While many firms have employee recognition programs in place, Sodexo’s Champions of Diversity Program is the gold standard against which all others are judged. At Sodexo, leveraging diversity and inclusion is an ongoing process where employees work together to improve the quality of the services offered to clients. In many cases, the result might be a quality-enhancing or cost-saving solution.

Under the guidance of the company’s chief diversity officer and with strong support from the executive team, Sodexo’s employees have created a large menu of programs and best practices designed to meet the needs of its employees and its customers. Individuals or teams may be recognized for a wide variety of actions that support the creation of a diverse and inclusive culture.

Nominations are made online and need be submitted only once. They are considered active for four consecutive quarters. Nominees are interviewed by the market senior director of diversity with input from diversity council members.

Staff members and clients join the celebration at which the winner receives an award certificate from Global Diversity Officer Rohini Anand and a commendation letter. They also enjoy a teambuilding event at their unit and are recognized in company media.

What makes this program so strong is the ease with which it is executed. The award process is rigorous and thorough, yet exceptionally streamlined. Sodexo’s busy managers can submit nominations for deserving employees at all levels. The program epitomizes the way even the largest of organizations can gain momentum at the grassroots level.