Culture First – What does it mean?

First, let’s define the word “Culture”.

The Oxford dictionary defines it as: Relating to the ideas, customs, and social behavior of a society; the attitudes and behavioral characteristics of a particular social group.

The Cambridge dictionary defines it as “The way of life, especially the general customs and beliefs of a particular group of people at a particular time.”

If we examine both definitions, we see some commonalities: customs, beliefs, behavior, ideas, etc. If these terms are parlayed into a Workplace Culture, perhaps we could easily define it as a workgroup of people who promote a way of life throughout the organization through their belief systems, moral compasses, attitudes, and behaviors. 

In simpler words, it is the “umbrella of values” under which the organization operates, and the “glue” that makes a unit cohesive, allowing it to run like a well-oiled machine, with each person doing their part to promote a healthy work environment.

So, where do organizations get their work culture…?

…From the Top Down. An organization’s workplace culture starts from the top, permeating the rank and file. This concept can be compared to one of the predecessors of “Culture First”: TQM (Top Quality Management),  a practice that focuses on continual improvement of internal practices, improving the quality of an organization’s outputs (1)

Needless to say, if TQM didn’t at least factor work life and personal life needs into their equations, their workplace culture and infrastructure would collapse–the resulting outputs would be devastating.

One company that has taken the workplace culture/personal life aspects to a whole new level is Box, Inc, (formerly Founded in 2005, this cloud content management and file sharing service for businesses has a unique level of dedication to their employees as well the company’s success. Box, Inc believes that by providing and nurturing an environment that engages, inspires, provides meaningful and challenging work, their staff is more engaged, and committed to succeeding, on the personal level as well as the organization.

Creating the most dynamic work environment that people want to be a part of doesn’t sacrifice the work life for their personal life or vice versa. As one spokesperson for Box, Inc. stated: “… it’s about melding the two (work life/personal life).” As more companies join this movement, more team members who are engaged by these companies experience a sense of empowerment and accomplishment.

Through their secure work engagement platform, TellZen empowers organization’s to gain employee insight on important topics, discovering and engaging open, diverse communications from all parts of the organization in complete anonymity. The proprietary communication system provides complete confidentiality and can be customized for the individual goals and culture of each company. Tellzen empowers employees to provide feedback and share issues interactively and confidently without fear of recrimination.

Schedule your demo today to find out how TellZen can help your organization.

TellZen Demonstration: Request a demonstration of TellZen’s, Secure Confidential Workplace Communication Solution

Free Anonymous Employee Survey: TellZen empowers your employees to share issues or feedback without the fear of retaliation or discrimination, in an interactive way.

Contact TellZen to schedule a demo and pick a package which is right for your organization.




Article Resources:

‘Culture-first’: how Box Inc.’s HR strategy drives business success