Recognized as one of Hamilton-Niagara's Top Employers (2018)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 22, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why Sodexo Canada Ltd. was selected as one of Hamilton-Niagara's Top Employers (2018):
- Employees at Sodexo Canada's head office are encouraged to keep fit at the onsite shared-use fitness facility and also receive a fitness club subsidy as part of their health benefits plan
- Sodexo Canada encourages employees to provide feedback on which charitable causes to support and maintains a focus on initiatives that fight hunger and poverty -- additionally, the company encourages employees to get involved with paid volunteer time and matching charitable donations
- Sodexo Canada encourages ongoing employee development with tuition subsidies for courses at outside institutions (to $1,500 annually) and manages a variety of in-house training initiatives, including an international mobility mentorship program to provide employees with an opportunity to explore a career abroad
Recognized as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2017)
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Mar 27, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why Sodexo Canada Ltd. was selected as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2017):
- Sodexo Canada maintains a "disABILITY" strategy to promote the inclusion of persons with disabilities, and recently committed to hiring over 200 individuals with disabilities in 2017 and more than 500 hires in 2018 (in partnership with Ready Willing and Able Canada) -- the company also maintains a global Disability Voice Taskforce which focuses on projects that encourage an inclusive, adapted work environment
- In partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health and the Canadian Mental Health Association, Sodexo Canada manages the Willow Bean Café to provide opportunities for persons with mental health issues to gain practical work experience -- additionally, the company offers internships to Vancouver Community College students with intellectual disabilities, in partnership with the Vancouver School Board's Life Skills Program
- With over 300 members, Sodexo Canada's Women in Leadership and Learning (WiLL) program provides development opportunities for female team leaders -- the company also created a subgroup within WiLL called Women in Facilities Management, to promote women in science, technology, engineering and math fields, and hosts the Sodexo Women's International Forum for Talent
"I believe we all benefit from a culture where diverse, creative minds are free to share honestly and openly. We are creators of our environment and we need to look at our individual efforts. For me, being part of Diversity and Inclusion is continuously looking past what's comfortable and conventional in order to challenge my conditioning and biases." Phil Petit, Director of Business Development Healthcare & Senior Living
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2018)
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 8, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Sodexo Canada Ltd. was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2018):
- Sodexo Canada manages the "Sharing Across Generations" networking group, which organizes activities to help employees of all generations forge connections in the workplace -- the group also offers training on topics such as multigenerational management and engagement
- Sodexo Canada offers an international mobility program, allowing employees to work in one of the 79 countries Sodexo operates in -- participants work for up to 1 week in their chosen destination and are matched with a local mentor
- Through Sodexo Canada's "Rising Stars" program, the company provides paid internships and co-op placements, and hires promising participants into full-time entry-level management positions -- young hires are paired with a "hosting manager" who helps prepare them for their new roles, as well as understand the company's mission and values
Sodexo Canada cooks up flexibility and opportunity
When Jamie Kreiner started at Sodexo Canada Ltd., she was sure she wanted to be president one day. "I always shoot for the stars," she says. But now that she's been at the global food and facilities management firm for a while, she finds she really enjoys the area where she works -- Operations. "So I'd still like to go up the ladder but be more Operations-focused," she says. "I'm kind of in a transition phase."
She should have no problem fulfilling her changing ambitions, because Sodexo is all about flexibility and a wide-ranging set of opportunities for young people. "We promote internally for 80 per cent of our roles, and we aim for 100 per cent at the top level," says Suzanne Bergeron, Vice-President Human Resources. Bergeron herself started as an administrative assistant 13 years ago.
Kreiner, a graduate of Brock University's media and communications program, entered as a summer intern in Sodexo's Burlington, Ont. head office before her post-grad year in public relations at Niagara College, not far from the famous falls. She continued with Sodexo during her studies. "They were very flexible and understanding about my hours," she says.
That led to full-time roles in marketing and in the field, and eventually to a talk with a senior executive about her future. "He said you need to go back into Operations to understand how the company works," she says. So Kreiner helped oversee food services at one of the many cafeteria operations that Sodexo runs for major corporations and then, in 2017, she became one of the company's youngest General Managers.
Kreiner now watches over the Sodexo operations, including food and cleaning services, for pharmaceutical giant GSK Canada in Mississauga, Ont. She feeds 1,100 people in Mississauga, and has a team of 47. "I really enjoy the Operations side," she says. "I like the challenges that it brings, and the client and customer interaction."
The ability to move around the company in various roles is a big part of the Sodexo way, says Bergeron. Managers at the sites, like Kreiner, have to submit a succession plan so the company knows "who will take over when you move up," she says. Or move laterally -- Sodexo is also very open to people working in similar jobs in various places.
Hourly-paid staff, from cooks to cleaners, are encouraged to get involved in training programs to advance. "With all the tools we put at your disposal -- like development, mentorship and job shadowing -- you can grow within the company," Bergeron says. A formal mentorship program called Impact offers mentees a full year of partnership with a senior person. There is tuition reimbursement for people going back to school, including for master's degrees.
The opportunities to move in the France-based company can also be national or global -- by design. Bergeron, who is based in Montreal, remembers being surprised when she first saw in her terms of employment that she might be asked if she wanted to work in another city, province or even country. "I did five years in France," she says. Currently some 1,000 Sodexo staff worldwide are working outside their native countries.
Flexibility is a big part of life at Sodexo's main offices in Burlington, Montreal and Burnaby, B.C. Few people have designated workspaces, and working externally is very common. "You can work from home or any other venue -- a café or a worklab," says Bergeron. "We're also very flexible about hours -- we're results-oriented rather than 9 to 5."
For young people, says Kreiner, Sodexo offers the vista of a full career. "A lot of people have been here 15, 20, 25 years," she notes. "With the work-life balance and the benefits and the support that Sodexo provides, it's an environment where you want to come to work."