see, we’re not about filling jobs to make a great headline. We’re about creating opportunities for people to reach their career goals. We’re about helping people develop new skills and access resources to help them move on to the next level of their professional journey.
What gets me most excited is the possibility that comes with those jobs
Sodexo delivers on its commitment to invest in our employees. Through our LEADERS program, we offer Sodexo employees enrichment opportunities over the course of six months to actively develop l leadership skills.
In 2003, Murat Bora was hired as a part-time Student Food Service Worker at Troy State University. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and later participated in our LEADERS program. He learned the skills he needed to now be a successful Resident District Manager at Bentley University. And he continues to grow and acquire new certifications at Sodexo even today.
Through Sodexo’s Spirit of Mentoring program, we offer employees the opportunity to help each other develop through collaboration, goal achievement and problem solving. Through formal and informal mentoring opportunities, employees can find their potential and new opportunities for upward mobility.
Rich Blanchard started with Sodexo in 1995 as a food service worker and credits the mentors he’s had throughout his career for the success he’s achieved. Now as a Senior Marketing Manager for Universities, he says, “I am lucky enough to pass along that same level of interest and leadership to others in hopes that they too will have long and successful careers with Sodexo.”
I’m excited about the new employees coming on board at the start of this school year. I’m excited for them to see that this new job could be just the beginning of a fulfilling career at Sodexo. To all our new hires out there—welcome! I look forward to sharing a long journey at Sodexo with you!
There is a supervisor at my company who works hard all day and then leaves to voluntarily oversee a soup kitchen, serving hundreds of people. On top of that, she hosts a weekly lunch for seniors so they have a venue to eat together and socialize. (more…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
By 2025, there will be over 8 billion people on our planet, and one in 10 will be over 65. That has huge implications for our country. It will also have a major impact on the senior living industry. As the population increases—and as baby boomers age—more people than ever will choose to move into senior living communities. (more…)
This week, Sodexo participated in the “Upskilling America’s Workforce: Preparing for the Future of Work by Aligning Business and Education” conference, hosted by Manpower Group and Apollo Education Group at the National Press Club. The conference highlighted a ManpowerGroup’s Talent Shortage Survey, which found that 38 percent of employers globally report difficulties filling jobs.
As a top 20 global employer, with over 133,000 employees in the U.S., we recognize that a key part of the challenge is building a workforce with the necessary STEM skills. (more…)
We are smack-dab in the middle of summer. As the days get longer and the temperatures get warmer, those of us who work in offices every day start to look longingly out of the windows. While we can’t move our offices outdoors, summer is the perfect time to work a little more outdoor time into your daily schedule. Here are a few ideas for bringing sunshine into your work life.
I don’t know if we will ever be able to make sense of the tragic events that took place in Orlando this weekend. Like most people, I am struggling with frustration, grief, anger and the senselessness of it all. While I can rationalize this was the act of one very disturbed and delusional individual and that the world is filled with good and decent people, I am still reminded that hate remains pervasive. During this time of unspeakable sadness, during a month that we celebrate and commemorate the LGBT Community, I want to reinforce the importance of coming together to educate, inform and take a stand against hatred. In our communities, in our workplaces, in our families and in our places of faith I encourage you to use your voice to promote understanding and acceptance. Love can conquer hate, but it is up to us to sow the seeds of goodness, compassion, acceptance and grace. (more…)
In the modern workplace the feeling of being overwhelmed is the new normal. And it only gets worse when we don’t organize our thoughts, projects and to-do lists. From the most senior leaders to the frontline staff, we simply don’t take the time to get organized because we’re too busy (and maybe also because we’re using being “busy” as an excuse). The stress resulting from this only grows and grows, eventually forcing us to face it at its most demanding peaks. This is by no means mentally, emotionally or physically healthy. But with the right amount of focus, it is completely preventable.
You might be a superhero at the office, spearheading projects, coming up with great ideas and flying through your to-do lists. But even superheroes have a weakness, something that saps their energy, focus or strength. At the office, these power-reducing habits often begin with good intentions, but they end up wasting time instead of saving it.
How brave are you? Do you really know what your employees think of you? Are you willing to have a meaningful conversation and ask your employees what they really think? Do you care?
You should—an employee’s relationship with his or her manager is a leading driver of employee engagement. And engaged employees work harder, stay longer and perform better. According to Harvard Business Review “the best managers make a concerted effort to get to know their employees and help them feel comfortable talking about any subject, whether it is work related or not. A productive workplace is one in which people feel safe – safe enough to experiment, to challenge, to share information, and to support one another.”
Sure, it can be a bit intimidating—and it can be equally nerve-wracking for employees to provide constructive feedback to their bosses. However, understanding what your team thinks—and what will make them happy —is crucial to becoming a better manager. Good management is predicated on effective two-way communication and candid feedback helps you grow and improve as a person and as a leader.
Entrepreneur summarizes the benefits of asking your employees for feedback, and offers one popular option, commonly referred to as a 360-degree review. While in theory knowing what’s working and what isn’t is a good thing, the reality is asking for feedback can be difficult, especially from people you manage. It may not always be easy but by welcoming constructive, solution-minded input, you can position yourself as an approachable leader committed to the growth of the company and its employees. There is always room for improvement and strong, insightful leaders will make the most of the opportunity to listen (and actually hear) constructive criticism. In addition to letting your employees know that you genuinely take their input seriously, you can demonstrate your commitment to personal and organizational growth. The end result is more personal insight and a happier, more cohesive team. You will also find that the process surfaces some useful ideas that can improve both productivity and quality of life for employees.
Ultimately, the purpose of 360-degree review is to promote personal and organizational growth and development. When executed correctly, 360-degree reviews can help both employees and leadership to better understand how one’s role impacts the mission and goals of the organization. When receiving feedback from multiple people and perspectives all at once, individuals can better understand how their work and behavior influences the other people. From peers and coworkers to reporting staff and supervisors, multilateral feedback is often considered more accurate and more credible then traditional structured performance reviews.
Human Resource expert Susan M. Healthfield consulted Indeed.com when researching what questions should be included in a 360 review. She points out that without a clearly defined format with specific questions, employees’ free form answers may provide a lot of interesting information, but not data that will help the leader grow. Questions should cover interpersonal skills, motivation, efficiency and problem-solving abilities. Framing the questions effectively helps your employees understand what you want to know and helps you act on the feedback you receive. For example a good question might be structured like this – Does this employee exhibit leadership qualities in the roles he or she plays in the company? If so, can you provide examples of how he or she positively contributes through his/her leadership? If not, how can the employee improve his/her leadership?
When it comes to asking for and receiving feedback from employees there is no universally accepted method. Instead, leadership must examine the specific culture and climate of the organization in order to appropriately determine which methods would be most effective. The way in which an organization introduces, monitors, and evaluates the effectiveness of the 360-degree review process is vital to its ultimate success or failure.
By encouraging the multidirectional flow of information and communication within the workplace, employers, managers and employees can work together to develop a more cohesive team and productive work environment. Increasing feedback effectiveness directly influences business results, which is why improved communication between a manager and employee drives higher levels of employee performance, development, and engagement.
Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Or in this case the courage to know, to understand and to act. Are you brave enough to become a better leader?
As Women’s History Month comes to a close, Gerri Mason Hall, Senior Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer, reflects on one of her personal passions – the importance of inclusion in the workplace and its role in attracting, engaging and retaining future leaders. When organizations foster an environment of inclusion all employees, both men and women, thrive and succeed.
Companies need to take employee health and well-being seriously, not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because it can have a significant impact on the overall performance of the organization. In addition to the obvious – healthier, happier employees – organizations can save millions on health care and disability costs, increase workforce productivity, reduce employee absenteeism and decrease rates of illness and injuries. Additionally, corporate-sponsored health and wellness programs are an essential element to competitive employee compensation and benefit packages which attract and retain the best talent.
When my mother’s generation went to work in the 1960’s, men made up 78% of the workforce and most were the sole family breadwinners. Only 13% of employees were over 55, and the average workday took place in an office building from 9-5. Fast forward 50 years and global connectivity, smart machines, and new media are just some of the drivers reshaping how we think about work, what constitutes work, and the skills needed to be productive contributors in the future.