Sodexo prides itself on having a highly age-diverse workforce and a proactive approach to getting the conversation going on intergenerational working and age discrimination. Activities include a Generations Employee Network, reverse mentoring, and a proactive, openminded approach to flexible working.
But what does all this mean for the people on the inside?
Mike Dyer, 65, is a business director in Sodexo’s healthcare business
Dyer has worked with Sodexo for more than 20 years. On reaching 65 he moved out of operations and into a L&D role, working three days a week.
“For me working three days a week to wind down before retirement is just a dream. I’ve been planning this with the business over the last couple of years. Being an operations director I was very much at the frontline and dealing with day-to-day issues, which wouldn’t have worked on a three-day week.
This lets me spend more time with my family and start developing other interests and planning for the next stage, which might be working in voluntary employment perhaps. What’s great for someone like me is this keeps me younger and my brain active. And it’s nice to have that financial cushion rather than going straight from having a good salary to my pension.”
Dan Moroney, 21, is an electrical apprentice at Sodexo’s central Manchester hospital site
He is a key member of the Sodexo Teen Tec team, which run events to help young people understand the opportunities in contemporary industry.
“You can see the young people we talk to with Teen Tec relate much better to what we’re saying because it’s other young people saying it. The average age in my field is still very high so it’s about telling young people how enjoyable a career in engineering can be. I thought before I joined I might be treated as a bit of a child but there is a huge level of trust there.
I really enjoy working with people of all ages, particularly the older guys as you learn so much. We get buddied up with more experienced engineers and sometimes the learning works both ways. We were once fixing an electrical fault on a door, for example, and I was able to look at it in a simpler way than the person I was with, and that solved the problem.”