Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2016)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 8, 2015)
Here are some of the reasons why Deloitte LLP was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2016), Canada's Top Family-Friendly Employers (2016) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2016):
- Deloitte supports new mothers with maternity leave top-up payments (to 100% of salary for 17 weeks) as well as an option to extend their leave to an unpaid leave of absence and a daycare subsidy when they're ready to return to work -- and is also one of a few firms that offers a generous subsidy to help cover the costs of adoption, to $20,000 per child
- As part of Deloitte's "Workplace of the Future" strategy, the firm is in the process of building new offices designed to address the changing nature of work, from unassigned and collaborative work spaces to standing (and even treadmill) workstations that are open for employees to choose as needed and desired
- As part of their health benefits plan that includes family coverage, Deloitte employees can take advantage of the flexible "My Benefit Dollars" program that provides employees $1,300 annually to allocate as needed for health coverage and wellness activities
- A global employer, Deloitte encourages employees to apply for extended work terms at its offices worldwide (for up to 2 years) or take advantage of shorter work-exchange opportunities at offices in Australia, New Zealand, India and South America
Deloitte has towering support for its employees
Maddie Buttinger knows all about how Deloitte goes out of its way to support its employees. As an Olympic hopeful, she is now training full-time far from home - with financial backing from Deloitte, and with her job as a forensic analyst waiting for her when she returns next year.
"The support I've had from the company has been amazing," says Buttinger. "I've been able to follow both my passions - athletics and my career - without having to choose. I've been able to pursue my Olympic dream."
Toronto-based Buttinger competes in the heptathlon, a gruelling seven-event, two-day contest that, for women, involves 100 metres hurdles, high-jump, shot put, long jump, javelin, and 200- and 800-metre races. She became Canadian national champion in 2015, after a six-week training stint at the renowned World Athletics Center, or Altis, in Phoenix, Arizona, that Deloitte gave her time off to do.
Now she is in Phoenix again to prepare for competitions in the spring and the Canadian Olympic trials in June. If she makes it through, she'll compete in the Summer Games in Rio in August.
Even when she started at Deloitte in 2013, having missed the 2012 Olympics due to injury, Buttinger was able to take on a five-hour-a-day schedule so she could train in Toronto while working. She says she loves her job, which often involves document investigations that support court testimony on a client's behalf. "I've always been interested in law," says Buttinger, who got her business degree in finance from the University of Notre Dame in 2012.
She also loves Deloitte's approach to people. "It's a very large global company, obviously, but what I find unique is that they really do value their employees," she says. "You don't feel like one person in a giant organization. Everyone at the firm, from the partners on down, is very supportive of every individual person."
That approach is no accident, notes Jason Winkler, Managing Partner, Talent. As Canada's largest professional services firm, "we sell advice and brains," he says. "What we look for are critical thinkers who can give practical advice to clients, and people who can be collaborative in their approach and engage with clients."
That means creating an environment where some of the brightest people in the country can thrive, he says. When people need flexible arrangements, Deloitte finds ways to support them.
"If we can be the best organization at connecting people's personal and professional aspirations to the firm's growth and performance ambitions, we hit the bull's eye," says Winkler.
The firm is also making major changes to how its people work, strengthening their connections through its Workplace of the Future strategy. Across Canada, Deloitte has revolutionized its offices and built two brand new office towers in Montreal and Toronto. These new workplaces offer much more space for collaboration and "accidental connections," when people run into each other and sit down to get work done. There are no permanent workstations or offices, even for top executives, and employees book the spaces they will need on a given day, whether for client meetings, internal collaboration or solitary work. Laptops and tablets keep them connected.
The new environment also includes an emphasis on wellness, not only in terms of yoga studios and meditation rooms, but spaces for seminars and advice sessions on potentially stressful situations like personal finance or eldercare.
"Our Workplace of the Future is the largest single investment we've made as a firm," says Frank Vettese, Managing Partner and Chief Executive. "It's all about making Deloitte a destination where our people, our clients and our communities come together to, as we like to say, 'do extraordinary work and have extraordinary experiences'."
Vettese sees it as a game-changer for a company whose fundamental work is thinking. "Ultimately, it's about mindset - breaking down the barriers, including the physical ones, that keep us from truly connecting," he says. "We are being much more intentional in how we foster collaboration within Deloitte and between Deloitte and our clients and other key constituents.
"We are already seeing how it is differentiating us in the market," he adds. "I'm incredibly excited for what's to come."
This article was prepared with the financial support of the employer, which did not write or edit its contents.
Recognized as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2016)
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 23, 2016)
Here are some of the reasons why Deloitte LLP was selected as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2016):
- Deloitte participates in the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council's Mentoring Partnership, with employees mentoring over 370 new Canadian job-seekers since the project's inception -- the firm also works with ACCES Employment to connect with diverse candidates
- Deloitte recently launched AccessAbility Community, which aims to raise awareness and participate in conversations around opportunities and challenges for persons with disabilities -- Deloitte has also authored a white paper entitled "The Road to inclusion: Integrating people with disabilities into the workplace" and works with Progress Place, a community-based organization that focuses on mental health recovery, to help individuals with mental illness make a smooth transition to the workplace
- With chapters in Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver, Deloitte's employee-led "LEAD & Allies" group promotes inclusive work environments for LGBTQ employees and is currently working on transgender awareness, education and policy -- additionally, the firm created the "Proud to Lead" program in partnership with The Humphrey Group, a 2-day development program to help LGBT individuals build leadership communication skills
At Deloitte Canada, strong emphasis on including everyone
To Deloitte Canada's Frank Vettese, much of the heavy lifting has been done in ensuring his firm has a highly diverse workforce that reflects Canadian society. So what comes next?
For Deloitte, one of Canada's thought leaders in the field, the answer is inclusion. "We are putting a very heavy emphasis on the notion of inclusion as a natural evolution from diversity," says Vettese, Chief Executive and Managing Partner.
What does that mean for Deloitte's 9,000 employees? To start with, the Toronto-based professional services firm hasn't lost its focus on support for diversity. There is a wide range of employee resource groups in place for women, LGBTQ people, persons with disabilities, cultural communities and many other groups. But now, it doesn't end there, says Vettese.
"Where the real magic happened was when we shifted to saying no, this is something every single person in the firm has to be involved with," he says. "It's something we're trying every day to embed in our firm, in our culture and in our leadership. We really want people to feel that they can come to Deloitte and shape a career that is tailored to them, to their unique objectives and needs, and that they can bring their whole selves to work."
Every employee has a long-term career development plan in which there is a lot of give and take about where they may end up in the firm and what the measures of success should be, Vettese says. And in terms of assessing an individual's performance, "we use words like contribution and impact when we look at how people are succeeding in the firm, as opposed to a benchmark or pre-determined standard that people must fit."
Some people may even explicitly plan to stay for a shorter time and then apply their experience elsewhere. "Increasingly, we've become OK with that," says Vettese. "Historically, we would have worried about turnover, but now it's more of a two-way dialogue in terms of their development, their career aspirations and how we can be part of that."
Deloitte's approach also puts a lot of stress on teams that come together for a specific project, bringing diverse members and perspectives. "We then need to give them the ability to solve problems in a way that they determine is important," he says, "giving them the comfort to experiment and innovate."
Deloitte's Workplace of the Future plan, involving the remaking of offices across the country and two new office towers in Toronto and Montreal, supports an inclusive team approach. With no permanent offices and countless informal meeting spaces, "it's about promoting engagement and true collaboration across all demographics," says Vettese. "It breaks down barriers, it breaks down silos, it breaks down hierarchies and it propels inclusion as part of the DNA of the firm."
Ikram Al Mouaswas, a Senior Manager in the firm's audit and advisory practice, has seen the value of the firm's approach to both diversity and inclusion. A Palestinian Canadian who immigrated at 16, she has been involved with the firm's canWin support group for women and as an Ally with the LEAD and Allies Inclusion Network for LGBTQ people.
"From my perspective, one of the best indications of Deloitte's success in diversity is that I've just never thought about it as a female non-Caucasian individual," says Al Mouaswas. The 30-year-old accountant notes she was promoted early, at age 27, to her current managerial role. "I never thought my background, my culture, my gender ever made a difference."
Inclusion, she says, is a new mindset. "It's making sure that this diverse team really feels that they belong here," she says. "They don't need to hide anything." In a hard-working team environment, this can mean making sure people feel comfortable noting personal needs, such as taking care of a parent or picking up kids from school. "The truest test for an inclusive team is being able to share those last-minute things and finding a way to work around them."
Deloitte, she says, deserves the credit it has received for its approach to diversity and inclusion. "That's what I'm proud of here. No one is asking us to change who we are."