Taking Our Own Medicine: Uncovering the New Cultural Brand of IBM Talent Acquisition & Optimization

Mission statements, corporate visions and organizational values—every company has its own variation of these. But too often, these statements do little to inspire new employees, attract top talent or explain what it’s like to work at an organization.

To distinguish themselves, and articulate their own employment brands, companies must examine the strategic insights that guide their short- and long- term goals. Identifying the rational facts, emotional truths and cultural essence of an organization is crucial to establishing the foundation for an employment brand that accurately reflects what great looks like for the company.

This is something we believe at our core—which is why we, too, have embarked on our own journey to reveal our cultural brand that will serve as a cultural compass for our business.

Why It’s Important

To explain the background for why this branding initiative is so important to IBM Talent Acquisition & Optimization, it’s first important to take a walk through our history. Our division entered IBM through acquisition in 2012, and for the last several years, we have worked diligently to integrate into the IBM landscape.

During this time, we understood that the nature of our internal culture and our workforce were both changing, but we wanted to understand how. With our culture at a turning point, our goal was to uncover how the best parts of our previous organizational culture could combine with our new IBM culture to make us even stronger than before. We also wanted to study our internal brand and external client perceptions so we could continue to improve engagement, retention and performance—helping to make us a top performing employer of choice.

What We’ve Done

To tackle this project, we took the same approach as we would for any client organization—start with research. By distilling existing data, looking at secondary information and conducting primary research using the IBM Cultural Insight Survey, we identified essential legacy Kenexa and IBM characteristics of our culture. We then shared this research with our primary stakeholders and leadership team, and moved our findings into creative expression and development of our Employee Value Proposition (EVP). Our goal—express exactly what great looks like for our organization now and articulate what it’s like to work here.

Where We’re Going

While we’re currently putting finishing touches on this creative expression, we are thrilled with how it’s taking shape. And we promise to share with you our finalized EVP in the coming weeks and months. We will be launching our internal cultural brand in the coming quarter to all our employees globally through a series of videos, internal communication mechanisms, roadshows and collateral.

Throughout this journey to uncover our new cultural identity, we’ve been reminded that knowing and understanding the complexities of who we truly are will allow us to articulate our cultural brand into simple, yet meaningful messaging that our employees can identify with. And, going forward, we can leverage the strength of our employment brand to make recruitment and retention more effective for our organization. Because we believe that taking our own medicine will continue to set us apart.

Continue on to Taking Our Own Medicine Part 2 to learn how our new cultural brand and global rollout for our Employee Value Proposition are taking shape.