Why Deloitte invested $300 million into employee experience

A $300 million investment designed to convince new recruits that joining Deloitte is the best career decision they could make

With the need to recruit and retain the very best talent becoming ever more critical, and a growing link between happy employees and happy customers, it’s no wonder that an increasing number of companies around the world are investing in the experiences they are able to offer their employees.

Audit and consulting giant, Deloitte, is one of the companies to have invested heavily in its employee experience offering, with a $300 million investment designed to convince new recruits that joining Deloitte is the best career decision they could make.

Marking the largest employee development investment in the company’s history, Deloitte University – or ‘DU’ as it is affectionately known – was established in 2011 to equip employees with essential leadership, technical, industry and professional skills.

The programme is made available to selected new recruits usually within the first three months of them joining Deloitte. Some 10,000 college graduates and more than 4,000 interns took part in first-year training, with many more participants taking part again as they hit various career milestones. Remarkably, 50,000 employees completed DU last year alone.

The leaders behind DU describe the level of investment in employee experience as an example of Deloitte’s commitment to growing its own talent and retaining it. Indeed, the Managing Director of Deloitte University, Heidi Soltis-Berner, herself began her career as an intern, and worked her way up through the company. She has recently celebrated working for Deloitte for 25 years.

With around 50% of millennials citing continuous learning opportunities as important for them, and even more believing that formal training or professional development is vital for them to reach their best, it looks like Deloitte may be leading the way when it comes to catering for the next generation of talent.

Fostering a leadership culture

Developing the leaders of tomorrow is one of the aims of the Deloitte University Programme. Its ‘home-grown’ approach to leadership is evident too, with some 90% of sessions delivered by partners, principals and managing directors who can share real-life experiences.

It is believed across the company that Deloitte’s investment in its people is because it wants them to be as successful as they can, with both colleagues and clients. One employee described it as being recognised that they are not there just to churn out work, but that they too are a valuable part of the brand face of the company.

Other non-education aspects of the Deloitte employee experience include wellness breaks and free coffee, all designed to give employees that feeling of being taken care of the moment they start. The ambition is to create a place where staff can learn, try new things and feel safe to fail. And by the positive feedback it receives, it seems that perhaps Deloitte is getting it right…

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