By Rob Starr, Content Manager, Big4.com
Talent development and team building take on different guises depending on the company and, while there are many different approaches, recent events for 400 of Deloitte’s newest tax hires in support of the charities Stop Hunger Now and Wine to Water served to demonstrate the company’s unique philosophy when it comes to these important exercises.
The trainees who came to Westlake, Texas for a training event at the renowned Deloitte University discovered there was much more than an orientation in store. In approximately 90 minutes, they had packed over 100,000 meals for the needy and built 100 water filtration units to be distributed across the globe. It all speaks to the unique approach Deloitte has to making sure the people they hire have great skill sets and that all Deloitte new hires understand the importance of community involvement.
Deloitte’s Unique Approach
Neda Schlictman, Deloitte’s Tax Chief Learning Officer talked recently with Big4.com about Deloitte University, teambuilding and the company’s unique approach.
“Deloitte University is a $300 million dollar investment we chose to make to ensure that we were building the skill sets of our professionals across all of the important areas,” she said. The company’s commitment to its future is obvious. The university sits on 107 acres in Westlake Texas and has a learning and development facility of over 700,000 square feet. Schlictman was quick to point out that the major focus of the institution was making sure Deloitte has made an investment in their people that would ensure their clients were getting the best quality services possible.
The Stop Hunger Now and Wine to Water campaigns were part of the 12 day Tax New Hire Immersion Program called Client Service Readiness. Part of their immersion is at Deloitte University.
“They come to this 12 day immersion program at Deloitte University, where we focus on advanced technical topics, professional and leadership skills. In addition, we participate in simulations, networking and team building activities,” Schlictman said adding that one of the key values they want to pass along right from the beginning is the notion of a responsibility to the community. It’s obvious the company takes this social aspect seriously. Beyond handling about one million of Deloitte’s four million learning hours, the University has also achieved LEED Gold Level certification for new construction.
Schlictman went on to say that although teambuilding isn’t a unique concept to Deloitte, the company, its university and the recent Stop Hunger Now and Wine to Water events spoke to a desire to take a different approach to these tried and true concepts.
“What we wanted to do was to encourage teambuilding through a meaningful exercise versus just a gaming concept. Here we were able to achieve multiple objectives through one venue,” she says adding that the 400 participants were broken up into teams that worked on the meals and filtration devices in an assembly line fashion.
“They got to know each other. They had fun and were laughing. They were enjoying and collaborating and at the end of the day they felt good because they were doing something meaningful,” Schlictman said. “We chose to do our teambuilding in an impactful way.”
She was also quick to point out that Deloitte University’s focus spans well beyond new hire programs.
“The typical programs that take place at Deloitte University are not only new hire programs but others like our business milestones, industry learning and leadership development programs. These programs are for Deloitte professionals from all levels of the organization,” she said. Our talent development strategy makes Deloitte a place for leaders to thrive.