mentoring
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.

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
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
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 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.

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Corporate Services Inclusion
The Evolving Role of Latinas in the Workplace
Rohini Anand, PhD
Rohini Anand, PhD
SVP, Corporate Responsibility &
Global Chief Diversity Officer
Sodexo

September 15 to October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month. This is a good opportunity to reflect on the progress Latinas have made in the workplace. Compared to previous generations, today’s Latinas tend to be more educated, empowered, independent and comfortable putting themselves at the center of life decisions.   (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…)

Workforce & Workplace
Create Your Own Professional Development Road Map
Lorna Donatone
Lorna Donatone
CEO, Sodexo Schools Worldwide
President, Sodexo North America

We all arrive in the workplace with our own unique set of skills and strengths. To develop your career, you have to develop those skillsets and add new ones. But because each person’s background is different, there’s no single path for professional development that’s right for everyone. What you need to focus on to get to the next level in your career may not be the same thing your colleague needs. You have to develop a unique strategy that’s right for you.

(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.

(more…)

Workforce & Workplace
Little Ideas are the Secret to Big Innovation
George Chavel
George Chavel

Innovation. It’s one of those buzzy business words you hear in commercials for cars or even vacuum cleaners or perhaps read in full-page ads printed in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. But what does it really mean to innovate in 2015?

(more…)

Inclusion
Mobilizing to Mentor Women in STEM
Lorna Donatone
Lorna Donatone
CEO, Sodexo Schools Worldwide
President, Sodexo North America

Women have made huge strides in their pursuit of higher education and now earn more associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees than men. Yet they remain noticeably absent from STEM careers despite strong job growth in the past decade and solid projections for continued growth. There’s a lot of incentive: according to Forbes, careers in STEM industries offer better compensation and more career advancement opportunities. In fact, women who hold STEM positions earn 92 cents to the dollar versus 77 cents for women in other fields.

(more…)

Community Engagement
Finding the Inspiration to Mentor Others within Myself
Mia Mends
Mia Mends
CEO,
Benefits & Rewards Services
Sodexo USA

I am a product of impactful mentoring. Throughout my career formal and informal mentors have guided me, challenged me and helped me evolve into the person I am today. Mentoring takes so many forms and whether they coached me, role modeled for me, listened to me, advised me, supported me, counseled me or just acted as a trusted resource, they all contributed to my success. In turn, I have a passion for sharing my experience and mentoring others, particularly young women.

(more…)