Incubeta Insider: Ingredients for a Successful Business Culture

In our latest Incubeta insider, we caught up with Jade Southwood, Junior People Officer at Incubeta South Africa and a valued member of the Incubeta culture club – an independent social club that proactively drives and coordinates initiatives and social events for the South Africa office. The main purpose of the culture club is to initiate employee buy-in, offer a voice to all staff within the business and to align with our company’s value propositions.

Jade Southwood

We caught up with Jade to find out how Incubeta maintains a healthy business culture, in our new hybrid working environment and highlight some key ingredients for a successful business culture. 

What qualities make up a great member of the Incubeta Culture Club?  

The key to building a successful culture committee lies in its team members. Our culture club is made out of dedicated and passionate employees who enjoy bringing people together and making a positive impact on employees’ experiences  at Incubeta. 

  • Eagerness to help others and the company to succeed –  One of Incubeta’s core values is to ‘help others succeed’ which is an important focal point of the culture club. As a team, it’s our mandate to inspire change that will ultimately motivate other employees to do the same. 
  • Trustworthiness and reliability – Another core value that we live by at Incubeta is to ‘earn trust’. Without trust it becomes challenging to gain employee buy-in, which is crucial when trying to influence or motivate for change. 
  • Representation – South Africa is also known as the ‘rainbow nation’ and our culture club needs to be a clear representative of that in every way possible. Having a medley of employees from different backgrounds, races, genders, departments, levels of seniority or tenure, ensures that everyone has a voice and feels included. 
  • Adaptability and optimism – If the pandemic taught us anything, being able to quickly adapt is a crucial skill to have in any team. Last year, in our previous Incubeta insider piece, we spoke about “Maintaining Culture Amidst Covid-19” and how we had to pivot from in person events/initiatives to going fully digital, all while maintaining connections and a sense of community amongst staff. Having a team that is able to be proactive, flexible and optimistic in unknown circumstances will definitely contribute to the success of your business culture. 

What kind of responsibilities lay within the culture club?

The culture club is not just about hosting social events but about being a catalyst for change and a driving collaboration, engagement, co-creation and inclusivity amongst staff. Our main responsibilities as a team include:

“Boot’s on the ground” –  Having eyes and ears out on the field to pick up on potential issues employees are facing and how we can proactively improve employee satisfaction at Incubeta. It’s important to have “boots on the ground” to ascertain what our staff members want and expect from us. 

Bring fresh ideas – Having a diverse team is key to collecting a continuous stream of new and fresh ideas. We all come from different backgrounds and experiences, therefore we are able to bring contrasting perspectives. 

Maintaining a connected community – In our new hybrid working environment it is also our responsibility to make sure that no one feels alone, unwelcome or unsupported. It’s our duty to find ways to keep us all engaged and connected whether or not you choose to be in the office. 

Drive company values – It’s important that our staff are aware and feel connected to our company values as they are at the core of how things get done at Incubeta.  

What exciting things can we look forward to for the remainder of the year?

We have something exciting planned for Mandela Day (18th July) next month – an annual international day in honor of Nelson Mandela where we get to give back to our local communities by dedicating 67 minutes or more to community service. Once a month, we also host our company wide social which is usually themed according to specific days of observance or special events taking place at the time. We also have our annual end of year function coming up! 

We often work hand in hand with our Wellness Club (who focus more on the physical and mental wellbeing of our staff) – hosting virtual yoga and HIIT training sessions, and organizing team hikes around Cape Town. During breast cancer month we hosted free breast cancer check ups in the office and awareness talks for staff.  For Workers Day and Women’s Day this year, we decided to spread some love and gave out employee appreciation vouchers which always come in handy. We’ve also recently launched our Wellness Champ Award – awarding 1 champ bi-monthly that is striving for a healthy work-life balance. 

What advice would you give to other companies looking to start their own Culture Club?

  • Have a purpose:. Every component of culture must be motivated by a clear sense of purpose, therefore make sure that the purpose and need for such a club is determined before you begin.
  • Align with company values: Make sure that your team is always eager to help others and that they are educated and align with your company values.
  • Leadership is key: Make sure that you have someone that manages this team and coordinates as it can get a bit muddy with too many chefs in the kitchen. Someone thats diplomatic and unbiased and willing to hear opinions of others but can make informed decisions on behalf of the club.


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