When Jack Koziol started Infosec in Madison in 2004, he felt that workplace culture was nothing more than a corporate buzzword. Seventeen years later, he knows better.
“Culture is the most important thing. It’s really the only thing you can control,” Koziol said. “In order to execute in the market, you have to have a strong culture, one that helps you achieve your business goals.”
Infosec has educated more than 4 million people on cybersecurity, helping a range of industries — including more than 70% of the Fortune 500 — become more resistant to cybercrime. With 93 employees in Madison and 42 others in its Chicago office, Infosec has built a culture around teamwork, transparency and giving back to the community.
The company has regular meetings during which leadership shares information about successes, challenges and its financial condition with staff. That transparency, Koziol said, diminishes employee uncertainty and helps build a stronger team.
“When you have that transparency, it breeds trust. And that‘s how you make a good culture,” he added.
It also builds a sense of ownership and stimulates new ideas. Infosec was recognized in the Top Workplaces survey for its outstanding encouragement of new ideas. “A lot of places pay lip service to new ideas ... but you have to think that people with diverse opinions and new blood to the company can actually contribute and go and do some of those things and try them out,” he said.
The company also models and encourages community involvement. Through the Infosec Gives program, the firm contributes 1% of its product, 1% of its profit and 1% of employees’ time to causes that embody employees’ passions.
Infosec provides employees paid time off to volunteer in causes that have ranged from homelessness to Black Lives Matter to volunteering at churches and schools. It also provides Infosec Accelerate scholarships to close gender and diversity gaps in its industry.
“A chance to give back and improve our communities is a great thing to do. It’s really something that drives alignment across company culture,” Koziol said.