Structural Stability at KPMG

Going into my internship, I knew about the general structure the firm had within the audit practice. It is a very straightforward path of authority. What I did not know, and have learned about in my program, were all of the other informal leader/follower dynamics throughout the firm. Every new hire receives a Performance Management Leader (PML). As the name implies, this individual is a mentor figure specifically in regard to your career. This person is usually a few levels above you in the practice and are there to provide advice or speak on your behalf when opportunities for advancement or movement present themselves. I also learned about the even more informal leader follower dynamic of selecting your own mentor. The firm encourages its employees to ask a colleague to be their informal mentor separate of any assignment by KPMG and separate of any specific duties. Additionally, many of my temporary mentors throughout my program have spoken with me about the support and dynamics of their engagement team. Given the size and span of some projects, you spend most of your time with your engagement team which is composed of four primary levels of authority. Thus, the dynamics of your engagement team are central to your experience on a given client. Through my program, I have learned about all of the ways employees are supported whether that be through their PML, mentor, or their engagement team.

On a wider scale, the firm is so large that the senior leadership personnel are personally known by very few people in the firm. With that in mind, a new Chairman and Vice Deputy Chairman were named earlier this summer. Throughout the last few, chaotic weeks, they have maintained consistent communication both from them personally and from the leadership team at large. Even as an intern, I have seen the plethora of emails and updates regarding Covid adjustments, responses to the current social climate, and notes addressing the current economic crisis. In a firm of this size, transparent and consistent communication is key to maintaining good leader/follower dynamics; they have turned what could be a hindrance on their effectiveness into a strength. They have done a great job during my program so far of making senior leadership more accessible to interns. This week, I have listened to webcasts from two partners in my office and the national Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer. They all spoke about their experiences with the firm and then took questions from us. I have since added these speakers on LinkedIn. Overall, I have been very impressed with the firm’s communication from its leaders and dedication to making sure the interns had exposure to key leaders in the firm.

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