Accenture provides employees with a wide range of opportunities that help them achieve their personal goals. To learn about how we encourage our people to be greater than, read Shamini Selvaraju’s personal experience in our Talent Accelerator Program (TAP), an initiative designed to develop our future leaders in Accenture.
Early this year, I completed my international assignment for TAP in the United Kingdom (UK). Over the course of three months, I learned a lot and gained new insights while working with the Human Capital & Diversity (HCD) team. I’d like to share some of these lessons with you.
Lesson 1: Creating value for the people by the people
Accenture has an extensive network that drives its people-focused initiatives. As part of the career counselling revamp project, I learned about our people’s different needs and challenges across each business unit. While it might be more straightforward to build a one size fits all solution, I discovered that listening to the why and what of our people’s issues was crucial to collaborating with them and creating solutions. This enabled us to provide a better working experience for everyone.
Lesson 2: Inclusion starts with I
“Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance, belonging is dancing like no one is watching.” This quote shared during the International Women’s Day celebrations perfectly sums up the idea behind inclusion and diversity (I&D).
Accenture puts a strong emphasis on I&D by championing three main priorities: gender, ethnicity and mental health. I became part of several I&D initiatives such as the Accelerate Leadership Development Program for the African and Caribbean network. I also attended events such as the Transgender Day of Visibility, Smashing the Stigma of Mental Health within South Asian Communities and the Mental Health Ally training. Through these activities, I learned that even the smallest step toward inclusivity makes a big impact.
Lesson 3: Be the source of warmth in a virtual world
In today’s digital world, human connections are key. I learned that we should seize every opportunity to connect to show our colleagues that we value, understand and care about them. We can start chatting by asking questions that aren’t work-related. For example, “What are you currently reading”? During meetings, we can ask people to share their project highs and lows. This helps increase our visibility on what others are working on, allowing us to support each other better.
Lesson 4: Take time for tea
People in the UK take their tea seriously. They even have ‘brew’ breaks that encourage everyone to recharge and catch up with each other. The simplest “How are you” goes a long way in brightening someone’s day.
In my last week in the UK, I talked about our HCD programs during a new joiner orientation session. I felt an overwhelming sense of pride to have been part of the team. I’m grateful for the opportunity and would like to thank everyone who made the experience unforgettable. I’m excited to share my experiences and embark on a new chapter in my career journey.
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