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How Diversity and Inclusion Drive Employee Engagement

Eighty-three percent of Sodexo employees believe diverse colleagues are valued for their differences. How can you measure your employees' engagement?

By Dr. Rohini Anand


Globally Sodexo is one of the largest companies in the world operating in 80 countries and employing nearly 420,000 employees. While the decentralized nature of our business model allows Sodexo to operate with agility and speed, it poses a challenge with regard to employee engagement.  As a service company, employee involvement and enthusiasm are essential components to delivering the optimal products and services Sodexo is known for.

Research has shown that companies who disregard diversity as a component of their business strategy have a higher percentage of disengaged workers. Organizations that effectively capitalize on the strengths of all employees and leverage their differences and unique values have the most engaged employees. In addition, employees with the highest level of engagement perform 20 percent better and are 87 percent less likely to leave the organization, according to a survey by TowersPerrin. A study by the Hay Group found engaged employees were as much as 43% more productive.

Over a decade ago Sodexo embarked on a journey to drive employee engagement through a sustained and comprehensive commitment to diversity and inclusion. Employee Business Resource Groups, Mentoring, Training & Development, Flexible Work Arrangements and Recognition all became instrumental in fostering a culture of inclusion and engagement. Sodexo held itself accountable for progress through various measures and metrics. The result has been systemic culture change that has differentiated Sodexo for our clients, customers and employees.

Measuring the impact diversity and inclusion has on engagement is key. Sodexo conducts an enterprise-wide Employee Engagement Survey as well as special surveys targeted at Employee Business Resource Group members and mentoring participants.  The results of these surveys clearly demonstrate improved engagement as a result of participation in diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Sodexo's Employee Engagement Survey has reflected increases in the engagement of women and people of color since the survey was first conducted in 2006.  In fact, 2012 results show that diversity is one of the top two key engagement drivers for employees.

Despite several years of economic challenges, Sodexo's total management population reached an engagement high of 69 percent, which represents an increase at a time when most companies experienced a decline in overall employee engagement.   According to Aon Hewitt, this is considered Best Employer Range.  In addition, 83 percent of employees believe "At Sodexo, employees who are diverse are valued for the differences they bring to the workplace."  That is up 16 percentage points since 2006.

Engagement for women and people of color also experienced increases that are at or above Aon Hewitt's Best Employer Range.  Qualitative research findings revealed that both groups feel good about being able to bring "all of themselves" to work.  One of the most interesting findings was with regard to white male managers who said that they were proud to be a part of a company that is committed to diversity and inclusion.

Employee Business Resource Group members were also recently surveyed about their level of engagement and 65% said that Resource Groups enhanced their engagement and connection to the business.  Results from this survey are incorporated into Employee Business Resource Group's strategic plans. Participants indicated Networking, Engagement and Opportunities as the three top reasons for increased engagement.  Participants also noted their performance improved and they were more likely to stay with Sodexo due to their involvement with a Resource Group.

Sodexo has experienced firsthand the link between employee engagement and business results.  When employees feel valued and empowered to focus on their strengths and honor their differences, diversity becomes one of the organization's strongest competitive advantages.

 

 

 

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's Centerplate and Miami Beach Convention Center Announce Contract Extension

"This is a world-class facility and we look forward to having a best-in-class culinary program for years to come, led by General Manager Danny Medina and Executive Chef Ismael Lasalle."

Originally Published by Sodexo.

Centerplate, North America's leading convention center hospitality provider, and The Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC) have announced an agreement to extend the food and beverage contract at the Center. The newly signed extension comes as the MBCC reopens after an all-encompassing $620 million renovation.

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Sodexo Seniors, in Partnership with Connected Living, Introduces New "Smart Living" Program for Senior Living Residents Using Alexa in the US

With the new smart-tech, Sodexo Seniors enables more social engagement to drive health, longevity and Quality of Life.

Sodexo Seniors, in partnership with Connected Living, Introduces New Originally Published by Sodexo.

Sodexo, a food services and facilities management company committed to improving Quality of Life, is now offering a new "Smart Living" program for senior living residents to easily engage within their community and in the community at large by simply using their voices. The "Smart Living" program integrates Sodexo menus with Connected Living content management systems to allow residents to simply ask Alexa for community information and much more.

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Students Leading Sustained and Innovative Hunger-Fighting Solutions Can Apply for $10,000 from the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation

Applications for the 2019 Stephen J. Brady Stop Hunger Scholarships now being accepted.

Originally Published by Sodexo.

The Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation today announced the opening of the application period for the 2019 Stephen J. Brady Stop Hunger Scholarships which will run from October 5 through December 5, 2018. The scholarship program urges students to apply to #Get5KGive5K to help end hunger in their communities. Students from kindergarten through graduate school are eligible to apply for a $5,000 scholarship with matching $5,000 grant for the hunger-related charity of their choice. Visit https://aim.applyISTS.net/StopHungerScholars to apply.

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Sodexo Launches New Plant-Based Menus Across Hundreds of University, Healthcare and Corporate Services Accounts Nationwide

200 Plant-Based Recipes Created in Partnership with the Humane Society of the United States and the World Resource Institute-Better Buying Lab.

Originally Published by Sodexo.

Sodexo Launches New Plant-Based Menus Across Hundreds of University, Healthcare and Corporate Services Accounts NationwideAccording to a Nielsen global survey, 39% of American consumers are working to incorporate more plant-based foods in their diets. Sodexo, a food services and facilities management company committed to improving Quality of Life, launched its new plant-based menus in hundreds of accounts across its Universities, Healthcare, and Corporate Services segments. The new menus featuring 200 plant-based recipes were created in partnership with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the World Resource Institute-Better Buying Lab (WRI), to meet consumer demand for plant-based options and reduce the environmental impact of food offerings.

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Sodexo: From Tikka Masala to Congee, Campus Dining Trends Go Beyond Chicken Tenders & Pizza

Sodexo, Which Runs Dining Services at More Than 600 U.S. Colleges and Universities, Names Top Dining Trends.

From Tikka Masala to Congee, Campus Dining Trends Go Beyond Chicken Tenders & PizzaOriginally Published by Sodexo.

College dining halls these days look more like the popular food halls in cities throughout the US and Canada than like the cafeterias that many alumni remember. Today's students have sophisticated palates and dining services reflect this.

"Our student customers have grown up eating a wide-variety of cuisine from around the world. They know what they like, but they are also adventurous and want to try new foods," said Lisa Feldman, Sodexo's director of recipe management. Sodexo provides food services for more than 600 colleges and universities across North America.

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Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation Extends Partnership With Armed Services YMCA To Help End Childhood Hunger

$100,000 grant from the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation will support child development and food insecurity programs at two ASYMCA locations.

Originally Published by Sodexo.

Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation announced that it is extending its partnership with the Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) and providing a $100,000 grant to improve access to nutritious food to help end childhood hunger. The organizations will continue to work together to support the military community by helping to reduce food insecurity among military families. With the generosity of organizations like Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation, ASYMCA can help stop military family hunger through programs and services supporting young, low-income military families.

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