Fourth Annual "The Best"

People/HR

Best employee motivation technique
Enhance the employee experience. One of the key goals at Microsoft Real Estate & Facilities is to create environments and services on campus that help support the company in its efforts to [attract and keep talent]. One example is The Commons, the town center of Microsoft, offering a variety of exceptional local retail brands, exhibition-style cooking and ethnic cuisines for customers, families and friends.
—Mark Freeman, senior manager, global dining, Microsoft Corp., Seattle

Best community outreach/benefit project we’ve done
Donating banana boxes to our Southern Tier Food Bank so they can transport backpack food to schools to help feed hungry children.
—Gail Finan, director, dining and retail services, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.

I sit on the board of directors of the Nature Conservancy’s Young Professionals Group. We hosted a really amazing event to benefit the Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future. Also, for the past three years I have designed and co-produced the Alex’s Lemonade event with Jonathan Waxman. I love being part of both of these events. One is raising money to help the battle against childhood cancer, and the other is taking urban youth out into nature and training them in green jobs.
—Jason Giagrande, global director of food service operations & events, NBCUniversal, New York

Best team-building exercise we’ve done
We did a culinary competition with our chefs. We had eight teams of two competing at the Columbus Culinary Institute. We do these kinds of things to break the stigma of long-term care, but when I look at this event now I realize it truly is a team-building event. Planning the competition was a team effort. They worked with their culinary staff and even the residents got the fever for the competition by cheering on their team.
—John Andrews, corporate director, culinary and nutrition services, Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services, Columbus

Taking managers and employees to visit other hospitals that are doing something we are thinking we would like to do. All of these trips involved management and the employees affected by the possible changes. We would not only plan the project together but also the trip, like how would we get there, where we would stay, meals together, what needed to be looked at by whom, etc. I found the time spent together out of the office gave people the opportunity to get to know one another better and on an equal level.
—Bill Notte, director, nutrition & dietetics, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia

We began conducting 8:15s this year. The 8:15 is a quick meeting with my administrative team so that we can share briefly what is occurring in each area within the department. I use information from this meeting to keep my boss apprised of things that may pop up on his radar.
Julia Bauscher, director, school and community nutrition services, Jefferson County Public Schools, Louisville, Ky. 

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