Cultivating Culture: Here are 3 ways we are doing it

It’s no secret that a strong and positive workplace culture drives company success. How exactly is Contour shaping its culture and what are the key metrics it uses for success? Sarah Rebello, Contour’s Head of People, shares the top 3 ways the fintech is cultivating culture.

Two months ago, I joined Contour as our new ‘Head of People’, a role which essentially looks at implementing and developing the human resource (HR) function and accelerating our people support strategy. Sound simple and straightforward? Actually, no… and that is exactly why I am really excited to be doing this. This will be a great opportunity to certainly support the operations of a business day-to-day but also to invest in something I feel very passionate about – culture.

After completing Month 2, I quickly realised I was learning more in this role in this short time than I probably had for the last year, at least, which is probably the pace at which we are working, growing and continuously planning new projects and initiatives.

At Contour, our tech team is using blockchain technology to create digitisation within the trade finance industry, something that our team and customers are hugely passionate about; it all moves at lightning speed!

With so much to do – tech to build, customers to acquire and a growing business to operate, why are we placing such importance on culture in the workplace? Well, if we take a look at the market here in Singapore, our labour landscape is competitive and the challenges we face to hire and retain talent are only increasing. Quite simply, people have more choices and we all want to work in environments that are conducive to a positive work life.

“As employers, we should start to place more importance on workplace culture and employee wellbeing by viewing it as a key success metric within our businesses.”
– Sarah Rebello, Head of People, Contour

There are some really simple yet effective ways in which we can help to implement initiatives that cultivate a positive culture, increase employee engagement and improve experience, and there exists many studies and statistics that support this notion.

Top 3 ways we’re cultivating workplace culture

I like to break things down into 3s where possible, so here goes. My personal top 3 reasons how we can all play a part and how we are putting this into action at Contour:

  1. Declaring and Defining Our Values – Often, these are clearly laid out on a corporate website and not always bought to life, or even remembered by employees once they onboard. We can all attempt to embody the values from top down and bottom up and reflect them through key interactions with the team. From Day 1 of onboarding to our company events and all-hands to simple shout-outs to teammates, something we like to do is shine a light on our ‘stars’ and raise the profile of our peers; champion great work, a simple thank you and recognition goes a very long way.

  2. Collaborate – We use various channels and touchpoints to encourage cross-team collaboration across multi-functional teams. At Contour, we are rolling out ways in which we can encourage interactions. It’s such a great way to learn more about the skills and ability of their peers which will garner deeper trust and respect and enable clearer communication. From simple Breakfast Club catch-ups on Monday mornings, to ‘TGIF’ sessions over beer and pizza, and quarterly ‘Pot Luck’ lunches – we want to have fun together, break down barriers and create a sense of belonging.


  1. Agree On a Shared Purpose Together – There is a clear correlation between how we feel about our work environment to how we engage and remain motivated to deliver great things together. We are all working together to communicate our shared vision and try to bring people along the journey. It’s something that our team members have directly provided feedback as being of great importance to them.


In just two short months, I am in the very fortunate position to say we are working on all of the above at Contour. What a journey it will be and it’s really exciting to see the early engagement from our team.

Just when I thought I had managed to avoid any mention of the pandemic or ‘new normal’ in this blog, I’ll just say that now, more than ever, it feels like the right time to really invest in people and for us as individuals to take ownership of our work life and our workplace environment.

As employers, I believe we should start to place more importance on workplace culture and employee wellbeing by viewing it as a key success metric within our businesses.

Final thought: Company culture will be the sum of an organisation’s attitudes, values and behaviours… of everyone!

To join our mission and talk about starting your journey at Contour, contact us at or DM Sarah directly on LinkedIn for an initial chat on becoming our next ‘Contourian’ and shaping the culture of our workforce.

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