This is my daughter and brand new grandson. What beautiful creatures. I want them to have joy and love and fulfillment in their lives. And, now that I am old enough to be a grandmother twice over, I especially want them to have health. I know how important – and fleeting – health can be. (more…)
This week I had the privilege of speaking to graduates of Florida State University. (No, not as a sports commentator, but I had a great time acting like one.) As a commencement speaker. I’m an odd choice for a commencement speaker for many reasons, including that I don’t like to sit through commencement speeches. (more…)
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.
Napoleon has been credited with the saying, “An army marches on its stomach.” An infantryman himself, Napoleon understood first-hand the importance of supplying an army on the move in which it was common practice for each soldier to procure his own food from villages along the campaign trail. (Apparently “locally sourced” and “farm to table” had an entirely different connotation in the early 19th century!) So dire was the need to feed the troops, food-related innovations, such as boiling and canning, were inspired during Napoleon’s infamous campaign to Moscow (Diary of a Napoleonic Foot Soldier, Jakob Walter, 1991). (more…)
The New Year is always an excellent time for employers to reflect on the previous year and plan for the coming year.
In doing so, it’s important to also reflect on how your company has prioritized improving employees’ quality of life. Meaning, over the past year, has your organization conducted or implemented initiatives that help employees manage their health and wellbeing? Or, made it easier for employees to manage their work responsibilities, as well as their personal ones (e.g., family care). Other factors that impact employee quality of life include the quality of their work environment, the recognition they receive, and their ability to grow and learn at work. (more…)
Sodexo Institute for Quality of Life
This is the second blog in a continuing series based on the findings from the Sodexo Institute for Quality of Life’s recent roundtable on memory care. Read the full whitepaper: “Treat me like a person, because that is what I still am.”
We each have a unique set of circumstances that determine our quality of life (QOL). This can include environmental factors, health and well-being, socio-economic status and more. For the more than five million Americans who live with dementia, QOL is influenced by a completely different set of circumstances. (more…)
The corporate real estate (CRE) industry plays an increasingly important role in helping businesses enhance their workplace strategy. This profession is instrumental in designing workplaces that impact employee engagement, performance and wellness. These factors not only impact business results but also affect employee Quality of Life. (more…)
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Imagine that you are the mayor of a major U.S. city. How would you handle the very real challenges of city life, fed by a news cycle of endless stories of poverty, crime, failing schools and infrastructure issues? (more…)
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After the doldrums of winter, spring is a time for change and renewal. That’s why it’s this time of year when many of us think about spring cleaning — getting rid of the old to make way for the new. In the office, spring cleaning can mean clearing off your desk so you can be more organized, or it could mean wrapping up those lingering projects so you can devote your attention to creating new ones. It’s a great time for leaders to help employees refresh their workspaces and re-engage with their work. It could make both you and your employees happier, healthier and more productive.
Welcome to the New Normal: The average business professional has 30-100 projects on their plate, is interrupted 7x/hour, and unlocks their phone 110 times a day. We are pressured to ‘innovate or stagnate’ amidst constant change.
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.
Recently stakeholders from strategic and geographic aligned acute care and senior living organizations came together to work collaboratively to answer the question “How can hospitals and senior living providers work better together?” Attendees of The Role of Acute Care and Senior Living in an Integrated Healthcare Delivery System Roundtable, were eager to collaborate, knowing the results could be significant. As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, acute care hospitals and senior living providers are grappling with new realities: our elders are living longer and want to live healthier, while the government is challenging providers to do more with less. Acute and senior living providers can make a difference in quality of life when we collaborate to create a health and well-being culture in our communities, one that reduces the need for hospital admissions. For example:
February is American Heart Month, a great time to commit to a healthy lifestyle by making small changes and incorporating more heart-healthy behaviors that can lead to better heart health. Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in America. It’s a chronic disease that many are genetically predisposed to have, but there is a lot you can do — and help your employees do — to delay or prevent it.
In fact, discussions about cardiovascular health belong in the workplace as much as they belong in the doctor’s office. Researchers suspect there are links between stress — often work-related stress — and heart disease. Stress can not only raise blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease, but it can also lead to other unhealthy behaviors, like inactivity, high cholesterol or smoking.
Here are a few ways you can encourage employees to reduce stress and stay heart-healthy.
Let’s start with the basics: Eating well and exercising are two of the best things you can do to keep your heart healthy. (After all, it’s called “cardio” for a reason.)
Getting your heart-rate up tends to release endorphins and reduce stress. New research shows that those who are fitter are more likely to survive if they do have a heart attack, and the same study suggests that fitter people are less likely to have heart attacks in the first place. Exercise and good nutrition also help protect against obesity, which leads to high blood pressure (also known as hypertension) a risk factor for heart problems or stroke.
Many workplaces have fitness programs or on-site gyms to make it easier for employees to get exercise — some even reward them with perks for using them. Even if you don’t have access to these amenities, offices can offer standing desks, encourage employees to go for walks during the day, or even have active meetings to get employees moving.
A 2011 study linked poor sleep to a type of inflammation that’s a sign of heart disease. Those with sleep apnea also increase their risk of high blood pressure, which can cause heart attack and stroke. And not getting enough sleep has been linked to weight gain, another risk factor for heart disease.
As an employer, one thing you can do to help your employees get more rest is build flexibility into their schedules. We’ve written in the past about how employees who telecommute or have a flexible schedule get better sleep. It’s not just healthier; it makes them more productive at work, too.
Food & Chocolate
The American Heart Association recommends eating an overall healthy dietary pattern that emphasizes:
- a variety of fruits and vegetables
- whole grains
- low-fat dairy products
- skinless poultry and fish
- nuts and legumes
- non-tropical vegetable oils
Chocolate – You don’t want to overdo this one (cardiovascular disease is also linked to obesity after all), but a small amount of chocolate may help your heart. Some studies have found that the flavanols, the chemical compounds found in cocoa beans, can reduce blood pressure.
Chocolate is made from cocoa beans, which are actually seeds from the fruit of the cacao tree. Chocolate’s health benefits come from flavanols, antioxidants found in the cocoa bean. Other foods rich in flavanols include red wine, tea, onions, peanuts, berries, apples, and cranberries.
Dark chocolate may provide health benefits, but even small amounts still add calories, fat, and sugar to your diet. Choose at least 70% dark chocolate and eat only about 1oz/day.
How are you planning to promote cardiovascular health in your workplace this month? Please tell us in the comments.
Jackie Sharp is the Senior Manager of Health & Well-Being for Sodexo North America responsible for guiding Sodexo’s commitment to programs, initiatives and partnerships that improve health and well-being for individuals, organizations and communities. Jackie is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian who specializes in corporate wellness, sports nutrition and physical fitness.
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— Sodexo USA, Inc. (@sodexoUSA) February 16, 2016
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The mission of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being and quality of life of people around the world. The OECD works with governments, labor and business to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems.
Sodexo’s Donna Ford, Vice President of Strategic Management, Chooses Quality of (Work) Life
Article originally published on Womenetics.com.
Employees are the heartbeat of an organization. No one knows that better than Donna Ford. As Vice President of Strategic Management at Sodexo, Donna and her team provide “quality of life services,” for companies around the globe.
The rapidly expanding global economy has prompted the growth of work teams comprised of individuals from diverse backgrounds with different values, experiences, perspectives, knowledge, and skills. Greater diversity in the workforce can positively impact organizational outcomes, including performance. Understanding the advantages of workforce diversity helps you establish an organization with a competitive edge. But companies can only fully leverage the power of their diverse employees by creating comprehensive, thoughtful and fully integrated diversity and inclusion initiatives that encourage engagement and align with the ultimate goals of the business. Creating an environment where inclusion is the expectation and people feel welcome, safe and able to contribute fully will result in heightened innovation, increased productivity and greater organizational effectiveness.
The patient experience doesn’t end at the hospital door. What happens next often defines the long-term outcome for the patient, especially for seniors—and the hospital’s financial outcome as well. Acute care hospitals and senior living providers are grappling with new realities: our elders are living longer and want to live healthier, while the government is challenging providers to do more with less.
We love technology. We live in a digital world. On our wrists or through our fingertips, most of us are connected to a device 24/7. Technology is present in almost every aspect of daily life. Growing numbers of people would rather communicate over social networks, email or text than to have a face to face conversation.
Global Chief Diversity Officer
Millennials, the next generation of leaders, ranks quality of life – their own and others’ – highly. This defining perspective will change organizational paradigms around the world within the next decade.
In the past several decades, there has been a dramatic demographic shift in the workforce. Not only do women now make up almost half of the workforce, but there are more pregnant workers than ever before and they are working later into their pregnancies. According to the National Partnership for Women & Families, holding a job during pregnancy is more common than at any other time in history. In a recent survey, 61 percent of respondents reported being employed during pregnancy. More families depend on women’s income than ever before. According to the Pew Research Center, women are the primary or sole breadwinners in nearly 40 percent of families with children.
A new quality of life economic model is developing thanks to communications, green energy and transportation connected via the platform of the Internet of Things. This glimpse of the completely new economic paradigm that will fully emerge over the next 25 years was offered by Jeremy Rifkin at the inaugural Quality of Life Conference sponsored by Sodexo in New York in May. Rifkin, an economic and social theorist, writer and political advisor, sees the new economic paradigm coupled with extensive sharing of information and goods—like cars—leading to an improved overall quality of life for people and the planet.
Do you have a “monkey mind?” This wonderfully colorful description describes someone who starts thinking about the challenges of the day ahead the moment they wake up—their mind racing through a list of have to’s, should have’s and why did I’s? As Entrepreneur points out, a restless mind can cause trouble sleeping, poor decision-making, anxiety and even depression—none of which helps us excel during a demanding day. A monkey mind distracts us from the task at hand, creating stress and impairing productivity.
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In our continually growing and evolving global environment, Millennials have a unique perspective as a result of being raised during an era of incredible social and technological change. According to a May 2015 TIME report, the 53.5 million millennials (aged 18-34) now constitute the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. In fact, Pew Research, estimates Millennials represent one in three American workers. While there are many opinions, positive and negative, on the Millennial generation’s dependence on technology, we cannot ignore the fact that these digitally-oriented, social networking savvy future leaders are rapidly changing what work looks like and how it gets done.
Food matters. The nutritional value and appeal of their food makes a difference to the scientists on the International Space Station. That point was made during a panel discussion “Is Food the Cure?” by Vickie Kloeris, Manager, International Space Station Food System, NASA Johnson Space Center. She was joined by Dr. Frédéric Saldmann, Cardiologist, Nutritionist and Writer, and Lawrence A. Soler, President and CEO, Partnership for a Healthier America. They were among the speakers that I was privileged to hear at Sodexo’s inaugural Quality of Life Conference.
Employers have enjoyed a substantial advantage in the labor market since the Great Recession began nearly seven years ago. At the peak of unemployment in 2009, there were roughly five unemployed workers per job opening, creating a buyer’s market in which businesses could afford to skimp on programs aimed at motivating and retaining workers. Of course employees would continue showing up for work; no one else was hiring.
Is recognition the holy grail of employee engagement and corporate success? It’s become an article of faith in the last decade or so and the subject of a lot of research.
I recently had the opportunity to hear a true agent of change share a compelling case for the need to redefine what it means to be successful in today’s world. Arianna Huffington, Chair, President and Editor-in-Chief, The Huffington Post Media Group, shared a detailed roadmap for positive lifestyle change during her keynote speech at the inaugural Quality of Life Conference. She had just come from the funeral of Sheryl Sandberg’s husband, Dave Goldberg, and she posed the question: “Why is it that our eulogies are so different from our resumes?” People’s resumes often bear little resemblance to their eulogies. We are not spending our days aligned with the values people will remember us for.
The story of the Hermione, Freedom’s Frigate, is a fascinating history lesson. From her first voyage across the Atlantic in the 18th century, to her present day struggle for rebirth, it’s the story of the bond between two nations and the value of freedom that we often take for granted. To those of us in France who have followed her reconstruction over the past 20 years, it’s a story we want to share with the rest of the world.
Life was very different back in 1966. War was raging in Vietnam. Rock and roll was revolutionizing music, and the U.S. was in a race with the USSR to land a man on the moon. And all of the best dressed men and women were wearing patterned pants, flowered shirts and boots. I guess some things are better left in the past!
A systems-based approach to improving health considers all factors involved in caring for patients and the many factors that influence one’s quality of life. The integration of people, processes, policies, and organizations is critical to promoting better health at lower cost. For example, we can close the clinic-to-community gap by using an integrated systems approach that connects employers, healthcare providers, community-based organizations and family/community relationships.
The New Year is often a time of personal reflection about life and priorities. Google the phrase,“New Year’s Resolutions,” and you’ll see a familiar list of topics held out year after year as the path to a better life. They include perennial favorites such as eating more healthy fully, beginning an exercise program, reducing stress, quitting smoking, reading more, etc. But what is truly at the essence of all of these resolutions is an attempt to improve the quality of one’s life. To make the current reality the best it can be, and to make a version of one’s self that is the best version possible. Inevitably, this discussion needs to include a person’s work life. Whether it’s in an office, a hospital, a college or university, on the road as part of a sales force or working inside the home, the way people live AND work contribute equally to their overall quality of life.
One of the essential qualities of any strong leader is the ability to continually look forward and ask the question: What’s next? The truth of the matter is that these days building a successful business is so much more than strategy and operational savvy; it’s now also about cultivating an environment where employees can thrive.
With most of the country in a deep freeze this winter – a day off from work or school due to inclement weather may mean sleeping in late, playing in the snow or enjoying a warm drink by the fireplace. However with an abundance of communication tools and technology, a snow day might mean you checking email or holding a conference call in the kitchen as you watch neighborhood kids build snowmen or your significant other clear the driveway. For those of you without electricity, it may mean making your way to a local coffee shop with power and WIFI to work on a major project.