Life at Deloitte

Debbie Stevenson

HR Director

How is HR contributing to the firm’s 2020 aspirations?

Deloitte’s business is based on its talented people. Our clients rely on us to provide them with objective, expert advice and guidance. It makes sense therefore that our ability to recruit, develop and retain the best people in the market has a direct impact on the firm’s success.
We need to provide our people with a culture of constant opportunity and growth if we are to meet our 2020 aspirations. I believe we can do this in a number of ways.

Firstly, it’s about providing our people with rewarding, customisable career paths that optimise their strengths. Quite simply, if people are happy and enjoy what they do, they will do it well.

It’s essential our people see the importance of their role and how it fits within the organisation. They need a clear understanding of how they can make an impact that matters on the people around them, our clients and for society as a whole.

Our people don’t operate in isolation. They succeed by pooling their knowledge, skills and experience. By creating an inclusive working environment which embraces diversity, our people will thrive. Respect for each other is at the heart of that.

Finally, this is all underpinned by trust. We want to give our people the tools to be the best they can be and to do that we encourage them to work in more agile ways. Our agile working policy seeks to balance the changing requirements of the business with the individual’s personal and professional needs.

How are you are transforming HR to become a strategic and truly advisory function?

We’ve started a programme of activities which will align HR to the business. By introducing a high impact HR model, it will give us the breadth and depth of skills across HR to work with the business in a more commercial, purposeful and co-ordinated way.

We’ve already got all the fundamental elements of a HR function in place. However, this is more about looking at how we work across HR as one team.

We need to mirror how the business goes to market. They pull the best team of experts available from different fields across the firm, to solve a client’s problems. Using the new model, HR will do the same. We are creating HR Communities of Expertise which will enable us to draw upon their specialist knowledge to better meet Deloitte’s changing HR requirements. We’ll be empowering our people so they can fulfil their potential and in doing so, provide creative and innovative solutions to the business.

Therefore, it’s important that everyone understands the business, our vision, the impact they can make and to feel confident they have the knowledge, skills and capability to perform their role in a supportive environment. My role is to create this climate.


From speaking to your team it is apparent that you foster a culture of innovation. What are the three main factors you believe in to enable free and innovative thinking?

I think creating a culture of openness helps to foster innovation. We need our people to be brave. They need to believe they can challenge the status quo and question whether the old way is still the best way. Respecting other people’s ideas and listening to their opinions is a key factor in achieving that. Secondly, creating teams of people from different backgrounds with a range of skills and experience engenders diversity of thought. Diversity brings new perspectives and new approaches to the table. Lastly, by encouraging curiosity: Taking the time to listen and learn from other people opens people’s minds to new possibilities.

What is your leadership style?

I try to lead by example but I recognise that I don’t have all the answers. I can create the vision but I need my team’s expertise to make the vision a reality. I work in a very collaborative way which I think engages people and makes them passionate about what we are trying to achieve.

Debbie Stevenson
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