Life at Deloitte

Investing in Deloitte people

An inclusive talent experience that appeals to both the head and the heart

Do inspired people come up with great ideas? Or do great ideas inspire people? At Deloitte, the questions are not mutually exclusive. The Deloitte network is committed to helping its people reach their full leadership potential.

Do inspired people come up with great ideas? Or do great ideas inspire people? At Deloitte, the questions are not mutually exclusive. Our network is committed to helping its people reach their full leadership potential—confident that their professional experiences will spark innovations that motivate others.

New ideas are valued across Deloitte’s member firms; the best ones are funded, cultivated, and allowed to mature. Deloitte UK, for example, has a program to create and grow new businesses based on the ideas of its people, backed by a budget of up to US$39.3 million. Deloitte Canada’s search for ground-breaking ideas offers a winning team a cash prize and up to US$160,000 in seed money to implement its concept. At Deloitte Brazil, 18 innovative projects were submitted by local professionals and received investments to be developed; five of these projects are new solutions to go to market. And 20 cross-industry, marketable ideas have been created for development within the Deloitte US Technology Consulting practice through the StartUp Deloitte program.

"Throughout our network, Deloitte has more than 220,000 bright and creative people who understand their clients and their markets. This deep insight is also a wellspring of innovative ideas. We owe it to Deloitte professionals and clients to invest in the most impactful ones,” says Frank Vettese, Managing Partner and Chief Executive, Deloitte Canada. “And to ensure our continued market leadership, we must also invest in the people who generate those ideas.”

“Deloitte people aspire to make an impact that matters, and in return, they expect opportunities to build leadership capabilities, develop new skills and be challenged each and every day through the work they do and the talented professionals they work with,” adds Margot Thom, Deloitte Global Chief Talent Officer. “As an organization, Deloitte is dedicated to creating an experience that allows its people to thrive and grow.”

Deloitte US is celebrating its 16th year on Fortune magazine’s list of “100 Best Companies to Work For.”
Source: Fortune, March 2015.

Developing leaders and innovation

As classrooms go, few can match those at Deloitte University (DU). Through a core curriculum and multiple regional facilities, DU focuses on growing leadership skills at every level of the organization. During FY2015, close to 65,000 Deloitte professionals across the regions experienced Deloitte University, and more than 2,000 member firm partners, principals, and directors led Deloitte University programs.

“The real strength of the Deloitte University experience is how it supports passing practical knowledge, professional and personal experience, and our values from generation to generation of Deloitte leaders,” says Jorrit Volkers, Dean, Deloitte University EMEA. “At DU, Deloitte people experience and benefit from leading-edge learning from leaders in the classroom at key moments throughout their careers. Both inside the classroom and afterward, this is an extremely collaborative, immersive atmosphere which connects a diverse group of people to share their experiences and ideas for continuous improvement, especially in relation to Deloitte clients and teams.”

“After a while, we realized that DU could be a place to develop leaders and innovate,” adds Jennifer Steinmann, Chief Transformation Officer, Deloitte US. “What if we could use the collective power of all these talented individuals to help solve the world’s most vexing problems?” That’s how “Wicked Problems” was born. “Wicked Problems is a structured process that uses ‘design thinking’ to apply our deep talent to some of the biggest challenges our world faces today—complex, urgent, and persistent problems that have no readily apparent solutions,” Steinmann explains.

One issue addressed this past year by the DU Wicked Problems team at the Westlake, Texas (US) campus was employee wellness, because ailing workers cost the American economy US$153 billion annually. Ideas solicited from more than 2,500 Deloitte US professionals during a three-month period were shared with the Clinton Foundation, the sponsor of the exercise, to help advance thinking in the field. From the hundreds of ideas generated in five separate sessions, one idea from each was deemed the winner by the Clinton Foundation based on scalability, impact, and novelty. “I’m excited about this program, and the quality of the ideas coming out of it,” says Alex Chan, Associate Director, National Strategy, Clinton Foundation. “The ideas are strong and can be put into practice to help advance what we are trying to achieve at the Clinton Foundation.”

Wicked Problems has recently launched two new campaigns, one that challenges participants to address women and minority participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields; and one focused on bullying prevention.

wicked problems
Consulting Summer Scholars brainstorm ideas to end bullying during a Wicked Problems session at Deloitte University.

Auditing the learning experience

While both virtual and physical classroom instruction are essential, there is no substitute for on-the-job development. Deloitte UK recently introduced a program, Engagement Team Based Learning, to help its auditors recognize the daily education they’re receiving and understand how they contribute to the success of the practice and engagement teams. “Through this initiative, Audit partners and managers are required to discuss key learning messages with team members and apply those messages to their specific client engagements,” says Chris Powell, Deloitte Global Audit Talent Leader. “It has provided great opportunities for focused team discussions and targeting areas to improve engagement quality, ensuring that we are ‘getting it right’ the first time.”

Deloitte Australia has a similar program, called “10 Ways,” that aims to “fundamentally change the DNA of a Deloitte auditor,” according to Powell. The programs stresses 10 activities, which become behaviors, which become habits, which become culture. “The 10 Ways program not only produces better insights and solutions, and more meaningful interactions with member firm clients, but it also creates a consistent understanding of risks, issues, and the audit plan,” Powell says.

Pairing military, business vets

Deloitte US practitioners also make an impact that matters among military veterans. The Deloitte University campus in Westlake is the site of the Career Opportunity Redefinition and Exploration (CORE) leadership program, which helps veterans learn how to identify and articulate their unique strengths, build personal brands through social media and networking, and master job interviews. “When their military service is over and veterans return home to establish civilian careers, many encounter challenges entering the workforce,” explains Terry Bickham, the program’s dean. “CORE helps armed forces members and veterans translate their skills, knowledge, and experiences into a business environment.”

As part of The White House Joining Forces Initiative, Deloitte US committed to doubling its veteran hiring over a three-year period; it met that goal in only two years. Challenged to do more, Deloitte US created the three-day personalized CORE learning program, where Deloitte US leaders provide guidance, and member firm client representatives offer perspectives and advice on what they look for when hiring veterans. Since 2013, more than 350 veterans have participated, and as of May 2015, 95 percent of those actively in the job market found employment.

“Working with veterans also has a profound impact on many of the Deloitte coaches; the teaching and learning goes both ways,” Bickham says. “In business, we talk about being ‘on the front line’ and ‘in the trenches,’ but these veterans literally were, and the shared experiences help Deloitte people become even better leaders.”

Member firms also have formalized mobility and international experience programs that expose their professionals to new ideas and cultures while they serve the needs of global clients. During FY2015, more than 6,000 Deloitte professionals gained diverse, on-the-job experience through short- and long-term mobility assignments and global client projects. These opportunities help create well-rounded leaders who are assets to the entire network.

“Deloitte makes investments in its professionals’ learning that appeal to both the head and the heart,” adds Thom. “Our innovative and flexible learning approaches span from the DU classrooms to the daily work experience. By promoting a culture of continual learning, Deloitte enables its professionals to up their games in delivering outstanding value to their clients.”  

“Deloitte”, “we”, “us”, and “our” refer to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee (“DTTL”), its network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) does not provide services to clients. See additional information.

Figures are aggregate across DTTL and its member firms.

Deloitte named a global leader in Talent Management Consulting by Kennedy.
Source: Kennedy Consulting Research & Advisory; Talent Management Consulting 2015. © 2015 Kennedy Information, LLC. Reproduced under license.

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