Sodexo reaches out to engage its employees

Food service giant Sodexo has labeled some of its employees as “hard to reach”: those who work at client locations or who telework from home or whose jobs don’t involve regular use of computers or e-mail.

Now it’s offering managers several methods to reach out to them to ensure that they have knowledge, team spirit and the sense of belonging that are necessary to build a highly engaged workforce.

Among Sodexo’s engagement programs:

  • Daily huddles. Brief, informal meetings at all locations allow employees to discuss activities of the day, and managers to emphasize the importance of customer service and safety.
  • A dedicated web site (in English and Spanish) serves as a central portal to critical company information, such as benefits, training opportunities and support resources.
  • Sodexo Employee Connect. On-site kiosks give front-line employees access to tools for signing up for training, changing payroll deductions and performing other at-work tasks.
  • Virtual meetings. Field managers and support staff come together in a time- and cost-effective manner through semiannual virtual meetings that include presentations from leadership, online discussions with senior company executives and industry experts, e-learning courses and recognition of outstanding performance.
  • Best Practices in Recognition. The organization shares best practices for recognizing and rewarding employees with all managers. Tips for recognizing accomplishments are discussed in Sodexo’s weekly e-Bulletin and during regional and district conference calls.

Result: In 2010, employee engagement levels rose by 5%.

Contact: Jaya K. Bohlmann of Sodexo, (301) 987-4415.