Deloitte’s people are problem-solvers, creating change and making a difference in everything they do. And that’s not surprising: Innovation and problem-solving are in our organization’s DNA. Our founder William Welch Deloitte was the first person ever appointed as an independent auditor of a public company. That was in London in 1845. His company went international when he added a New York City office in 1880. Today, William Deloitte’s vision lives on through the nearly 200,000 partners, principals, and employees of the worldwide Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”) organization of member firms, providing services in audit, advisory, tax, and consulting. Today, Deloitte employs more than 70,000 U.S.-based professionals in over 100 offices across the country. In this case study we focus on the culture and practices of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries, and our people in the United States.
Deloitte’s people work hard. And the client-driven, deadline-driven nature of our work creates unique challenges for us. To address these challenges, we have been listening to our people and using their feedback to create innovative programs that offer them the flexibility to personalize their experiences in the ways that matter most to them in body, mind, and purpose. Our people deserve to be energized, confident, and aware, and we’ve designed our well-being approach to help them achieve those goals.
Through surveys, focus groups, and discussions, Deloitte discovered that our people want the support to make self-care a priority, and flexibility to complete work when and where they want while maintaining client commitments, and resources to support and enhance their experience.
Deloitte takes a customized approach to developing solutions for clients, so when it comes to well-being, personalization was imperative. Deloitte’s holistic approach, Empowered Well-being, gives our people the support and flexibility to make daily choices that enable them to be energized, confident, and aware. Empowered Well-being provides the opportunity for our people to personalize their experiences in the ways that matter most to them in body, mind, and purpose.
We offer a range of options like a $500 annual well-being subsidy that our people can use toward the purchase of gym memberships, meditation instruction, charitable races, and more. Our sabbatical program offers two different ways to take time away from work to pursue a passion. Engagement teams are embedding flexibility and predictability into the structure of projects based on their people’s needs, for example: reduced travel schedules and consistency in travel scheduling, identification of core work hours, and setting organizational norms around evening/weekend email use. And so our people don’t need to retreat to a WiFi-free desert island to unplug, we’ve added a new functionality to our email system. We call it the plug-in to “unplug” and it enables people to compose emails whenever they like and schedule them to send at a later date so their colleagues can enjoy uninterrupted personal time.
Our goal is to enhance our people’s well-being by embedding it into the culture of our organization. Leadership at all levels are actively involved by setting the example, sharing their own challenges and success stories, and actively discussing well-being with their teams. And we are encouraging leaders and professionals alike to recognize positive well-being behaviors through our rewards and recognition program.
Driving Well-being Through Data
It’s one thing to offer a program and another to get people to use it. For instance, it’s no secret that vacation time—or in our case, Paid Time Off (PTO)—is essential. People need to relax and unwind regularly. But one-third of the people who responded to our 2016 Workplace Pulse survey tell us they don’t feel comfortable taking time off and have consistently placed work commitments over family or personal commitments. We want to note here that the Workplace Pulse surveys employees at other companies, not Deloitte. But we want to ensure that we provide the support and resources to help our people take full advantage of their available paid time off.
Well-being may be a human issue but Deloitte is a very data- driven organization. Collecting, analyzing, acting on data—it’s what we do every day for our clients. Eventually we realized that while our people may be reluctant to tell their supervisors when they feel overworked, they do tell our organization—in fact, they’ve been telling us all along. They’ve just been doing it with data.
Leveraging existing systems for tracking PTO, utilization, and travel, we are able to see a complete picture of how long each person works—during the week and on weekends—how much of that time they’re spending away from home, how many flights they have taken in the past week, how much PTO they have accumulated, when they last took PTO, and when those PTO days expire.
A new application called Vitals aggregates that information and makes it available to our people along with their leaders and counselors. Vitals enables leaders and counselors to identify people at risk of burnout well before they crash. For instance, if a person’s utilization exceeds the predetermined thresholds for hours and travel that each business sets, the counselor is alerted. The system generates a cumulative graph over longer periods of time, so people—and their leaders/counselors—can address worrisome trends as opposed to one off occurrences.
The system also gives people an easy way to self-report on their well-being without going into personal details. At the top of each person’s Vitals dashboard are three “battery” icons – the green battery indicates the person feels “fully charged” and ready to take on the world; a yellow battery indicates a neutral state; the red battery indicates the person feels almost depleted.
As part of our Reinvented Performance Management system, everyone at Deloitte has frequent check-ins (usually every other week) with their leader/counselor. Leaders/Counselors use the Vitals dashboard to quickly see which of their team members/counselees might be working too hard and how long it’s been since they’ve taken any PTO. They can then use this information to engage in a constructive conversation around well-being in their next check-in. And the team member can also signal the counselor directly: Each Vitals dashboard features a “Request Talk” button so the counselor knows they need to schedule a meeting.
We have rolled out the Vitals application as pilots across our Advisory and Consulting professionals that make up nearly half of the Deloitte U.S. population. In one of our first 3 month pilots with approximately 1,080 Consulting practitioners across six regional service lines, 74% of pilot participants logged in at least once and 62% of participants updated their battery at least once. The feedback has been positive and encouraging. As a Manager stated, “I really like that Deloitte is investing in this sort of thing to truly track work/life balance through data.”
Each and every one of us at Deloitte plays an important role in Empowered Well-being by defining and demonstrating it in our own lives, careers, teams, and with clients. The Vitals dashboard, among other well-being resources, empowers our people to take control of their own well-being, and support their colleagues to do the same.
While we know we don’t have all of the answers, and we still have a lot of work to do, we have already seen some positive results. Each year we conduct a talent survey to measure employee engagement around well-being, trust and integrity, future vision, and more. Our most recent survey reported a ten point jump in well-being, more than any other category. Employees indicated a higher rate of satisfaction with flexibility, predictability in schedules, stress level, and support, indicating that continued investment and action has resulted in meaningful improvements across the organization.
At Deloitte we see well-being as a journey. Empowered well-being is a step in the right direction for us but we continue to look for ways to innovate our well-being related offerings to meet the evolving needs of our people. Over the next years, we will be developing more well-being educational programs to help our people learn and implement well-being behaviors, and continue to look for ways to innovate our well-being related offerings to meet the evolving needs of our people.
Deloitte provides industry-leading audit, consulting, tax and advisory services to many of the world’s most admired brands, including 80 percent of the Fortune 500. Our people work across more than 20 industry sectors to deliver measurable and lasting results that help reinforce public trust in our capital markets, inspire clients to make their most challenging business decisions with confidence, and help lead the way toward a stronger economy and a healthy society. For more information, visit Deloitte’s U.S. website at: http://www2.deloitte.com/us/en.html.
As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.
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