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Case Study: Sodexo's Mentoring Program

Why is Sodexo's mentoring program a model for other companies? See what metrics are used to assess value.

What's the best mentoring program in corporate America? There are several strong contenders, but BestPractices.DiversityInc.com selects Sodexo's Spirit of Mentoring as the best example you can find because of its structured and detailed program, the metrics in place every step of the way to check for issues and guarantee success, and the measurements to prove the ROI of the mentoring program.


Here are some of the highlights.

Benchmarking customers: Look for your personalized monthly report on mentoring, including your comparatives to The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity and your own competitive index.

Here are the key points from Sodexo's Spirit of Mentoring:

  • The goals of Spirit of Mentoring, as stated by Sodexo, are to establish a diverse pipeline, develop leaders, align resources and strategies, drive organizational culture, cut costs and enhance the company's reputation as an "employer of choice."
  • IMPACT, the cornerstone program started in 2004, has had 125 partnerships. Pairs make a one-year commitment.
  • What's considered in matching pairs? Levels, that they be cross-divisional, cross-functional and, most importantly, cross cultural. Geography also is factored in to allow for the most possible in-person meetings. The mentee needs always come first.
  • Ninety percent of the pairings have been cross-divisional and 75 percent have been cross cultural.
  • The key players in each pairing are the mentor and mentee, of course, as well as the program manager, the implementation team, the executive sponsors and senior leaders, and HR.
  • In a typical year, the program is launched after mentors and mentees are trained, with a 90-minute meeting of the pairs, which is then held monthly. At the two-month point, the IMPACT team does a checkpoint. At four months, a webinar is held and at six months, an e-survey to ascertain progress is held. Another webinar occurs at eight months and another survey is held at the one-year closing mark. The company also follows up on the progress of its teams.
  • A 2008 e-survey of IMPACT participants found for every $1 spent, there was $2.28 in retention/increased productivity realized. And the same e-survey found more than 95 percent of both mentors and mentees reported a positive experience.
  • The company calculated the costs as time and resources to set it up and monitor it, time from the employees involved at all levels, and efforts to look for employees who might not normally be considered for leadership tracks, as well as efforts to measure results.
  • A study of mentors and mentees for intangible benefits by Sodexo found 72 percent of mentees and 79 percent of mentors cited increased job satisfaction, 74 percent of mentors and 72 percent of mentees cited organizational commitment, and 52 percent of mentors and 54 percent of mentees cited increased diversity awareness.
  • A 2008 e-survey showed almost all participants reported a positive experience and would recommend the program to others. Almost all said the program demonstrates the organization's commitment.
  • Sodexo identifies the following key long-term factors in its success: It expands over time, since culture change is not immediate; they continue to "raise the bar"; it is aligned with strategies; they identify trends and make the connections for relevancy; the role of executive sponsors as key stakeholders is emphasized; measurement is critical for credibility; cascading communication is essential.
  • Participants cited: the cross-cultural component; the importance of face time; the mentee-driven concept; that different styles require different approaches; and the strong level of commitment is vital.
The Conversation

Sodexo: Face Your Fears to Find New Opportunities, Passion in Your Career

Breaking down cooking to step-by-step instructions can empower individuals to prepare meals using fresh, whole ingredients.

Originally Published by Sodexo.

My name is Ki Keys, and I am a NYC Sodexo Dietetic Intern. I am based at Hackensack Meridian Mountainside Hospital (HMMS), located in Montclair, NJ and have the best commute among my DI cohort. It's less than 10 minutes door-to-door!

As a longtime resident of Montclair, it's rewarding to be helping my neighbors as they face various health conditions.

To date, I have encountered patients with cardiovascular, renal, diabetic, gastrointestinal, pulmonary, bariatric, and pancreatic disorders. I have also worked with those who have more severe complications requiring tube feeding, parenteral nutrition, and mechanical ventilation. It's remarkable how far I have come in three short months.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I entered the clinical rotations with great trepidation, but I learned that I really enjoy meeting new patients, learning about their challenges, and providing information about how nutrition impacts their conditions. Needless to say, I am thoroughly enjoying my rotations, especially the advanced one. Diseases requiring inventive solutions that demand complex feeding calculations and beckon me to crank away at the calculator are very exciting!

Do you know what's even more exciting? Transforming food ingredients into a delicious and nutritious dish. As a part of my hospital's monthly community nutrition event "Harvesting Fall Flavors," I had an opportunity to create turkey spring rolls using leftover turkey, complete with a cranberry dipping sauce, repurposed leftover condiment spiced with hot chili oil, soy sauce and rice vinegar. An appetizer made of roasted sweet potato disks topped with ricotta cheese, roasted pecans and fall spices was also served, and dark chocolate bites rounded out the menu for dessert.

I believe live demonstrations are a great way to foster healthy cooking and eating. Breaking down cooking to step-by-step instructions can empower individuals to prepare meals using fresh, whole ingredients. I've encountered countless patients who fear cooking because they see it as daunting and unconquerable. I look forward to continuing to share my love of food and cooking with as many patients who are willing to listen.

EPA Recognizes Sodexo for Food Recovery Achievements

Sodexo was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its food recovery achievements during the 2017 EPA Food Recovery Challenge.

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Originally Published by Sodexo.

Sodexo, a food services and facilities management company committed to Quality of Life, was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its food recovery achievements during the 2017 EPA Food Recovery Challenge. In honor of the company's ongoing commitment toward food waste prevention, Sodexo was named as the EPA's national Endorser of the Year.

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Peta2 Recognizes Sodexo at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa for Vegan Cuisine

Sodexo at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa receives an A+ on Peta2's 2018 Vegan Report Card.

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Originally Published by Sodexo.

Sodexo, a food services and facilities management company committed to Quality of Life, was recognized by Peta2, the largest youth animal rights group in the world, with an A+ on Peta2's 2018 Vegan Report Card. Sodexo at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa was also listed on Peta2's "Dean's List," an elite group of institutions that have accrued enough Vegan Report Card points to rank among the highest tier of A-rated schools.

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Sodexo's Rohini Anand: We Want to Have Diverse Leadership Styles that Women Bring to the Table

Anand, the Senior Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Chief Diversity Officer at Sodexo discusses the importance of companies having an inclusive culture where women can ask for prmotions and not get penalized.

Sodexo: University Dining Teams Partner to Give Back and Address Hunger on College Campuses

Sodexo's work to fight hunger follows the entire student journey from primary to higher education.

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Originally Published by Sodexo.

Every holiday season, Sodexo dining teams across more than 650 university locations extend their service spirit to students in need. Here are six great examples of partnerships with students, faculty and University leadership that are making an impact beyond the classroom.

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