One of the primary topics that my virtual experience focused on was the people. Each mentor I had said that the primary reason they have continued to work at KPMG is because of the people they work with. Audit clients will differ based on your firm, but the general work will be similar. The differentiating factor, then, is the culture and people you are surrounded with at the office. The very first portion of our programming was titled Interpersonal Skills in Public Accounting. It dove into the importance of having good relationships with your coworkers in order to increase the quality of your work and of your experience. We had to take a personality test to learn more about our own personalities and accompanying strengths and weaknesses as well as how to best utilize that knowledge to better our relationships with others.
During our program, they emphasized a new focus area of their workplace simply titled Raise Your Hand. In short, it stresses the need for employees to “raise their hand” when they need help, have questions or specific goals to real , or are struggling whether that be at work or personally. Having strong emotional intelligence is crucial for these conversations and for reaching out after feeling like a colleague may have something important to say or ask and is struggling to take the initiative to do so. This is an environment that forces you to be around your peers constantly. During busy season, you will likely spend more time with your engagement team than those that you live with. In this kind of environment, having emotional intelligence, both in regards to yourself and others, is essential. The dedicated training they provided us with demonstrates the firm’s acknowledgment of its importance, and it is no wonder that with all of this training and emphasis on how to best work together that so many employees have told me that the people are what the love most about their work environment. This is all relates back to a few of my earlier blog posts regarding the firm’s core values, their devotion to inclusion and diversity, and their leadership style. Together, the emphasis on making each and every employee feel heard demonstrates that emotional intelligence is present at the highest levels of the firm. KPMG can not succeed unless it’s employees do, and emotional intelligence is central to their success.