Ranjeet: having a voice
I've spent the last decade working in audit firms in different parts of the world. My client base is broad, with insurance companies, insurance brokers, banks, investment/asset management companies, investment funds, sovereign wealth and pension funds, and lending companies, to name a few.
From the start of my career here I was able to see that the role offers much more than just day-to-day audit activities, helping with my personal development and broadening my skillset. I’ve been involved in business development proposals and am a CLEARR representative for the Financial Services Audit Team, which involves working closely with Grant Thornton’s Senior Leadership Team, and most recently I have been involved with setting up the Hindu network within the firm.
Doing what's right
I had friends at Grant Thornton who vouched for the work-life balance before I joined, and it was something I had lacked for many years. I used to work long hours, including weekends. I've not worked any weekends since joining Grant Thornton, and it's easy to see the company is truly committed to staff happiness.
A great example was the decision to give two wellbeing days to all employees, which shows how much Grant Thornton is willing to support its employees during these tough times. I was moving to a new house and these extra two days really helped make the move less stressful.
There are also relatively more resources here, which creates a better and less-stressful working environment. By working together, everyone contributes to it being pleasant and enjoyable experience, and with better work-life balance.
In the past, I've always found that there are loads of written policies to support the staff, but in practice it rarely happens. I am pleased to experience that Grant Thornton really cares about its people.
For example, if I'm having issues like a high workload or I need some additional support, I reach out to my people manager or the relevant team members, and they're always there to help. That applies to any issue or concern, and it's an avenue that's open to everyone. There’s a culture of give and take here: the company provides space and flexibility for each team member to give their best work, which guarantees high quality work for our clients.
Having a voice
Of all the good things I have experienced at Grant Thornton, I would say the best has been that all employees have a voice here, from new graduates to senior members. The leadership team listens to everyone and takes positive action, which is again very rare in professional services firms.
This is instilled in all new staff members upon joining the company. I remember senior leadership members taking the time to meet me and being introduced to various people who are always willing to help regardless of how busy they are. The various activities on offer give further exposure to the senior leadership team, so from the outset it’s very clear to employees that they have a voice and will be heard.
Valuing our difference
Grant Thornton is a really inclusive firm, and has many faith-based networks, so I was surprised to see when I joined that there wasn’t a Hindu network in place. So I recently took the initiative, and reached out to our Head of Inclusion and Diversity to discuss how we could set one up and was met with the biggest smile when I outlined my plans and received complete support from her, and members of the SLT.
She explained that they have always wanted to do this however there hadn’t previously been people coming forward with an interest in setting one up. I was provided with support, and useful connections across the firm as well as resource and guidance to help us get the network together.
We held a launch event for the network, in our London office, and to our surprise had three times as many people as we had hoped for turn up, including SLT members, our Head of I&D and other senior partners. It was really encouraging to have so much support and showed us how the firm’s senior team care for such initiatives. The most surprising thing for me personally was that the people at the highest level were more excited and prouder than us of this milestone.
Overall, I've found that the culture here is collaborative and supportive. People help each other, and that's the most important thing. Work is the same everywhere, it's people who make it more or less enjoyable.