143 Breaking bread The coffee is on the house As early as the 19th century women working in New York tended to drink coffee on their lunch breaks This was offered in staff canteens at cost price a customary right which spread to major German firms in the 1920s as well It was nat ural to us to uphold this tradition except our staff can enjoy coffee and tea free of charge Companies will try anything nowadays to promote esprit d équipe French Teamgeist German or team spirit Clambering along a high wire course white water rafting parachute jumping the list is endless and fuels an entire management and motivation industry Its bright and shiny catalogues can too easily distract from a means of reinforc ing a sense of community that has proven itself for centuries but is no longer taken as a given the shared meal At Diepholz however we absolutely consider this a key part of our working day That is why our organic bistro is more than just a break room a place for staff to consume their instant noodle soup under fluorescent lighting It is a little pleasure island at the heart of the company with lots of natural light a view of the ecotope and a sun terrace Of course if you want to eat your noodle soup there that s no problem But you might like to take a look at the freshly prepared lunches on offer with different options to choose from every day see page 144 And with the number of peo ple enjoying our organic bistro growing as our employee numbers have increased we have also taken on more staff and added equipment since 2014 an Italian master chef has been a valuable member of the now four strong team while enough portions can be prepared at once in the new oven And as being sociable while eating in evitably involves lively discussions we had new sound ab sorbing ceiling panels installed in 2015 We subsidise every meal to the tune of 50 though not entirely altruistically with our organic bistro we are mak ing an important contribution to the well being of our staff and therefore how well they perform their work The up shot is that satisfaction goes hand in hand with motivation and motivation is highly conducive to the success of the company The fact that an organic pioneer such as Lebensbaum be lieves it is beholden on it to offer employees a high quality meal is then a story for another day People

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