Blog Posts

16 July 2021

Driving Change at IMS: Our Employer Brand Journey

Driving Change at IMS
IMS is a vehicle and driving data business with a passion for making driving safer, smarter, and fairer for all.

In this blog Steve Neary, Head of Talent Development, talks about our employer brand journey, why it’s important in continuing to shape a positive culture at IMS, and what it means to our current and future talent.

First, can you tell us about your role?
As Head of Talent Development, I’m responsible for designing and delivering learning and development solutions for IMS. It’s a varied role that includes providing development tools and solutions for individuals, leaders, teams, and the organisation. In a nutshell it’s all about helping our people create the conditions where everyone can operate at their best.

What is an employer brand?
Put simply, an employer brand is how people perceive or experience a company as a place to work. It helps communicate our purpose so the people who work here understand how they find meaning in their work and contribute to our success, and it provides real insight to those who might be considering working for us.

Why is a strong employer brand important?
An employer brand is like company culture in that you already have one whether you actively work on it or not. The stories that people tell (positive and negative) inside and outside your organisation directly impacts your reputation as an employer. And in a time where digital platforms such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor are ubiquitous, your reputation plays a key role in how well you retain and attract great talent.

But it’s not just about reputation. As businesses grow in terms of headcount, the challenge for leaders in communicating purpose and direction becomes more difficult, something that’s arguably been compounded by Covid-19 and remote working.

At IMS we understood there was an opportunity to take stock of our employer brand and think about – accurately and honestly – how we talk about who we are as a company. We wanted a renewed focus on engaging our existing employees and attracting new talent.

How did you go about reviewing your employer brand?
At IMS we’re fortunate to have some strong fundamentals in place: a clear purpose and ambition, as well as set of core values: Customers Matter, Work Together, Think Differently, We Care and Go Beyond. These provided the foundations for our employer brand.

That said, employer branding starts with our people, so after forming a project team we kicked off a thorough research phase, involving multiple interviews across all levels and locations in the business. We commissioned an external agency to help increase the validity of our findings and ran a series of workshops to help us to define and really understand, as objectively as possible, who we are as a business.

What were the findings?
Our people want to change things in the industries we operate in. It’s not just about a job, we enjoy what we do. The people who are happiest working for us want to get stuck in and make things happen for a great purpose. They want the challenge of helping the company mature, scale up and grow.

This isn’t about becoming a big corporate culture. One of the things people say they love about working here is that they don’t feel like a small cog in a huge machine. We get to shape new ideas quickly and drive positive change in the industry and in our careers.

It’s important to note that working here isn’t without challenges and some of the feedback reflected this. We’ve grown rapidly so it’s not always easy. Our employer brand project wasn’t and isn’t about sugar coating reality. That said, when times are tough people expressed a commitment and determination to get the job done. We felt one employee quote summed things up nicely: “A tough day is better than a good day at other companies.”

What were the next steps?
We took the rich stories from across our business and distilled it down into one employer brand theme we felt captured what we’re all about: Driving Change.

We’re driving change in the industry to make transport safer, smarter, and fairer for all. We combine brilliant technology, data, and people. We reduce the risk of accidents and enable end users to make better use of their vehicles and reduce the total cost of transport. Where accidents do happen, we improve the outcome for our customers and their end users.

From there we developed a look and feel for our employer brand that complements our corporate branding. Our tone of voice speaks to our culture – a business that has a serious purpose, run by fantastic people that don’t take themselves too seriously.

You can watch our employer brand video here:

What’s next?
Employer branding is an ongoing activity, and we need to continuously embed ours internally and externally. We’re continuing to engage our colleagues to take action to support and embed our employer brand, whether that be through social channels and our careers site for external audiences, or activities internally for our employees such as our regular employee surveys.

A great recent example is the launch of our new digital recognition platform (Kudos Hub) where people can easily recognise and celebrate individuals and teams who are driving positive change on a day-to-day basis.

We’ll need to continue to work on our employer brand to keep it relevant and authentic. IMS has one of those rare things: a great purpose. If we continue working on engaging, retaining, and attracting the best talent, we’ll achieve great things together.