Deloitte investing heavily in its Talent agenda
Zurich, 19 December 2016
Since the beginning of the current financial year (start 1 June 2016), Deloitte has launched various initiatives and new policies to strengthen the firm’s talent agenda. Deloitte’s invigorated working parents policy – including 26 weeks maternity leave, a high degree of flexibility for working parents and coaching programmes – is unrivalled in the Swiss professional services industry. First successes have also been achieved in the recently launched, innovative performance management approach, which lays a greater focus on real-time feedback and team objectives. Deloitte has also placed a special emphasis building a systemically inclusive leadership culture.
As Deloitte in Switzerland continues to grow formidably, the firm is investing heavily in its Talent agenda. In the past year, Deloitte grew by 24%1 and increased its talent pool by 18% to 1,690 employees, thus creating more than 250 new jobs throughout the firm’s functions and regional offices.
Anna Samanta, Managing Partner Talent at Deloitte in Switzerland, said, “We expect to continue on our ambitious growth path and create around 300 new jobs in the current financial year. Deloitte strives to be the firm of choice for the best talent in Switzerland, and continues to energetically invest to reach that goal. In the last six months, we have launched an array of initiatives and new policies that aim at enabling our people to grow and lead the way they work as well as at attracting talent. This includes a working parent scheme that is unrivalled in the industry, as well as an innovative performance management approach, pragmatic respect and inclusion initiatives and an enriched learning and development programme.”
Welcoming working parents
Deloitte professionals – from the parent celebrating the arrival of a new child, the parent working full-time or part-time, to the line manager with working parents in their team – have an extra layer of support from the firm’s new working parents scheme. Launched six months ago, this bold new step in the firm’s Talent agenda appreciates the changing family dynamics and emerging needs of Deloitte’s professionals. The policy applies to both mothers and fathers, recognizing that balanced family commitments have a great impact on achieving gender balance in business and that companies have an obligation to equally support all family models.
Key elements of Deloitte in Switzerland’s working parents scheme include:
- Parental leave: Prolonged maternity leave of 26 weeks (16 weeks at full remuneration, 10 additional weeks at 80% remuneration) as well as extended paternity leave at 10 days (legal minimum: 2 days). In addition, new parents can add up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave. Deloitte professionals adopting a child are entitled to the same benefits as biological parents.
- Increased flexibility in exceptional situations: Deloitte now fully covers the day care costs in cases where part-time working parents have to change their working schedule on short notice due to business reasons. Also, when a child is sick, working parents are entitled to 3 days paid leave per instance.
- Additional parental leave: Working parents are also entitled to 1 week of additional unpaid leave per year on top of their regular paid leave (and other Deloitte unpaid leave schemes) to allow them navigate through school holidays more easily.
- Working part-time: Next to Deloitte’s established agile working framework – which supports employees in managing their work and personal priorities and includes elements such as remote working, working part-time, taking additional holidays and career breaks –, working parents are fully entitled to work at 80% until the 5th birthday of their child if desired. Lower percentages are of course also possible upon agreement.
- Coaching programmes: Deloitte offers individual and group coaching for mothers and fathers as well as for managers of working parents to support their transition.
A pioneering performance management approach
Deloitte is also changing its approach at performance management and talent development. The new approach no longer has the traditional cascading objectives and once-a-year reviews, but instead introduces meaningful, frequent conversations about performance and development throughout the year. By moving from an annual discussion to regular, future-focused, strengths based conversations, employees are able to receive more individualized and real time feedback. It is a nimbler approach focused on fuelling performance in the future rather than assessing it in the past. The new approach is also underpinned by a new way of collecting reliable and differentiated performance data.
Deloitte aims at shifting the immense investment of time from discussing ratings at year-end to talking with its people about their performance and careers throughout the year. Leaders are now asked what they’d do with their team members to fuel development and growth, not what they think of them based on past performance. This helps employees to be clear on where they stand at all times, driving performance management activities into day to day teams. Five interlocking themes support the new approach:
(1) fortnightly ‘check-in’ conversations about priorities and outcomes, strengths, performance and development
(2) frequent formal performance ‘snapshots’ based on the day-to-day experience of working with an individual
(3) regular ‘pulse surveys’ within a team covering 10 questions that provide insights into proven predictors of team performance and engagement
(4) quarterly, future-focused talent reviews on the growth and development of Deloitte’s people and business
(5) dedicated coaches for each employee to help them view their careers holistically and develop accordingly
Featured in the Harvard Business Review, Deloitte’s performance management approach is widely regarded as market leading. All Swiss offices have implemented it since June 2016, following successful roll-outs in Deloitte USA and Canada in 2015 and pilots conducted in the UK.
Building a fully inclusive and respectful culture
Next to fostering an agile working culture, Deloitte’s focus has been on building a fully and systemically inclusive culture via engagement and education of its leaders and employees as well as reviewing behaviours, policies, programmes and policies on unconscious biases. In the last six months, more than 95% of Deloitte’s senior and mid-senior practitioners participated in awareness building sessions on unconscious biases. Rolling out this reflection process to all Swiss employees, the firm kicked off a series of events to train and engage employees on inclusive behaviour and culture. The firm also continues to invest heavily in its gender agenda with targeted development activities both for senior and junior female practitioners. Activities such as Deloitte’s high-potential programme (including mentoring, stretched assignments, targeted trainings and networking with senior leaders) aim at increasing the pipeline of women for leadership positions, strengthening their individual confidence and retaining their talent at Deloitte.
“Leaders often discuss how they can be more innovative. What can make a big difference is to focus beyond business products and services and think about people and culture. We strive to do exactly that at Deloitte,” said Anna Samanta. ”Our Talent strategy is centred around our ability to create a culture that is focused on the development and well-being of our professionals. Leading-edge programmes for our people, reinforced by daily interactions and conversations at the team level, instil an environment of support and inclusiveness.”
1Last year applies to financial year 2016 (FY16) ended 31 May 2016. Growth stated as gross revenues y-o-y growth.
About Deloitte in Switzerland
Deloitte is a leading accounting and consulting company in Switzerland and provides industry-specific services in the areas of Audit & Risk Advisory, Consulting, Financial Advisory and Tax & Legal. With more than 1,700 employees at six locations in Basel, Berne, Geneva, Lausanne, Lugano and Zurich (headquarters), Deloitte serves companies and institutions of all legal forms and sizes in all industry sectors. Deloitte AG is a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP, the UK member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL). DTTL member firms comprise of over 244,400 employees in more than 150 countries.
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