{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I just want to hear the explanation for why staff who started during COVID are doing so badly on average (and I have heard this from every level including staff themselves) from the pro 100 percent work from home people. If you agree it’s real, what is your solution? If it can’t be fixed, are we just accepting that the people we expect to backfill our positions aren’t going to be ready?", "post_id": "617765524ac7b5002d8a8d6e", "reply_count": 61, "vote_count": 17, "bowl_id": "564a5cdb94887803001dd07c", "bowl_name": "Accounting" }

I just want to hear the explanation for why staff who started during COVID are doing so badly on average (and I have heard this from every level including staff themselves) from the pro 100 percent work from home people. If you agree it’s real, what is your solution? If it can’t be fixed, are we just accepting that the people we expect to backfill our positions aren’t going to be ready?

likesmart
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Also I think the interactions and knowledge sharing that happens amongst peers in a start class didn’t happen with the first COVID start class. How much did I learn from going into the office and sitting with some friends from my start class and then knowing who to reach out to when I had questions so I had someone else to go to other than my senior or manager? A LOT. “Oh you did that with a formula? Cool” “oh there’s a template for that?” “Wait what area are you working on?” “What do you do in that industry?” As well as “your manager does WHAT?” “How do I expense this?” “You can get an Xbox with your well-being subsidy?” Most of my (now) second years are just starting to meet the members of their start class. Having a wide variety of contacts and resources (not just your direct senior/manager) is something we have to find a way to recreate and redevelop for anyone starting primarily remotely.

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It’s up to the seniors and managers to make sure new staff are being trained and getting proper experience. If they’re not, that’s on us not on them. I think if you express your concerns with your leadership and think being in office will help I’m sure they would support you in designating one or two days a week for in office teaming. The biggest issue I’m hearing from my teams is they don’t want to go sit in an almost empty office. If they know their team will be there I think people would be motivated to go in. I’m also in tax and I know all the staff in my office want to go in and work in person with their teams occasionally.

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Lol when do they have time for that? My seniors and mgrs are up until 10-1am every night fixing the staffs putrid effort. Most of may seniors would rather work with Usi

smart
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I don't think you're wrong, but I also know that I don't personally want to return to the office. And if the firm forces us back in, I'll just find another firm that will let me stay remote

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I think those who are the top half will be more okay, since they can make anything work with the right mindset. but it's those average or less than average that are allowed to stay low performing because they don't get the in person pulls (observation, coaching, etc.) to higher quality. So there's more people at average or less than average.

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Its because there is no intimidation factor without the office. In the office there was peer pressure and the boss could come over to your desk and invade your space. With WFH staff can ignore bosses without consequence and the name of the game is doing as little work as possible to get more time with friends and family and personal hobbies. The work spell has been broken

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Ugh please! I might log off at 5pm now but I also now log back on from 8-11pm and I didn’t do that before wfh either. I also for most of busy season was at my laptop by 5:30 or 6am and worked for a couple hours before the rest of my house woke up. Didnt do that before wfh either. Intimidation factor! That’s ridiculous. What we SHOULD be thinking about how to address is how to help people SET boundaries when they work and live in the same location. “Reassessing priorities” as kpmg4 stated goes hand in hand with the demands of a job that takes over your physical space as well as your mental/emotional life. And the challenge isn’t “how to intimidate people into working” and “how to make sure people don’t sign off at 5pm during busy season”. It’s how do we adjust to different peoples priorities and needs to stay sane and mentally healthy while being productive and efficient members of the workforce. How do we accommodate different peoples needs/styles and be flexible and agile enough to keep people performing at a high level. Intimidation factor isn’t just a “bad choice of words” - it’s fundamentally what’s wrong with certain managers’ perspectives on wfh. I say as a person who wants to be working together with people in the same physical location on the regular.

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It’s a two-way street. When working from home, staff need to go above and beyond to reach out and make themselves available/visible. Managers also need to be WAY more intentional about spending time developing staff over the phone and screen sharing. Even being in the office it’s this same two-way street. It’s just that it was easier in the office to see each other and work with each other. Have to learn to adapt.

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Unfortunately I have to agree with you on that. It’s an industry-wide issue and has been for years. I’ve been having 1-on-1 meetings with staff this week informally to go over how they feel about their performance during extension season and giving them feedback on returns I had to push out the door last-minute without sending back to them. They’ve all echoed the same sentiment about not getting feedback/training, and these are staff I know for a fact are constantly reaching out to ask for it. I just joined this firm in July, but this issue was prevalent at my last firm too. The one thing I will say in defense of managers though is that not everyone is naturally willing to train other people, nor are they just naturally good at it. Outside of increased responsibilities that get placed on managers, I think this stems from people getting promoted because they’re good at doing their own jobs, not so much at training others that they supervise. So to ask these same people to magically be great at training others is asking a lot, and again it just isn’t natural for everyone. Now how that gets resolved? Starts at the very top in my opinion. Also why I think everyone should go through some type of mandatory management training when they reach that level, and training others needs to be a more critical component of evaluating managers’ performance.

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The amount of learning that happens in this environment by hearing conversations around you and adhoc coaching and mentoring is tremendous and you are also much more likely to get pulled in to a conversation on something above your pay grade in the office which can really stretch you. Hard to quantify but development has been significantly impacted. Yes, job can be done from home but career building is no where near the same and it will have an impact in the medium to long term. BTW, I am fully supportive of flex model but some in person time is important.

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100% agreed

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I agree with EY1 and don’t want to go back to an office. I think we, as managers, need to do a better job of intentionally reaching out to staff to provide guidance when we’re both working remotely. I think we can do it if we schedule it.

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And somehow these people are getting promoted faster now at PwC

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So planning ahead is being entitled? What??

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I’m a new staff, and I’m absolutely making the effort to communicate and ask questions, but I often find myself fighting tooth and nail to get a question answered or have something explained. There’s nothing I can do about that.

likesmart

That was my experience working in the office too though. I was still in my cube and had to wait for my senior to be available.

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I’m curious if we’re under preforming or just understaffed? No shade but every team I have been on has shrunk in size compared to previous years. Also all the A2s I know are going to either be co-senioring or solo senioring this upcoming busy season. From my perspective we aren’t given adequate tools to be successful and are burnt out from rolling busy seasons.

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This!!! ^^^ And those of us promoted to Senior this year are just plain tired. A big part of this issue is staffing appropriately and setting people up for success. We are TIRED.

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Probably because ever since we were onboarded we were forced to send work (that we have never seen before) to our colleagues overseas.

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I think the people that started last year right when COVID hit struggled a lot, but I don’t blame them, the world was falling apart. However, the people that started this year have kicked ass. I think like all things in life, people adapt and adjust.

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This has not been my experience with staff. Some are great, some aren’t. Same as any other year.

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I totally agree OP. I’m seeing the same number of rockstars and the vast majority of people hired last year struggling

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Staff need intentional management and coaching, peer network to build rapport with, and impromptu trainings. I'm Wfh and am working on building these things into my discussions with the seniors and staff I work with this year . I also give upfront feedback at the beginning of engagements so they can work on specific skills throughout the engagement and check in on how that skill is doing weekly or monthly. JUST started some of the above, hoping I can keep it going through busy season! Many thank yous and memes sent via chat are always welcome as well :)

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because of WFH?

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OP, what LoS are you in? S3 in audit here, I didn’t see a huge mass of low performer both at Deloitte and my old regional firm due to WFH Also what does dragging someone to a conference room do exactly? The seniors and managers are always too busy to help and are bouncing around calls

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Tax

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Because I am currently having lunch alone. That’s why. Come back into the office and be the leaders that you were promoted to be.

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Wait, you get to eat lunch??

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I firmly believe that this is due to the way humans learn and interact. We are design to use our mirror neurons to not just learn a process but to sense what’s going. WFH is not offering that learning to new staff.

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@kpmg1 — it sounds like you’re in the wrong industry.

Been thinking that too!

Humans adapt and evolve too. I can see the effect on socializing, but this doesn’t affect my work quality.

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