At KPMG we are guided by Our Values and doing great work that matters. We’re building a culture that is open, safe and inclusive, and operates to the highest ethical and quality standards. A culture and environment that is continually listening, learning and evolving.Jon Holt / Chief Executive, KPMG in the UK
The steps we’ve taken to build our culture
We’re committed to creating a culture that enables our people and firm to thrive. We listen to feedback and continually monitor our progress against key areas to identify what’s working and where we need to take further steps to improve. There are five important elements to building our culture:
Gill works as an Assistant Manager in the Family Office & Private Client team, responsible for reviewing tax returns for the KPMG Partners.
In her previous role, Gill had an annualised contract meaning she worked her contractual hours over 36 weeks of the year and had the remaining 16 weeks off. “I feel very proud to work here and frequently tell people it’s the best job ever." Although Gill has now changed roles with her children being older, she says “the level of flexibility offered was invaluable at the time.”
Despite working in a virtual team, Gill feels the team really support each other, she says “there’s a very positive, friendly culture at KPMG and you can always call your colleagues if you need any help or have a question.”
David joined KPMG on an apprenticeship programme after finishing his A-Levels. He was looking for an opportunity to gain on-the-job experience at the start of his career while he studied for further qualifications.
Talking about his time so far, he says; “there’s a brilliant culture here – it’s friendly and welcoming. The apprentices really support each other through all the exams, and all the career milestones.”
From early on, David was given responsibility for different areas of his audit project, which allowed him to work closely with and learn from other members of the team. “You have to build up strong relationships with people – but also be prepared to challenge and question everything to make sure your audit is accurate. The programme is brilliant for helping you build up the skills and confidence you need to do this.”
Speaking about the future, he says he’s excited about his career with KPMG; “there’s so much scope for development and progression into different departments at KPMG. With so many opportunities, you never feel like you would end up on a narrow career path,” he says.
Our Values guide everything we do
Our success and reputation depends on our people doing the right thing. Our Code of Conduct helps them understand how we do this and underpins everything we do. Built on the foundation of Our Values, it conveys clearly our commitment to acting responsibly and taking accountability for the way we do business.
Our Values help us make ethical decisions showing our clients, audited entities and stakeholders what we believe in and what matters to us.
Activity included a diverse line-up of guest speakers to provoke discussion around each of Our Values, colleague-led content, regional learning opportunities and visuals throughout our offices, to help bring Our Values to life.
The week ended with our second People Awards, aimed at recognising people at KPMG who exemplify Our Values.
To continue engagement post-Values Week, we launched Values Immersion sessions for all colleagues and partners, allowing teams to have a meaningful discussion of Our Values and how we can all take greater ownership for living them. Our Executive Committee and Board were the first group to have an Immersion session and shared their reflections with colleagues. In 2024 we will be continuing meaningful discussion around Our Values with another series of sessions for all colleagues and partners exploring how we put Our Values of Integrity and Courage into action.
We do what is right
We never stop learning and improving
We think and act boldly
We respect each other and draw strength from our differences
We do what matters
Creating an open, safe and inclusive environment
We are committed to creating an environment where our people feel they can speak up without fear of retaliation. Where our people feel they will be listened to, and their concerns acted on. Where colleagues can thrive and reach their full potential, whatever their identity or background.
An open environment
We have a number of programmes in place where our people have the opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas, both with our Leadership team and fellow colleagues.
A safe environment for our people to speak up
We encourage our people to speak up where they have issues or concerns about unethical working practices or where someone isn’t living Our Values. We have a number of ways in which our people can speak up, including through our network of Ethics Champions and via our Speak Up Hotline.
However, as important as our people having a responsibility to speak up, is our responsibility as a firm to listen. We take this responsibility seriously and provide our people with a number of mechanisms to support our commitment to listening.
Alongside this we’ve invested in our processes and controls to ensure we support our people when they have raised issues, without the fear of retaliation. We have zero-tolerance of retaliation which we have enshrined in policy. We’ve invested in a bespoke tool which allows us to monitor for signs of it and disciplinary action will be taken against anyone who has retaliated in any way against someone who has raised a concern.
We’ve also commissioned independent reviews into our Speak Up processes and how we take action when concerns are raised. This includes a six-monthly report from our independent ombudsman and an independent benchmark of our Speak Up processes by Protect, the leading authority on whistleblowing in the UK, which compared us to industry best-practice in a number of areas.
I remain of the opinion that investigations are taken seriously, addressed in a timely way and approached thoughtfully. The healthy dynamic within the team, which encourages discussion and appropriate challenge continues.Independent ombudsman report to our UK Board, November 2022
An inclusive environment
We’re committed to creating a culture where all colleagues thrive and reach their full potential, whatever their identity or background. We are upskilling our colleagues to be active allies in building an inclusive culture and sense of belonging across the firm.
- We’ve launched our new Inclusion, Diversity & Equity plan Our KPMG: A fairer future for all, which sets out our bold ambitions and long-term targets to 2030.
- As part of our dedicated Black Lives Action Plan, we launched a Cross-Company Allyship Programme. The programme opens up opportunities for KPMG and client mentors and mentees of Black and/or Minority Ethnic heritage to gain experiences and access networks from outside of their own organisations.
- Inclusive Leadership sessions are an integral part of our promotions to management level and above.
- Our Inclusive Leadership Board includes external representatives who help to challenge our progress against our commitments, ensuring we create an inclusive environment.
Highest ethical and quality standards
At KPMG we are committed to acting responsibly and taking accountability for the way we do business, which includes ensuring that the work we carry out is of the highest ethical and quality standards. We have taken a series of steps to transform the way we govern our business to build trust. We’ve also increased Partner accountability.
- The money that Partners have invested in the business is at risk if they don’t meet our ethical and conduct standards.
- Our Chair and Chief Executive’s performance and remuneration is based on a balance of trust and growth metrics. Their goals are shared with the partnership for transparency.
- Our refreshed Code of Conduct was reviewed by the Institute of Business Ethics (IBE).
- We have designed a rolling ethics programme, taking input from the IBE, including basing it around their framework.
- We refreshed our Conflicts of Interest policy in May 2022 and all partners, directors and client facing people now receive annual training on conflicts.
- We’re investing in our programme to deliver a ‘high challenge, high support’ culture in Audit.
Doing work that matters
Our work matters to our clients, to our people and to the communities in which we operate. We are committed to working with the right clients and to making a positive impact on society. And we want everyone at KPMG to feel inspired and engaged by the work they are doing.
In the last year, we launched our employee proposition, Our KPMG. It sets out what it means to be part of our firm and the sort of organisation we are aspiring to build together. It’s how we want everyone to experience and contribute to life at KPMG.
Do work that matters
You’ll make a meaningful difference for the businesses, people and communities we serve.
Come as you are
Your unique experiences and perspectives belong here and make us stronger.
Thrive with us
You’ll have the KPMG community at your side, providing the support you need to be at our best
Learn for a lifetime
You’ll be continuously learning and working with the best – gaining advantage for life.
Make your mark
You’ll be recognised for the impact you make, the leadership you show, and the success you create with others.
Listening, learning and evolving
Our Executive Committee are accountable for ensuring that our culture continues to evolve and that our culture ambition is being met, however all of our Partners and colleagues have a part to play in building our culture. We listen to all our stakeholders to learn about what we do well and any areas we need to address.
To understand our people’s views we hold an annual Global People Survey, regular pulse surveys and Open Forum sessions with Executive Committee members throughout the year. Our leadership also regularly engage with our Employee Business Forum, Employee Networks and Ethics Champions to listen to the lived experiences of our colleagues.
Our Culture Steering Group, comprised of Board and Executive Committee Members, meet on a quarterly basis to discuss culture metrics aligned to our culture ambition. Our Chair and Chief Executive’s performance and remuneration is based on a balance of trust and growth metrics. Their goals are shared with the partnership for transparency.
As well as our Board measuring our progress against our culture plan, we’ve been working with the Institute of Business Ethics to look at different aspects of our overall ethical health framework, including the accountability of our leaders, to ensure that an appropriate ethical culture prevails across the firm. Our Public Interest Committee, chaired by Lord Evans of Weardale, provides independent challenge and reviews our progress against our culture ambition, as part of their remit.
12022 Global People Survey data is based on 11,069 colleague responses. 2021 Global People Survey data is based on 6,310 responses.
22022 Values Week feedback is based on 152 responses.