Annual Report 2021

IMD Community

Our people

IMD strives to foster a caring, inclusive and high performance environment that supports and develops talent in both office and home working settings. In 2021, the development of new policies for teleworking, whistleblowing and anti-bribery, and a survey showing no gender bias in salaries, further strengthened the institute’s reputation for excellence as an employer.

Attracting and retaining talent

To attract and retain top talent, IMD has established a competitive compensation plan, based on three areas, which helps to attract qualified candidates. It serves as a strong motivator for employees to perform at high levels and exceed performance goals. It also helps keep IMD competitive in the marketplace in terms of base pay, variables and benefits.

  • Job ranking and market comparison, with structured pay tiers for each role.
  • Indirect compensation, such as medical insurance, extra vacation days, flexible teleworking policies, pension fund and relocation benefits for international staff
  • Equal pay for all roles. Certified by accounting firm BDO and using a standardized methodology from the Swiss Confederation, an analysis of salaries in 2021 reported no gender effect in pay for men and women at IMD.

Development opportunities

IMD continued to offer its team members a range of training and development opportunities, from access to the institute’s own executive development programs such as High Performance Leadership and Orchestrating Winning Performance to impactful external opportunities.

In 2021, more than 40 employees attended an IMD program, alongside a significant investment in external training. For example, the whole IMD community continued to enjoy free access to LinkedIn Learning.

In addition, bi-monthly "Lunch & Learn" sessions were offered to employees, exploring a range of topics, and IMD's 40 managers benefited from a monthly leadership development session to enhance their managerial competencies.

New policies for the workplace


To further support its team with flexible working during the pandemic and beyond, IMD established a new teleworking policy in 2021.

The policy, which covers staff in Switzerland and South East Asia whose roles do not require permanent on-campus presence, is built on the principle of mutual agreement between employees and managers, with the focus on ensuring the needs and deliverables of each job remain paramount.

Full-time team members are required to spend a minimum of two days on campus on average each week. A one-off financial allowance was offered to non-senior, permanent staff to help cover home office equipment costs, with discounts negotiated with selected partners.


IMD is committed to ensuring a working environment that adheres to its core values, compliance and ethics by demanding the highest standards of fair dealing, honesty and integrity in all its activities.

In 2021, IMD approved its new “whistle blower” policy, which will go live in 2022 and provides a framework and guidance for the correct handling of any misconduct or improper state of affairs. IMD encourages the reporting of any instances of suspected unethical, illegal, corrupt, fraudulent or undesirable conduct involving its business and provides protections and measures to individuals who make a disclosure in relation to such conduct without fear of victimization or reprisal.

Anti-bribery policy

IMD also approved an “anti-bribery policy” as part of its ongoing efforts to maintain the highest standards of integrity, given its varied interactions with corporate clients, academic institutions, governments and other partners.

The policy, which will also become operational in 2022, seeks to prevent it or any of its employees, board members, vendors, suppliers, consultants, agents, subcontractors or other associated third parties from engaging in any form of commercial bribery or associated misconduct.

Checking the pulse

Checking the pulse

IMD conducts an internal, online “pulse” survey every year and a full employee engagement survey every two years, with an external partner providing detailed reports to managers to guide improvements through action plans at all levels of the organization.

After the 2021 pulse survey, the Executive Committee (ExCo) approved the creation of an informal, internal advisory body - the YMD Team. The ExCo proposed eight young employees as members, who are charged with supporting the ongoing development of IMD’s caring, inclusive and high-performing culture. The YMD Team’s mandate is to brainstorm and propose ideas to the ExCo on topics such as work-life balance and agile ways of working.

The team, which is invited on a regular basis to ExCo meetings, explored five different areas for improvement – workplace intensity, flexible workplace, workplace wellbeing, digital proficiency and career development.

Healthy and safe

With many of the team continuing to work remotely in 2021, IMD provided support to staff and managers to help reduce stress through its work from home/work from anywhere policy. This included training for managers in directing teams in virtual and face-to-face environments, mindfulness programs, on-demand coaching sessions and wellness content on the Spirit intranet.

To safeguard the wellbeing of staff, program participants, suppliers and guests with the number of face-to-face programs increasing on campus, IMD administered 14,000 COVID tests in 2021, with clear communication about regularly-updated protocols, according to the evolving circumstances.

More than 4,000 people visited IMD in Lausanne through the year, in a sign that activity on site was starting to return to pre-pandemic levels.

Part of the community

IMD team members in Lausanne continued to play an active and positive role in the local community, including distributing gifts and clothes at Christmas and taking part in two Samedi du Partage events, where shopping items are donated to families in need in partnership with supermarkets.