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Sodexo kicks off Environmental Services & Housekeeping Week

By Guest Blogger, Lisa Ford, CHESP, EVS Director/Sodexo General Manager - Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center

Well it’s that time again…Environmental Services & Housekeeping Week!  It is my favorite time of year at work, not only to say thank you to our very hard-working associates, but also to take time to have fun at work. 

Today, more than years past, there is more stress in the workplace; stress to perform and meet quality and quantity expectations.  It is so important for us to take the time to recognize and celebrate our staff.  I am sure everyone has heard of the direct correlation between patient/customer satisfaction and associate satisfaction.  So let’s do this up in style!

Many of us have done the traditional lunch or breakfast with staff for ES Week and the giveaway lunch box.  What I would like to challenge you with today is to put more creativity and fun in our week.  Pick a theme and run with it.  Some of the themes I have used in the past were Fiesta (reminding the staff to have fun at work), red carpet Oscar-style, a day at the carnival and a fall football theme.  You can purchase very inexpensive decorations and transform your office and storeroom area.  You can even incorporate contests and games like Bingo into the week since people love the opportunity to win prizes.  Involve other departments in your activities so that they can also recognize Environmental Services Associates for their valuable contributions.  Whatever you do, being genuine is very important.  You can give your staff a simple “thank you” and if done in the right way, it can mean the world.

After ES week is over, keep the momentum going.  Start your shifts with music, deliver candy to your staff with thank you notes, or hold one-on-one meetings with each of your staff to give updates and see how they are doing.  You may be surprised by the great suggestions you’ll receive on improving the work environment.   It also helps that our associates know that I always keep chocolate in my office for those stressful days!

Some of you may say this all may be frivolous activity.  I say it is absolutely essential for success in today’s very challenging workplace.  As Sodexo celebrates Environmental Services & Housekeeping Week, I’d like to express our gratitude to all the housekeeping professionals in the industry.  To learn about real examples of Sodexo Environmental Services Managers making a difference, read their stories.

If you will be attending the AHE Exchange Conference next week, don’t miss my session, “Celebrate the Wins on a Budget”, on Monday at 9AM or the opportunity to network with our recruiters at our booth. 
Lisa Ford is a Sodexo General Manager and management trainer who has been with the company 23 years.  She also serves on the AHE Board of Directors.  Lisa is CHESP certified and is very passionate about the ES industry.   Environmental Services & #HousekeepingWeek is one of Lisa’s favorite times of year to celebrate her staff!

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Career Homework: Create a Vision Statement and Plan for Your Future

By Trish Freshwater, Senior Communications Manager for Talent Acquisition

Where are you in your career? Are you content or are you ready for a change? Do you feel the pull of some distant desire to do more, to do something different or otherwise grow your potential?

With school back in session this fall, now might be a good time to do some homework that will help advance your career. Just like in college where you had to plan which classes to take and when, in order to move your career forward, to change the status quo, you need to plan with a list of steps that will advance your career accordingly.

What will your plan look like? Here are some ideas:

First, create a Vision Statement.

Just like most companies and organizations have a vision statement to define their purpose, write a vision statement for your career. State your career goal in specific terms, including measurable results that you want to achieve. Remember to keep your statement short and sweet – no more than one or two short paragraphs. Examples:

A) I will become a well-respected leader in the food service industry, providing healthy choices displayed in innovative and exciting ways – thereby making it easy for customers to make healthy choices that improve their quality of life.
B) I will become a vice president for information technology, providing leadership that drives innovation to improve my company’s effectiveness and efficiency in the areas of web site development, online transactions and customer account management.

Next, Build Your Plan.

Now that you have a vision, how will you achieve that vision in real life? Some things to consider include:

  • Research Job Titles and Responsibilities
    What types of positions align with your vision? Sites like O*NET can offer you great insights into what different careers look like and the skills needed to succeed; and you can search job board sites like CareerBuilder and Indeed for real job descriptions that provide a glimpse into what employers are seeking for various roles.
  • Shadow a Colleague in the Role You Want
    There’s no better way to learn what it’s like to work in a given role, than to shadow someone who has your dream job. Look within your company or connect with others via a professional organization for your career field and seek out someone who will let you shadow them for a day. You will learn more about the responsibilities of the position and what education or additional training you might need to prepare yourself for moving into a similar role in the future.
  • Find a Mentor
    Mentors are an amazing addition to your career planning process. Mentors can help you assess your skills, provide insights into your company or career field, and can often help you make smart choices about how to prepare for your next career move. At Sodexo, we are fortunate to have so many different mentoring programs to help our employees achieve their career goals.
  • Build Your Knowledge and Resume
    As you prepare your plan, take stock in what you can do in your current role to prepare yourself for change and showcase your abilities. Can you take on a new, more challenging assignment or project? Can you become a member of a task force or other project team where you can take on new responsibilities and expand your list of accomplishments? Or, should you take a class or attend a webinar or conference that will help expand your skillset? Sometimes the key to moving into a new role is focusing on greater success in your current role. 

Advancing your career or even changing careers doesn’t have to be a lofty ideal. Creating a vision for your professional future and building a plan to support that vision is the first step to making that future a reality. So, what are you waiting for? Your career homework is due in two weeks.

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Sodexo Launches New Career Website for Chefs and Food Service Managers

By Kristen Jacobs, Employment Branding Sourcing Manager

Exploring culinary and food service management careers at Sodexo just got easier with our new website.

As the employer of some of the world’s most talented chefs and food service professionals, we proudly provide jobs across the service sector with competitive wages, attractive benefits, work-life balance and a wealth of training and education programs. Whether you’re a chef looking to take back some nights and weekends or a food service manager looking to grow your career, our new site is full of resources to help you determine if Sodexo is right for you.  

Let me show you around!

  • There’s no shortage of Development and Training options for Sodexo chefs and food service managers. Put your ambition to work and you’ll be moving on up in no time!
  • Our teams work in a variety of environments, including Health Care, Education, Corporate, Government, Senior Living and Sports and Leisure. Learn more about each of these environments on the World of Opportunities page.
  • Whether you feel at home in the kitchen or prefer the front-of-the-house, your role at Sodexo will allow you to be a leader, use your creativity, partner with clients and develop your skills. Ready for the next level? There are plenty of opportunities to grow your career.
  • Sodexo chefs are rewarded for their innovation and creativity. And speaking of innovation, Chef Shane Miller at the Houston Zoo hasn't been afraid to take risks. Read about his career in Sodexo Stories.
This site has so much more to explore, but before you head off to search for jobs, be sure to stop by the Recruiter Connection page to chat with the recruiter specializing in your area. We’d love to talk to you!

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Lead with your creative side as a Retail Food Service Manager at Sodexo!

By Chloé Rada, Senior Marketing Manager - Talent Acquisition

This weekend marks the unofficial end of summer.  While you may not pack away your summer whites, there is no doubt fall is in the air with all the back-to-school stories and pictures.

This is a busy time of year for Sodexo Food Service teams as they welcome back students, faculty and administrators in schools and on campuses across the US. We have vast opportunities within Culinary and Food Service Management that allows you to be a leader, manage a business, partner with clients, serve as a mentor and provide quality assurance.

Let’s take a Retail Food Service Manager, for example, in this video!

Proven leaders, with a passion for service, are in demand for areas including health care, senior living, campus and schools, government, corporate services and leisure.  Sodexo Retail Food Service Managers keep things exciting in our cafeteria settings through implementing promotions, like Battle of the Chefs, the In my Kitchen series and the award-winning Mindful by Sodexo concept.

Some of the key components to success in this position are
  •  Focusing on food sales while meeting the demands of healthy yet tastier options
  • Showcasing the quality and value of your dining options
  • Having the ability to float throughout your facility offering assistance in catering and back-of-the-house tasks
  • Displaying superior customer service and excellent cash maintenance
  • Liaising with social media marketing lead for their unit (Check out what Northwestern Dining is doing on Facebook)
If this sounds like you, then head on over to our careers site to learn more about your role in Food Service Management with Sodexo. 

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Going Back-to-School: Sodexo Employees Prepare for Students’ Return

By Autumn McReynolds, Employment Branding Sourcing Manager

Sodexo Chefs at Tulane and Loyola
Universities test new menu items
Fall is full of excitement for students of all ages, from K-12 to college, as back-to-school season gets underway. And as we all know but likely don’t think about often, the foundation of a good education is student well-being, which includes not only access to nourishment and the resources needed to live a healthy lifestyle, but also a physical environment conducive to learning. 

From orientation to graduation and everything in between, Sodexo’s management and frontline employees work hard to improve Quality of Life for students, faculty, administrators and visitors in schools and on campuses across the US.

During the summer months, our Facilities Management and Construction Services teams maintain the grounds and renovate dining centers and residence halls to ensure returning students have a healthy environment in which to eat, work and live, while the Chefs develop and test new menu items, Catering Managers coordinate events like orientation and Food Service Managers recruit, hire and train their staffs.

But there’s even more that goes on behind the scenes that you may not know about. Take, for example, our Energy Management solutions that help schools save substantial amounts on their natural gas and electricity – savings that can be put toward improving other areas of life for their students. Then we have Environmental Services / Custodial Managers who oversee housekeeping personnel and operations to ensure cleanliness through environmentally-friendly practices that conserve water and energy, while reducing the use of harmful chemicals.

In order to better understand the array of career opportunities mentioned above and the type of work you can do as a manager at Sodexo, take a moment to read more about how our employees enhance Quality of Life on campuses in these two features, then view the posts below to see how a few of our teams are getting ready for the 2014-2015 school year!

Having trouble viewing these photos? Check out the entire album here.

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Sodexo Launches Two New Careers Sites

ByKristen Jacobs, Employment Branding Sourcing Manager

If you've been following our blog, you may think you have a case of Déjà vu. But with the release of two new career sites already this year, we’re not repeating ourselves; we’re just on a roll!

I’m excited to announce that in July we launched two additional career sites. The first is for candidates exploring careers in Clinical Nutrition, with the second focused on opportunities in Sodexo’s Information Systems & Technology organization. Similar to the Facilities Management and Environmental Services sites launched earlier this year, these new sites are focused on providing tools, resources and engagement opportunities for candidates exploring Sodexo as an employer.

I’d love to share some of the highlights from each site.

Did you know that Sodexo is the largest private employer of dietitians in the world? With a network of that magnitude, our nutrition professionals have access to a huge amount of resources.  The Clinical Nutrition site gives candidates a taste of what their career at Sodexo could look like.  

  • On the Development & Training page, candidates can take a deep dive into the many tools available for expanding their skills, advancing their career and leveraging the global network of Sodexo dietitians.
  • Sodexo Dietitians can be found in a variety of environments, from healthcare and senior living to corporate offices, schools and colleges. Take a closer look at some of the environments where you’ll find our dietitians on the World of Opportunities page.
  • Since Dietetic Internships are an essential stepping stone into a career in nutrition, we’ve dedicated a page to students with resources including webinars, tips and networking opportunities.

Our IS&T team supports over 8,000 locations across North America and collaborates with the entire Sodexo Group, spanning 80 countries and more than 30,600 locations. That kind of global reach and commitment demands the most advanced technology. It also generates a whole lot of career opportunities for talented IT professionals. 
  • With a broad range of opportunities available for professionals within IS&T, the Your Role page digs deeper into several areas within the organization.
  • To take it even further, Career Growth outlines the IS&T career track from technical specialists to senior leadership. We want to show candidates the opportunities for growth not only within IS&T, but also in other areas of Sodexo – done through ‘Broaden Your Potential’ and ‘Explore New Horizons’. 
  • Don’t take it from us! Our Sodexo Stories page reflects current employees who wanted to share their passion in IT and what it’s like to work at Sodexo.

Finally, on both sites, candidates can easily engage our recruiters specializing in Nutrition and IS&T through the Recruiter Connection. It’s a great opportunity for them to connect and communicate with us about opportunities they may be interested in.

I invite you to take a tour for yourself and share with the nutrition and technology professionals in your network!

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What does it take to be a Food Service Manager at Sodexo?

By Karen Graham, Senior Recruiter

The 13th post in our Recruiter Series that features the specific environments we hire for and what it takes to succeed.

It takes a lot of ability to create an environment where your guests feel special.  Simply put, when working at our client sites, Sodexo Food Service Managers want their customers to “Be Our Guest”.  It’s just like in the movie, Beauty and the Beast, where the dancing candelabra sings to Belle about having a wonderful dining experience and putting their dining service to the test.  Our Managers may not sing and dance but they certainly aim to please when answering by request!

Aside from having a passion for great customer service like, Lumière, successful Food Service Managers at Sodexo have a tremendous spirit.  They continue to find ways to get back on track regardless of the daily challenges and obstacles that would cause most people to give up or
walk away.

As a Senior Recruiter for Food Service Managers for Sodexo’s Campus and Senior Services in the Northeast, I look for service-oriented professionals with these three qualities.

Sr. Recruiter Karen Graham and her
husband, Jim Graham, Sr. Level Dining Director for Sodexo
The ability to moderate calm

Successful people in high level positions make their jobs look easy by projecting confidence and making others feel reassured when the going gets rough.  This reminds me a lot of my husband Jim Graham, Senior Level Dining Director, who has been with for Sodexo for 33 years. He can walk into a chaotic situation, size things up and come up with on-the-spot viable resolutions.  He recently attended a workshop on organizational challenges last month at a major medical center where the keynote speaker sat at Jim’s breakout session table and proceeded to quote him during closing remarks to the audience.  Talk about making an impression!

The capacity to adapt and adjust to constant change 

Aside from people, food is the number one element in this business and it’s extremely perishable rate requires speed, accuracy and quality handling for safe preparation and service.  Customers have high expectations of what they want and when they want it is the daily challenge with variables like product availability, seasonal cost considerations, diet modifications, wholesale delivery and timeliness.  Contingency plans are critical and must be considered for each step in the process.

The ability to work with multi-generations in the work place and in the customer base

Shifting demographics, future service industry labor shortages and savvier, demanding customers create the need for our managers to communicate well with a diverse audience.  The other day I was asked to source for Food Management candidates that were well versed in sustainability from an unlikely source – the residents that live in one of our Retirement Communities since the retiring Baby Boomers are one of our shifting demographics.

Do you hold these three qualities in your Food Management career? Do you have a passion for great customer service and the ability to create an environment where your guests feel special?
Then consider a rewarding career with Sodexo. Search our job opportunities now!

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