Posted: 27 Mar. 2023 8 min. read

Tick tock on the clock, but time stood still…

It was a lazy start to a midweek morning; Priya turned on the stereo as she poured herself a freshly brewed filter coffee before sitting to begin her work day. Working in a virtual environment during the COVID-19 pandemic was leading Priya to feel that every day ran more or less the same way.

When the laptop powered to life, Priya went about her usual manner of recapping points and to-dos from the week and checked her inbox for the latest emails and updates. While sipping coffee, she browsed through her emails, and was excited to see an email that read: Accelerating Your Deloitte Experience | You're invited! She opened the email, curious to find out what she’d been invited to. A quick scan of the email and she could feel the bubbles of excitement rising up in her; she couldn't contain her joy as she accepted the invitation. Because across the screen sat an opportunity for her to don her crisp office wear and meet her colleagues and leaders in person. At last! The day to step away, from her home desk and engage in a live immersive session, was just around the corner! 

"Days would pass at length without us knowing the people behind square boxes and rectangular screens. We've heard that eyes are the windows to people's lives, but the profile pictures on the calls seemed more like locked doors. Life had become robotic, with small talk styles and the mike mute/unmute exercise. Working from home did ensure safety and led to progression, but at the loss of a genuine in-person connection. This was until AYDE happened; the event made up for all I had missed in the last one year.  It made me a 'Deloitte professional' in reality. A term I had only heard and acknowledged virtually." – A campus hire from the batch of 2021

The Accelerating Your Deloitte Experience program offered Priya and all other new hires, who were onboarded virtually, several networking opportunities, enabling them to interact and learn from the leaders, colleagues, and facilitators. The plenaries bustled with excitement, and the facilitators helped create moments that matter by engaging the participants and encouraging applause and laughter–experiences that the pandemic had deprived us of. Business breakouts allowed participants to understand shifts in the profession, explore critical skills like relationship building and agility, and ideate to solve business problems. Deloitte's leader-led model of learning, backed by real-life experiences of highs and lows, successes and failures in many tenured professionals’ journeys truly inspired the new hires.

For someone who joined Deloitte during the pandemic, it has been a great amount of wait, patience, and curiosity to attend the much-talked-about in-person Deloitte training. From the warm welcome to the energy-filled and interactive sessions with enthusiastic facilitators, I didn't realize how two days passed by! Kudos to the Leadership and Human Potential (LHP) team for their significant effort and design thinking that went into creating this wonder. Now coming to the most important thing, i.e., food and goodies 😊. My heartful thanks to all those involved in giving us this memorable experience. While I'm already looking forward to my next DU visit, this time, I'm taking back home a lot of memories, new connections, and many new friends. – an AYDE participant

 

 

Why did Deloitte invest in AYDE?

Despite the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Deloitte continued to remain committed to its clients and people through resilience. Thousands of new hires began their careers with Deloitte US-India Offices (USI) virtually, without ever stepping foot into a Deloitte office, shaking hands with their colleagues, meeting their leaders in person, or attending any training at DU: The Leadership Center in India.

While the virtual-first model of working was not unique to Deloitte, our leadership felt that a unique response was warranted to invest in our new hires who joined us during the pandemic. It was important that these new professionals engaged and connected in-person, learned about the culture at Deloitte, got familiarized with our purpose, and were empowered to make an impact.

The concept of the Accelerating Your Deloitte Experience (AYDE) program emerged from the need for a mindset shift about work, from 'virtual meetings' to 'defining and living your purpose in-person at Deloitte through this program.' The AYDE program was a dynamic way conceptualized for enculturation and connections to enhance engagement—our people! Deloitte carefully planned this program to create a conducive atmosphere to host live, in-person sessions, reiterating the importance of culture and networking.

The desired outcomes were that AYDE attendees:

  • Connect with their colleagues across businesses
  • Immerse in Deloitte's culture
  • Align their purpose to Deloitte's organizational purpose
  • Feel empowered to make an impact that matters for Deloitte's people, clients, and communities
  • Grow with Deloitte

Deloitte Leadership and Human Potential (DL&HP) and USI’s leadership were committed to the program not just in terms of planning and organizing the program, but also in their level of engagement with the program and its participants, as program deans, facilitators, and advisors. As the first large-scale learning program delivered in person at DU: The Leadership Center in India and Deloitte offices after more than two years across USI office locations, AYDE also enabled the business and learning leaders a glimpse into the possibilities of hybrid work and learning.

It was amazing to see our talented and diverse set of professionals come together to immerse themselves in and 'be' the culture of the organization. I am deeply indebted for the guidance and support I received from Deloitte leadership, the collaboration I witnessed across a multitude of teams, and the enthusiastic 'all-in' participation from our new hires who joined us virtually. Here's to making history, living Deloitte's culture, building purposeful human connections, and making a host of memories for a lifetime! – Rajeev Balakrishnan, Leader, Deloitte Leadership and Human Potential (DL&HP), Deloitte US-India Offices

Deloitte's shared values and commitments to its people have stood the test of time—177 years and counting—and even the COVID-19 pandemic could not change that. The next generation of leaders is joining Deloitte at the cusp of a transformation of the work, workforce, and workplace.


Accelerating Your Deloitte Experience
helped Deloitte professionals break the virtual walls in this hybrid reality and welcome the new normal by adding new skills to their arsenal.

 

 

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