Getting Ahead

How This Cybersecurity Company Builds a Culture of Communication

When Lisa Carey accepted a one-year office manager contract at Trustwave, a cybersecurity firm, she never dreamed she’d still be there nearly two decades later.

Today, she’s Trustwave’s HR Manager in Canada. The company provides cutting-edge tech to businesses to fight cybercrime, but it’s the human factor that’s kept Carey loving her job all these years. “There is constant change, so you must keep learning and adapting,” she says. “And when it clicks, it’s absolutely harmonious: Employees and businesses thrive through a win-win work relationship.”

Find out how Trustwave’s HR department plays a vital role in creating a positive work culture and the best career advice Carey’s ever received.

Tell us about your career journey, and what led you to your job at Trustwave.

I started at Trustwave as an office manager on a one-year contract. During that time, I was attending college at night. I was taking a business administration course with a specialization in human resources management. A position in Trustwave’s human resources department opened up and I moved into the role. Eighteen years later, I’m still with the company.

What do you like most about working in the human resources field?

I love the contrast: There’s the structure of the business and the unpredictable nature of people. There is constant change, so you must keep learning and adapting. The upside to all this change is that it gives you the opportunity to find ways to make things better. And when it clicks, it’s absolutely harmonious: Employees and businesses thrive through a win-win work relationship. Working in HR gives you the chance to create that partnership.

What attracted you to work at Trustwave?

Cybersecurity is an exciting industry. And there are so many parts that go into making award-winning products and services such as ours. What attracts me most about Trustwave is our team. Our employees bring interesting and diverse industry-leading experiences, knowledge, and skills. It’s inspiring.

The company also encourages an overall entrepreneurial attitude, where employees “own” their piece of business. That tone fosters pride, accountability, and passion—all things that support a great working environment.

What are you responsible for in your role at Trustwave?

I am an HR manager and business partner for our Canadian staff. My department provides leadership, guidance, and support. I stay connected with our global HR team and take on international projects when the opportunity arises. I also provide administrative support for Trustwave’s finance and facilities teams.

What do you like best about the company culture at Trustwave? What sets it apart?

Although we have a very traditional hierarchy, Trustwave operates as a pretty flat organization. That means that everyone is accessible and approachable, including the senior leadership team. We’ve been doing a lot of work to make communication better and more frequent. When the senior leadership helps to drive that, it really circulates a message of “one team.” The collaboration that stems from open communication really drives energy and success.

Tell us about the process of developing the company’s core values.

Our core values form the acronym CREATE: Client First, Responsibility, Execution, Act with Integrity, Transform, and Exchange Ideas.

We initiated an engagement survey for all employees to voice the things they like within Trustwave and where improvements can be made. We took all that feedback and created a focus group of more than 200 employees. They participated in workshops where we discussed our current culture, what we should continue to focus on, and what kind of company we should strive to be.

Even though the participants came from all levels and departments, the top values that we saw from each workshop showed clear commonalities. From that, we developed Trustwave’s core values. We use that as the foundation of our culture, decision making, and guiding principles.

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?

Find a purpose. Ideally, it’s one that reminds you why you love what you do—every day. When it comes to relationships, connect and network with local, like-minded colleagues. These connections will often help give your thoughts some traction whenever you’re feeling stuck. Be resourceful and don’t wait for opportunities to be handed to you.