Inside Texthelp: “From my culture to yours”
Over the past year our Texthelp family has grown to include even more people from even more parts of the world. Today, our texthelpers are spread across 11 global offices in countries including Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Northern Ireland, England and the US.
As with any family, it’s important to us that every single person feels included and part of the team.
But, how can you help your employees across the globe get to know each other?
By giving your people the power to build their own communities.
In fact, your people are a key driver in creating a company culture that’s inclusive of everyone, and where everyone feels that they belong.
As part of our values, we encourage our people to have fun and be curious. We empower them to do extraordinary things.
So, when we welcomed the Lingit Group, Wizkids and Don Johnston and their employees to the Texthelp Group, our texthelpers were quick to spring into action.
And the Texthelp Culture Club was born.
Culture Club: Building a global community
Texthelp’s Culture Club was set up by Texthelper’s Michelle Whiteley and Cori Brooks.
“We had been part of Texthelp’s Values Committee, which involved coming together as a group to talk about our current company values, and our hopes for the future. We really loved being able to connect with our colleagues from around the globe. We decided it would be great fun to form a group where we could continue to celebrate our multiculturalism through rich discussion and activities.”
- Michelle Whiteley
They simply took an idea and sent a message to the entire company to find others that were interested in their vision. Using a Google Form, they gathered the details of interested employees, and created a Google Chat Group to kick start the club.
That was back in May 2022. So what have they been up to ever since?
The goal of Culture Club is to understand one another better, celebrate our differences and build our global community - all while having fun and being comfortable to be ourselves.
Below we share 5 key activities that have helped our Culture Club to thrive.
5 key activities: celebrating diversity & encouraging connection
1. Language series
As a company whose purpose is to help people to understand and be understood, what better way to kick off Culture Club than with a language series.
No matter where we’re from or what language we speak, we all have our own localised way of talking and personal vocabularies. In this series, Culture Club members have been sharing the local terms and catchphrases from their home cities and what they mean. So far, we’ve explored ‘Belfastish’ (aka, the slang used by people living in Belfast, Northern Ireland). As well as the language of Yorkshire, England.
2. Travel guide series
Our Texthelper’s are a friendly bunch. While we gather virtually across the world, we have big ambitions to meet our work friends face-to-face. Should we get to venture far and wide, Culture Club has given us the chance to gain the inside scoop on top attractions to visit in the home countries of our fellow friends.
So far, we’ve learned all about the history and sights of San Diego in California, US. Next up, we’re off to Salem in Massachusetts, US!
“The travel guide series is a great way to learn about the history, culture, and fun of a specific place in our Texthelp world. We are a curious bunch and what better way to learn about our colleagues than by learning about the areas they live in and how those places have shaped their lives.”
- Cori Brooks
3. Global recipe share
I’m sure we can all agree that food is an important part of our lives. It’s at the centre of social events, family gatherings, and our daily routines! The food we eat is deeply rooted in where we’re from or currently live.
To celebrate our individual heritages and homelands, we’ve been sharing our favourite food recipes. But we didn’t stop there. With these recipes, we created a Global Recipe Book with ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Then, we shared this company-wide so everyone could delight in a range of different cuisines.
4. Postcard pals
Next up, we decided we wanted to take things old school.
With ‘Postcard Pals’, we picked up our pens and crafted personal messages to send across the globe. From Boston to Belfast, postcards flew through the mail - each giving a small visual insight into the sights our texthelpers enjoy everyday.
5. Global mail buddies
Taking things to an even more personal level, Culture Club members had the opportunity to become a ‘Global Mail Buddy’. With this, those that were interested buddied up with one (or two) others to exchange parcels.
As a Global Buddy, we became culture collectors and gift givers. We each set off, with an agreed budget, and collected items that truly represented our country. Many of us chose to include gifts that would give our buddy a sense of the smells, tastes and sights of our own cultures. We exchanged everything from local snacks to landmark artworks.
When delivery day arrived, we were immersed into the worlds of our buddies
I personally enjoyed gifts that came all the way from Texas (to Northern Ireland). From the items that my buddy carefully selected, I learned that the state bird is a Mockingbird and the state flower is a Bluebonnet. I also learned that Texas produces the tastiest barbecue sauce that goes down well with a Hawaiian chicken bake!
“Culture Club is a great example of how we can come together to share and celebrate our different cultures - and build our global community. It’s been created for employees, by employees - with their ideas and designed by them. And while initiatives like this are great, it’s also important that they’re built in an environment with inclusion at the heart.”
- Cathy Donnelly, Chief People Officer, Texthelp
Keep reading: How to develop an inclusive culture
As we mentioned, your people are a key driver in creating an inclusive culture - alongside transparent leadership and community initiatives. In our webinar series - An introduction to inclusive culture - we explore these 3 key ingredients in more detail.