Organizational Culture at Truth Initiative

Today marked the end of my fourth week at Truth Initiative. During my time thus far, I have observed the organization’s friendly and close-knit office culture. To be fair, my previous statement mainly just applies to the department in which I’m working – Innovations — given the fact that we’re all working remotely; however, I believe this is case for the whole company given the regularly scheduled programming to encourage employees to connect with one another. For example, this one afternoon this week, HR scheduled a Zoom cooking class. In addition, there are weekly coffee breaks over Zoom, so that individuals can re-connect. HR received numerous requests to try and recreate the daily interactions co-workers would have with one another in the office.

In terms of interacting with one another, the tone of communication seems fairly casual. COVID-19 aside, the department routinely uses Slack, a chat interface with calling capabilities. Within the platform, users can make different “channels,” or group chats. The department has a few different channels. One channel functions as a place to discuss work-related matters. Smaller channels exist for individual interests and non-work-related topics. I have found that I do not contribute in the non-work-related channels; it seems a bit awkward to make small talk about non-work-related subjects when I have not met most of these individuals/have had little interaction with them.

As an organization, Truth Initiative works to eradicate the use of tobacco. Therefore, they have various departments dedicated to achieving this goal. The different specialties within the company include: Truth Initiative Schroeder Institute (for research and evaluation), the truth campaign (a program aimed at prevention and teaches youth about smoking), Community and Youth Engagement, and Innovations (programs that help individuals quit). While these departments work collectively towards the organization’s mission, each subgroup requires leadership particularly tailored to that specialty. For instance, the leadership in marketing must pay attention to some issues, while the research study team most focus their attention on completely different matters. While these departments may seem drastically different, they share the same tie to this important public health issue which unites the company.