Transforming business education to ensure that leaders and organisations benefit society and the environment.
As part of the school’s Great Place to Work strategic pillar, the Executive Committee launched an employee engagement survey with external provider, Gallup, entitled Let’s Make it Better. As is the case for many organisations, the results reflected the impact on our employees of all – at times disconcerting and difficult – the measures that governments and INSEAD had to take to protect the health of people and the finances of the school during the prolonged and unprecedented worldwide Covid-19 crisis. The 50+ focus group sessions across the school following the survey gave texture to the results and have been the basis for a comprehensive engagement improvement plan at both the institution and department levels. This survey – as well as all other surveys since 2019 – has provided important input for the ongoing development of the school’s Great Place to Work and HR strategy.
Within the limits of our resources, staff engagement was high on INSEAD’s priority list throughout the Covid-19 crisis and has remained so.
Even before the Gallup survey, a Hybrid Working Policy was introduced so that after long months of mandatory teleworking for many employees, they could return to campus with greater flexibility for teleworking.
Personal development, including training and career progression, is an important lever of engagement at INSEAD. Indeed, learning activity remained high in the school during 2021/2022, albeit in different and more innovative forms than before the crisis. Staff participation in the INSEAD Open Online Programmes in 2021 reached its highest ever rates, as did the use of LinkedIn Learning supported by the Talent Development team. Internal mobility, which is a positive indicator of career development, was also markedly up compared to the years before the pandemic.
2021 was the first full year of impact for the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion office, as covered in the Special Report earlier in this document.
During the crisis, the school was managing the present and preparing for the future at the same time. New teams were created to drive continued profitable growth, reflecting the future-focused developments outlined in this report: the new Chief Marketing Officer’s cross-departmental team, the Marketing & Recruitment Department; a Campus Renewal team in Fontainebleau and a global Master in Business Data Analytics team to prepare for the launch of the school’s first online degree programme. Elsewhere, existing groups were the source of new innovation, for example, the specialist staff working with faculty from all areas on VR and immersive learning, which is already setting us apart from our competitors. Campus Services in Fontainebleau was partially outsourced to improve efficiency and innovation in service delivery to our students and participants.
Finally, the abundance of 5-, 10-, 15-, 20- and even 30-year INSEAD staff anniversaries during the year indicated the extent of our people’s enduring commitment to the school across all 17 departments on all our campuses. After all, INSEAD is a people business. The resilience, dedication and diligence of our 1,000+ employees came to the fore as they reunited in 2021/2022 to drive the school forward to new heights of achievement. We would like to thank and celebrate every single one of them.
These are just four members of the thousand-strong INSEAD team that are back together again in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and America. In such a diverse workplace, there is no such thing as a representative selection – and we would like to include many more. Instead, we would simply like to thank the 900+ whose names don’t appear anywhere in this report, but who all made their own extraordinary contribution to making 2021/2022 another year to remember.
When I moved to Abu Dhabi in 2008, I was soon approached about an HR management role at the “INSEAD Centre for Executive Education”. Honestly, I didn’t know much about INSEAD at the time, but after doing some research and talking to friends, I realised that I had the chance to be part of something unique and special.
Fourteen years later, I have the satisfaction of knowing that I was part of the pioneering small team that transformed a small centre into INSEAD’s third campus, by building (and rebuilding) the organisational structure, and supporting the move to larger facilities (twice) and the launch (and growth) of the GEMBA programme in the Middle East. I have also developed a close friendship with colleagues throughout the world. And the innovative, academic environment has provided endless opportunities for learning. As a member of the global HR team, I am especially proud of playing a role in our major departmental transformation in support of the strategic goal, “Becoming a Great Place to Work”.
At INSEAD and in life, I have learned to expect the unexpected. When I moved to the UAE to work for an international group based in Dubai, my plan was to return home to Morocco to build my career, but I met my Jordanian husband and moved to Abu Dhabi with him instead. Then we had four children… including triplets! That’s why you might hear some people at INSEAD refer to me as “Super Mama”!
INSEAD was my first taste of working in higher education – and it’s been amazing! It was an old colleague from my days in IT who suggested I apply. She had joined the school a few years earlier and spoke about the vibrant and supportive working environment. I was intrigued.
I started as the only Open Programmes Advisor in Asia and a few years later, stepped up to onboard, then manage, a whole team of advisors in Singapore – and from there, to lead the global team. This year, I’ve stepped up again into a more strategic role. During my INSEAD career, I’ve also got married, had two little girls and pursued all kinds of sports from long-distance running to swimming and, most recently, cycling.
After almost 14 years here, I can confirm that it’s an open environment, where people learn, grow, challenge the status quo, contribute, collaborate, support each other, express opposing views, find common ground… all to deliver great learning with a positive impact.
The obvious dedication of the people I work with is infectious and there’s never a dull moment. It’s the teamwork that’s made INSEAD a market leader in Open Programmes – and truly one school spanning the four corners of the world!
In the final year of my degree at a French business school, I moved to India for an internship with a French car manufacturer. I came home to graduate, then left immediately for Luxembourg to work for PwC on the audits of investment funds. When family reasons brought me to Fontainebleau a few years later, I knew I wanted a job at INSEAD because of its reputation for excellence and because I wanted to join a multicultural organisation with scope for professional development. After six years, I know I am part of something even better – a community that is contributing to a better world tomorrow.
My team’s role is to improve INSEAD’s resilience to adverse events through the development of a strong risk-awareness culture. My own job is to work closely with all INSEAD stakeholders across departments to identify the key risks, assess the controls in place to mitigate them, and report on my findings to the Executive Committee and to the Audit, Finance and Risk Committee (AFRC) through the Chief Risk Officer. I also conduct internal audits, initially approved by the AFRC, in specific areas and suggest improvements.
Outside of my very satisfying work at INSEAD, I have very little free time, as I have two little boys and am also renovating my house. When I do get a spare moment, I like to play the piano.
My 12 years in the IT industry gave me the opportunity to travel to the Americas and throughout the Asia Pacific region and, before that, I went to university in Australia. Joining INSEAD as a Degree Programme Coordinator in 2012 has given me the opportunity to travel to Europe and the Middle East, which kinda completes the world region!
Most of all, I value the opportunity to get to know people from different backgrounds – not just cultural diversity, but people from operations, housekeeping, maintenance, security, catering, faculty, participants… I treasure the friendships I’ve built with everyone since I joined.
Over that time, I’ve had two more children (making three in total) and been promoted to Programme Manager and, in 2022, to Assistant Director. The most satisfying experience has been playing a part in the evolution of the GEMBA programme and getting to know all the amazing participants from ten different cohorts. The highlight is possibly organising the recent GEMBA Commencement Ceremony at the Ritz Carlton here in Singapore with a fairly new team. I’m so proud of them all and the way we worked together to create such a successful and memorable occasion – it felt even better than pre-Covid times!