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.

 

 

 

Inspiring Women to Consider STEM Careers at Sodexo

While women have fought to win the rights that we have today, the battle is not over, particularly in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), where women are still significantly underrepresented.

By Connie Arnold

Originally Published by Sodexo.

Candidates who meet me now may not know my background (unless they visit my LinkedIn profile, of course), and while I am currently a Strategic Recruiter for Sodexo's Clinical Technology Management opportunities, I spent around 20 years in the field as a Biomed myself!

From what I've found, many people aren't sure what a Biomed career consists of - or sometimes they don't even realize it exists.

In a nutshell, biomedical equipment technicians, also called biomedical engineers, biomeds or BMETs for short, hold a critical position in filling the gap between medicine and technology. They make it possible for medical staff to use state of the art medical devices, providing the highest level of patient care.

So how did I end up there? In high school, I loved math and science, and it seemed to promise real opportunities for our changing world. This was when I discovered biomedical engineering, which combined my two passions - medicine and fixing things.

Unfortunately, there are some young girls who still grow up thinking that engineering and science aren't meant for women, so it is important to me to show that women can thrive in the world of engineering (or in any career they choose). Because of this, I have chosen to share my personal career path and experiences with the students at my daughter's local high school and with you on this blog.

Today, gender equality and diversity is just as important as ever. Imagine the great advances that could occur in engineering if men and women were working together more often to solve problems. While women have fought to win the rights that we have today, the battle is not over, particularly in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), where women are still significantly underrepresented.

In my current role, I have the great opportunity to search the country for Healthcare Technology Management professionals and hope that I can use my position to inspire more women to consider the field from an early age.

For those who may be interested in learning more about Sodexo and the jobs we have available, I highly recommend attending in person events, like the upcoming AAMI Conference & Convention, where Sodexo Clinical Technology Management operators and recruiters will be there in person to answer your questions and help you get to know our company better.

In the meantime, head over to our dedicated career page to read stories from both men and women in the Sodexo CTM organization and find out how you can become part of the team.

Sodexo: Understanding the Value of Veterans in the Workplace

Given the nature of missions, projects and experiences that they are have been exposed to, veterans possess key transferable skill sets and competencies that every organization can utilize.

By Bryan Hesse

Originally Published on Sodexo.

This August will be my fifth anniversary at Sodexo as a Senior Recruiter in Facilities Management for the Healthcare division, and as part of my development, I recently joined my fellow team member Yvonne Schuster as co-chair on the Military Recruitment Team.

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Sodexo VP Offers Advice to Women in Facilities Management

Lynn Baez is taking the facilities world by storm as a respected leader in the industry.

(A post from Sodexo's Career Blog)

This girl is on fire; hard hats and high heels, she is on fire!

While a slight variation from the inspirational Alicia Keys song about women finding their voice, it's quite fitting for Sodexo's Lynn Baez, CFM, SFP, FMP, CBCP, Vice President of Operations for Facilities Management. She oversees the facility operations of 130 sites in North and South America, including a $65 million portfolio in the United States.

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EY, Kaiser Permanente, Novartis, PwC and Sodexo have been inducted into DiversityInc's Top 50 Hall of Fame. The companies inducted into the Hall of Fame have demonstrated exceptional human capital management accomplishments and superior corporate values and culture.

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