The founders of Talent Plus, a global human resources consulting firm, realized early on that good food and fresh coffee have a way of bringing people together, so they make sure that there are plenty of both at the company's Lincoln, Neb., headquarters.
Employees break bread together in a gourmet-level cafeteria and gather around the sole coffee pot on the top floor of a three-story building—a strategic move to get people walking and talking to each other, according to Communications Director Cydney Koukol.
“One of our founders, Doug Rath, had a mother who was a wonderful cook, and he knew that you can show caring through food as well as knowing that the way to one's soul is through sharing food,” she said. “And while we have a larger footprint in our building today, we continue to have just one kitchen and one coffee pot, encouraging people to come together during various parts of their day and connecting with others from different parts of our building and across different business units.”
With 75 U.S. employees, the company goes through about 20 pounds of coffee a week, according to executive chef Scott Burkle, who oversees the Taste of Talent kitchen where he prepares breakfast, lunch and afternoon snacks.
He also has cooked for employees' weddings, funerals, birthdays and has even sent meals home to an employee going through cancer treatment and to a retiree who suffered a stroke.
“If they're sick I make soup; if it's a death in the family I'll send home lasagna,” he said. “We do catering so employees can use our services anytime at work or home. We also have a leftovers program so kids at home can consume our food too. If their family is healthy, employees will do well at work.”