Investing in people

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Investing in people

Our people are our most important competitive advantage. Continually developing our teams and maintaining a strong culture are core strategic priorities essential to achieving our long-term objectives.

Imperial remains focused on building a diverse workforce and productive work environment where individual and cultural differences are respected, where every employee is challenged to deliver their best and contribute to our company’s success and has the opportunity for unrivaled personal and professional development.

Creating sustainable solutions

Our strategy focuses on maximizing our competitive advantages in scale, integration, technology, functional excellence — and our people — to build globally competitive businesses.

Our history has been built on the talent, ingenuity, and hard work of our people, and our future legacy will be dependent on their continued commitment and pride in what we do and what we stand for.

Our focus is on building a diverse workforce and environment where individual and cultural differences are respected, a place where all employees are challenged to deliver their best, can thrive and reach their full potential.

Strategic talent objective

We have a diverse and engaged workforce and provide every individual unrivaled opportunities for personal and professional growth with impactful work meeting society’s essential needs.

Strong culture. Strong future.

Our culture is underpinned by our Standards of Business Conduct, which support our commitment to provide equal employment opportunities and to prohibit discrimination in the workplace. The strength of our culture has underpinned our success for decades. Our culture framework clearly articulates our core values and leadership expectations, necessary to position our company for long-term success. It also outlines key behavioural skills that apply to all employees.

2022 highlights

In 2022, Imperial delivered excellent business results across a wide range of performance dimensions. The hard work and commitment of our people underpinned these results, as they have for decades. We build on this advantage every year by attracting and developing the best talent and fostering an environment where every employee can thrive and reach their full potential.

A place to thrive

  • Significantly expanded stock program for professional employees, re-enforcing joint ownership in the company’s success.
  • Company-wide survey, strong understanding of company purpose and strategy, productive and inclusive work environment.
  • Strengthening our culture framework, sustaining engagements and pulse surveys.

Attract the best talent

  • Awarded multiple Top Employer awards, including recognition as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers.
  • Strong ongoing employment offer acceptance rate.

Our culture is enabled by a strong focus on leadership and key talent systems, including performance assessment, on-the-job experiences, and formal training to consistently develop our people.

In 2022, we launched a company-wide survey, engaging employees on their understanding of our company’s purpose and strategy, our progress in fostering a productive and inclusive environment, and our efforts to strengthen our culture.

Expectations of leaders

  • Set standards
  • Create clarity
  • Inspire and motivate
  • Promote innovation
  • Compete to win

Behavioural skills

  • Adapts | Communicates effectively | Develops others | Manages risks | Analytical
  • Courage of conviction | Focuses on customers | Promotes inclusion | Applies learning
  • Creates business value and competes to win in the marketplace
  • Innovates | Shows initiative | Collaborates | Makes sound decisions | Strategic

Core values

  • Integrity

    Be honest and ethical

    Do what is right

    Integrity Integrity
  • Care

    Be responsible and inclusive

    Look after each other

    Contribute to the well-being of our communities and the environment

    Care Care
  • Courage

    Take initiative and make a difference

    Think boldly and act with conviction

    Take personal ownership

    Courage Courage
  • Excellence

    Hold ourselves to high standards

    Be thoughtful, thorough, and disciplined

    Excellence Excellence
  • Resilience

    Be determined and persevere

    Be purposeful and steadfast in our principles

    Resilience Resilience

    Investing in people for long-term careers

    Our employees have expertise in a wide range of disciplines, including engineering, finance, mathematics, chemistry, and biology, to name just a few. Because it takes decades to build key capabilities within our global workforce, Imperial invests in people for long-term careers. This includes work assignments, on-the-job experiences, and focused training and education. In 2022, more than 4,600 employees participated in corporate and technical training with a total expenditure of $4.5 million. This approach to development takes significant investment and is critically important in maintaining our competitive advantages and achieving our strategic objectives.

    Our leaders and supervisors understand their responsibility to develop all employees to their full potential. Employees have an individual development plan, informed by annual skills assessments, which guides them in achieving their career aspirations.

    The skills and capabilities that allow our workforce to meet the world’s energy needs today, are the same critical and transferable skills required for Imperial.

    Our benefits and programs address employee needs throughout their careers and into retirement. This includes savings and pension plans that provide financial stability for our retirees and their families, and are underpinned by the financial strength of the company.

    A career-oriented approach

    We provide meaningful opportunities for our employees to continuously develop the skills and capabilities necessary to succeed and achieve their potential. This takes significant investment in talent development. It requires a deliberate approach to career planning to offer unparalleled opportunities, formalized skills, and leadership training in support of on-the-job learning. Average length of service for career employees who retire with Imperial is more than 30 years.

    Through ongoing talent reviews and robust succession planning, we evaluate capabilities and identify the talent pools we need to succeed now and in the future. Training includes both classroom-based learning and open-access digital learning options, providing our employees the opportunity to sharpen requisite skills at their own pace.

    Developing future leaders

    Leadership development ensures we have the necessary skills and capabilities to deliver on our business strategies and facilitates development of the next generation of leaders.

    We focus on individual development plans, prioritizing targeted skills and capabilities, and by ensuring employees get the right assignments at the appropriate stage in their career in order to prepare them to assume larger executive level roles. These plans evolve as performance is demonstrated and leadership potential is tested.

    The senior leadership team reviews these plans annually along with the overall health of our leadership pipeline and our succession plans. This also includes a review of key indicators to assess progress as intended. Imperial’s board of directors plays an important role in leadership development and leadership continuity. Our CEO leads an annual review with the Imperial board on succession plans for key leadership positions and our efforts in investing in diverse talent.


    Diverse leadership talent

    We periodically assess how our talent programs and initiatives are affecting diversity throughout our talent pipeline, from entry level to the most senior positions, taking into consideration the available talent market. Additionally, we continue to work toward increasing representation of employees in the four designated groups (women, Indigenous, persons with disabilities, and visible minorities).

    Imperial has increased the percentage of women in executive roles, with women now representing over 40 per cent of Imperial’s executives. We achieved this by focusing on strong execution of our talent processes: early identification of talent, execution of development plans, and timely promotions.

    We have also continued our focus on Indigenous representation in our workforce. To support this, we initiated an executive-led working group that is focused on recruitment, retention and progression of Indigenous employees within Imperial.

    The team is working to develop site-specific Indigenous employment strategies. For example, at Kearl, we successfully piloted an Indigenous recruitment program where we engaged local communities in the recruitment of Indigenous candidates.

    More information on our Indigenous workforce development program can be found in the Indigenous engagement and reconciliation section of this report or on our website.

    Representation of designated groups*

    (per cent)

    *Includes executive, management, professional, technical and wage employees who are covered by the company’s benefit plans and programs

    Women at various levels in organization

    (per cent)

    *Executives include executive officers and executives in senior leadership positions

    Harnessing diversity

    Imperial is committed to building and sustaining a diverse workforce. Diversity strengthens us by promoting unique viewpoints and challenges each of us to think beyond our traditional frames of reference. We do not see diversity as a stand-alone activity; it is embedded in our core values, our approach to how we develop talent, and the culture to which we aspire and is codified in our Diversity Framework.

    We leverage diversity to create competitive advantage, enabling teams and individuals to be more innovative, resilient, and better equipped to navigate the complex and evolving global energy landscape.

    Diversity framework


    • Inclusive culture where diversity is respected and valued.
    • Workforce and leadership reflect communities and culture where we operate.
    • Opportunity to achieve full potential and excel based on contributions and performance.
    • Development shared responsibility between supervisor and employee. 
    • Meritocracy with consistent, uniform, and unbiased treatment.
    • Industry competitive compensation.

    Employee resource groups

    Imperial encourages participation in our employee resource groups. These groups support recruitment efforts, new hire orientation, professional development, and mentorship. Each of our employee resource groups has a senior leader sponsor