Skip to content

Building an inspiring employer brand from the inside out

Photo of a man on a tractor at Inspired Villages

Inspired Villages came to us back in 2019 with big ambitions to become the world’s best operator of retirement communities – and growth plans to match. Their brief? How do we bottle our enviable employer brand and culture, rally our existing people around it, and use it to encourage more great people to join us on our exciting journey?

The challenge

Inspired Villages isn’t a well-known brand. Yet. But their purpose (to provide their residents with the best years of their lives) is hugely compelling, and it means they offer a working environment with wellbeing at its heart. Jobs that really mean more.

They already had a great culture with some highly engaged people who really lived the company’s values. What they needed was to work with a long-term partner who could support them to maintain this culture as they grew, through a programme of employee engagement initiatives. And to help them communicate their employment proposition externally so they could attract more great people.

They started with six villages in 2019. In the summer of 2023, they’ll be opening their 10th and have plans to operate 34 villages in the next five years after that. They can’t do any of this without a small army of chefs, hospitality professionals, gardeners, maintenance people, housekeepers and administrators who deliver outstanding services to their residents. People who are extremely difficult to recruit and retain in the current labour market.

Our approach 

We started with work which would galvanise existing employees around the brand and make them true advocates of the business.

Image of Inspired Villages roadshow pull up banner

Our first project was to create a mission, vision and values roadshow for the executive team to deliver around the country. This was part-presentation, part-workshop, ending in an engaging employer brand mood film designed to leave every employee bursting with pride for the organisation they work for.

We also designed and delivered a memorable onboarding process, where every new starter received a welcome box packed with branded goodies and a ‘little book of inspiration’ where, through showcasing their people’s stories, we brought the Inspired values to life.

Throughout the pandemic, the business worked tirelessly to keep their residents and their people safe. We recognised this and thanked their people publicly through a user-generated film and wellbeing packs we sent to everybody.

Image of e-card with copy 'Today you inspired me'
Image of ecard with copy 'It's your Inspired anniversary'
Image of e-card with copy 'You're invaluable'

Finally, our attention turned firmly to attraction in 2022 as new villages were ready to open. We supported the people team in launching a new ATS with some shiny new content for their careers web pages. Moving forward, content creation is a real priority so we can amplify their great story externally through their newly launched careers social media channels.

The results

In their first official “Top 100 Best Companies To Work For” entry, they achieved:

• 66th best large company to work for
• 5th best company to work for within the Health & Social Care sector
• Accreditation as a 2-star outstanding business.

They following year, they moved up to 15th place overall, accredited with 3 stars – meaning they are truly ‘world-class’.

During a subsequent pulse survey, comments from colleagues included:

“During this time of crisis, colleagues check up on me to make sure everything is OK and I feel that they care so much about my wellbeing.”

“It is fantastic to feel part of an organisation that really does care about its people. This is what makes the difference for me, and why I am proud to say that I am part of Inspired Villages.”

“During difficult times I feel that I have been well-supported and as a team we have all pulled together and supported each other. Inspired did loads to make sure I was never alone and more importantly, never felt alone. I know they genuinely care.”

In the period dating March 2019 to Feb 2021, their Inspired World (internal comms and engagement) platform saw an increase in active engagement of 2%. Moreover, they had a phenomenal 21.4% increase in engagement with our Wellbeing Centre.

Voluntary turnover rates between January 2022 and the end of May 2022 stands at 4.7%, compared with 5.4% for the same period in the previous year.

Got a project? Let’s talk

We’d love to hear more about where your organisation is heading, and chat about how we can bring your culture to life to drive attraction, engagement and inclusion.