Our people define who we are as an organization. They inspire trust, deliver impact and drive our growth.
In these uncertain times, our people’s strength and resilience have stood out more than ever. They have adapted and collaborated to propel us forward and serve our clients and communities, and support each other, through the challenges.
Our focus in 2020 — Values, Purpose, Inclusion, Culture, Technology, Workplace — is helping us to fulfill a promise to our people that they can make a purpose-led and values-driven contribution to KPMG and society at large while supporting their families and loved ones during this unprecedented health crisis. Our culture is one of collaboration and inclusion, where our people can come together to openly express their feelings and challenges. In that way we can adapt to better serve their needs as well as those of our clients and society.
Global Head of People
This year has been a time to listen — to understand the physical and mental pressures our people were feeling in real time and respond with empathy and support.
To encourage an ongoing dialogue, we put a proactive listening strategy in place, conducting a number of pulse surveys and regular open forums where our people could convene, share experiences and talk about the support they needed, in their work and personal lives.
Across the KPMG organization, we used what we heard to adapt to the needs of our people. It was important to acknowledge and respond to the need to look after families, as many were working from home with children or needing to provide care for other family members, and some working for extended periods in isolation or living on their own.
In some cases, this involved flexible working hours to allow time for personal needs and just getting outside in the daylight. In other instances, it has meant allowing for the time needed to care for children at home or providing home technology set-up assistance. We are supporting our people by providing guidelines and leading practices for working virtually. To enable managers and teams to stay connected, we continue to provide support for key processes such as onboarding, performance management, as well as focusing our efforts on supporting mental wellbeing.
Throughout, our culture and Values have continued to be our compass, guiding our action and responses.
Our Values, which we refreshed in early 2020, have been our guide through the pandemic, ensuring we live our Purpose as an organization and lead with empathy at all times.
Empowering and connecting our teams through technology
With the technology and flexible working environments we have in place, our people were able to adapt to a virtual working environment in a matter of days. We have used our state-of-the-art technology platforms and launched mobile apps to connect people, while also helping ensure that when the time is right, our people can safely return to the office.
Ongoing learning is fundamental to our business and our people, and this has not changed as a result of the pandemic. During this period, we have managed to pivot and digitize our learning environment and we have seen an incredible uptake from our people with our virtual learning platforms seeing an increase of more than 600% in the first 6 months of the pandemic. We continue to invest in our people’s skills and capabilities, not only around our new solutions and the emerging technologies so critical in today’s digital world, but also to reskill to meet the shifting demands of our firms' clients.
Learn more about how we’re supporting and developing our people for the workforce of the future in early 2021 when we set out our environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) commitments.
The power of inclusion and diversity
Inclusion and diversity (I&D) are at the heart of who we are and fundamental to our Values and Purpose. We are committed to promoting an inclusive culture throughout our organization, where authenticity is supported and valued, and open dialogue is encouraged.
It is more important than ever for KPMG to offer our people an inclusive culture, providing our people with a sense of belonging and community. Every person, regardless of race, disability, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age or socio-economic status, should feel able to bring their whole self to work.
Mary Lou Maher
Head of Global Inclusion and Diversity
Building an inclusive global organization requires ongoing listening and action. In the past year, our people expressed deep, personal concern about the continuing racial injustice in the world, joining the voices of the hundreds of thousands taking to the street in protest. To listen and learn from one another, we held Courageous Conversations with our people. Over 72 hours, more than 17,000 of our colleagues participated in a virtual discussion, contributing their ideas, insights and personal stories on the racial injustice they see or experience. From this dialogue, we are creating a collective action plan that can make a real and lasting difference towards our collective goal of improved racial equity within and outside of KPMG globally.
Our global inclusion and diversity strategy is centered around collaboration and creating spaces to learn and listen from our people and external experts around key issues. Because of the unique circumstances this year, we held virtual events for our people.
In June, we marked Pride month, with more than 2,500 of our people from across more than 40 countries and territories joining in an online celebration and opportunity to learn from internal and external LGBT champions and leaders.
In October, we hosted a virtual World Mental Health Day Summit, with participation from 6,000 of our people in more than 70 countries and territories, including our Global Chairman & CEO, Bill Thomas. It was a timely opportunity to hear from experts on coping strategies as well as various mental health champions around the world and connect to resources and support.
Our people empowering change
Using AI to support children’s health
As Lead Data Scientist with KPMG in the UK, Rebecca Pope builds artificial intelligence (AI) solutions that create business value. Through her work, she saw that AI could also do more to advance healthcare (she even gave a TEDx Talk on the subject).
In early 2020, with the encouragement of her KPMG leadership, Rebecca took a voluntary secondment with the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust (GOSH) in London. Rebecca joined the DRIVE unit (Digital Research, Informatics and Virtual Environments) of the prestigious children’s hospital, dedicated to using technology to improve child health.
Within months, Rebecca and a dedicated team of PhD students, clinicians and fellow researchers created a clinical informatics tool called ‘GRACE’. GRACE applies advanced AI and graph data technologies to rapidly analyze vast volumes of patient data.
The GRACE project has become even more timely because of the COVID-19 health crisis, with the potential for doctors to get faster answers to questions such as, ‘What has the outcome been for patients admitted with COVID-19?’ and ‘What treatments were prescribed and how successful were they?’ The ultimate goal is to deploy GRACE to doctors across GOSH on secure mobile devices.
Rebecca is proud of what she has been able to accomplish as part of KPMG. In her words, “I’ve always wanted my career to mean something — for me that’s about developing advanced technologies to drive societal good."
This video first appeared in The Times.
Throughout this webpage, “we”, “KPMG”, “us” and “our” refers to the global organization or to one or more of the member firms of KPMG International Limited (“KPMG International”), each of which is a separate legal entity. KPMG International Limited is a private English company limited by guarantee and does not provide services to clients. Member firms of the KPMG network of independent firms are affiliated with KPMG International. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm.