leadership
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…)

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…)

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…)

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…)

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.

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…)

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…)

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…)

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…)

Workforce & Workplace
3 Lifehacks by Sodexo for Breaking the Glass Ceiling
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

Today is Women’s Equality Day, and it’s the perfect time to both celebrate women’s achievements and bring attention to the inequalities still lingering in the workplace.

It’s been more than half a century since Congress passed the Equal Pay Act, but even today American women across the workforce can find themselves hitting the glass ceiling. Women make up nearly half of the workforce, but they’re paid only 79 cents for every dollar a man makes. Women are also under-represented in upper-level positions. In fact, only 4.6 percent of Fortune 500 and S&P 500 companies are run by women. (more…)

Schools Workforce & Workplace
What Can “Hamilton” Teach Us About Leadership?
Steve Dunmore
Steve Dunmore

CEO, K-12 Schools

Sodexo North America

Tickets are hard to come by for the Broadway show “Hamilton,” which won the Tony Award for Best New Musical Sunday night. But that hasn’t stopped it from becoming a sensation across the country, with many people listening to its soundtrack on repeat. Much of its popularity comes from the innovative way it blends American history with a hip-hop-meets-show-tunes soundtrack. (It’s not every day you hear cabinet meetings imagined as rap battles.) Yet part of what makes the story so compelling is its real-life hero, Alexander Hamilton, who was talented and flawed in equal parts. (more…)

Workforce & Workplace
What’s your Game of Thrones Management Style?
Steve Cox
Steve Cox

VP, Public Relations

Sodexo North America

The TV series Game of Thrones, which returned to HBO for a sixth season on Sunday, has hooked millions of viewers with its tale of the power struggle to rule the fictional kingdom of Westeros. With hundreds of characters and about as many plot twists, it’s as much a study of personality types as it is of leadership. The main characters’ paths and struggles can mirror leadership styles we see in our workplaces. Do you recognize yourself, your managers, or your colleagues in any of the leadership types below? (Mild spoilers ahead.)

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Workforce & Workplace
The Emerging Workforce & How Demographics are Changing Business
Lorna Donatone
Lorna Donatone

CEO, Sodexo Schools Worldwide President,
Sodexo North America

The workforce, in the U.S. and globally, is evolving at an unprecedented rate. With the addition of Generation Z, it will soon be five generations strong. While having access to such an extensive pool of talent is an exciting prospect for many employers, managing employees across such a broad range of demographics will require leadership to flex their styles and meet employees where they are. (more…)

Inclusion
Making Gender Balanced Leadership a Reality
Sophie Bellon
Sophie Bellon

Chairwoman,

Board of Directors of the

Sodexo Group

Recently Sophie Bellon, Chairwoman of Sodexo’s Board of Directors and Lorna Donatone, CEO of Sodexo Schools Worldwide and President of Sodexo North America, were interviewed on the impact of women in leadership at the 2016 Women’s Foodservice Forum Leadership Conference. The article below is a preface, written by Chairwoman Bellon, for the book: Men, Women, Leadership: A User Guide by Valérie Petit & Sarah Saint-Michel.

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Workforce & Workplace
Passing the Torch: Insights for the Next Generation of Senior Leaders
George Chavel
George Chavel

As I near retirement, I’m reflecting more on my career and the learnings that shaped my rise into senior leadership. I didn’t climb straight up the proverbial corporate ladder – but I looked at every new job as an opportunity to expand who I was as a leader. It seems only fitting to pass along a few of my most valued experiences to the next generation of senior leaders.

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Workforce & Workplace
Are you Seeking Credit or Impact?
George Chavel
George Chavel

Ever feel like you are not getting the credit you deserve at work?  Do you worry your contributions are going unnoticed?  In this interview, George Chavel, President & CEO of Sodexo North America, talks about the issue of “credit” and how expecting recognition for everything you do in a team environment  is unrealistic and a red flag for most senior leaders.  He encourages managers to focus less on getting credit and more on positive stakeholder impact.   

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Workforce & Workplace
Designing Workforce Development for the Millennial Generation
George Chavel
George Chavel

A corporation is nothing without its people.  They are the heart and soul of any company and can be the factor that sets an organization apart from its competitors. Developing that workforce in a way that helps maintain a competitive edge in the marketplace has become more critical than ever.

(more…)

Workforce & Workplace
What’s Your Office Kryptonite?
Gerri Mason Hall
Gerri Mason Hall

President,

Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation

SVP & Chief Human Resources Officer,

Sodexo North America

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.

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Inclusion
Championing Gender Equality Starts with Empowerment
Rohini Anand, PhD
Rohini Anand, PhD

SVP, Corporate Responsibility &
Global Chief Diversity Officer
Sodexo

The prestigious WEPs CEO Leadership Award recognizes business leaders for their exceptional championship of gender equality and support for the Women’s Empowerment Principles. Michel Landel, Chief Executive Officer, Sodexo and Janet Awad, Regional Chair of Latin America and Country President, Sodexo Chile, were recently honored with the 2016 7 Principles WEPs CEO Leadership Award.

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Workforce & Workplace
The Key to Relevant Leadership is Continuous Learning
Lorna Donatone
Lorna Donatone

CEO, Sodexo Schools Worldwide President,
Sodexo North America

The business world is changing so quickly that it’s often hard to know how to keep up and help your employees cope with the pace of change.

For leaders, it’s crucial to remain relevant in order to be heard and valued. Even if you have great ideas, a great mission and a vision of the future, if you’re not relevant, no one will listen, and you won’t be successful as a leader.

Remaining relevant doesn’t mean you have to be an expert in every field, new idea or trendy concept. But you do have to know enough about your industry and about the world to understand what people are talking about. And you need to be able to communicate in a way that they can relate to. (more…)

Community Engagement
Targeted Philanthropy Can Drive Better Business Results
George Chavel
George Chavel

Corporate brand is not just about what you do, it’s about who you are as an organization. I’ve talked before about how that brand has become a key to attracting and keeping your workforce. One of the crucial components to a company’s brand centers on the choices it makes in the world of philanthropy. It’s not just a question of sharing wealth in a responsible way, but about choosing those with whom you share it in a way that reflects the values held by your company and its employees.

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Inclusion
Gender Balance is Our Business
Michel Landel
Michel Landel

CEO, Sodexo Group

The issue of gender balance touches nearly every corner of our lives – there is a collective demand for balance in politics, business and in our personal lives. But in the case of companies, gender balance should not only be addressed for the sake of equality, but also for the sake of performance.

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Inclusion
Don’t Stand on the Sidelines: Take Charge of Your Professional Experience
Lorna Donatone
Lorna Donatone

CEO, Sodexo Schools Worldwide President,
Sodexo North America

This week, I’m attending an event that always energizes me: the Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) Annual Leadership Conference. I’m excited to be here with more than 3,000 other attendees, including a very special guest―Sophie Bellon, Chairwoman of the Sodexo Board of Directors and Chair of Bellon SA. We’ll be taking part in a question and answer session today on the impact of women in leadership, a subject we are both passionate about.

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Workforce & Workplace
Designing Workforce Development for the Next Generation of Leaders
George Chavel
George Chavel

A corporation is nothing without its people.  They are the heart and soul of any company and can be the factor that sets an organization apart from its competitors. Developing that workforce in a way that helps maintain a competitive edge in the marketplace has become more critical than ever.

(more…)

Workforce & Workplace
Don’t React to Change, Respond to It
George Chavel
George Chavel

One of a CEO’s toughest but most crucial roles is overseeing change within an organization. It’s not just a matter of making the tough decisions that change requires, but about being able to see the change approaching. Whether it’s change a company has chosen, or one that’s forced upon it, the process can only be guided by a leader who can effectively balance the public and human sides that change brings.

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Workforce & Workplace
Are You Brave Enough to Become a Better Leader?
Gerri Mason Hall
Gerri Mason Hall

President,

Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation

SVP & Chief Human Resources Officer,

Sodexo North America

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?

Health & Wellbeing
Health in the Workplace
Dr. John Armstrong
Dr. John Armstrong

As we survey the health landscape, the top challenge we face in Florida is the challenge of weight. Only 36 percent of Floridians are at healthy weight; one quarter are obese and the rest are overweight. Over the next 20 years in Florida, obesity is expected to contribute to millions of cases of preventable chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer, costing an estimated $34 billion.

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