8 minute read 10 Sep 2020
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Creating long-term value for people

By EY Global

Ernst & Young Global Ltd.

8 minute read 10 Sep 2020

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In a year of disruption, we remained committed to empowering EY people to build their own exceptional experiences.

This year, more than ever, has demonstrated the importance of enabling our people to help solve the world’s toughest problems, support the creation of long-term value and bring out the best in themselves and others.

We also prioritized the health and safety of EY people, clients and communities by swiftly implementing guidance for travel, meetings and events, as well as a safe return to EY offices and client sites.

Ongoing EY investments in technology, combined with a strong existing culture of flexible working, meant we also quickly adapted to a fully remote work environment for nearly 300,000 EY people. 

We were also particularly aware of the need to be even more intentional about what EY people need to support their well-being. From the outset, additional resources and benefits for EY people were developed, based on local needs, including increases in childcare provision, and mental and physical health resources.  

At the same time, we remain focused on ensuring that EY people can continue to build the exceptional experiences they need to thrive, in a very fluid environment.

EY is investing to empower people with the right mindsets and skill sets to navigate what’s next. This will help create agile and engaged teams who deliver exceptional service, and create long-term value to clients and society.

One of the important ways we’re doing that is by updating the promise we make to EY people. We have long said that people have an exceptional experience at EY. That is as true today as ever, but it doesn’t just happen – EY people need to make it happen.

EY provides the opportunities and EY people build their own exceptional experience. To better reflect this, ‘‘The exceptional EY experience – it’s yours to build’’ is the new promise to EY people.

Sharpening the skills of current EY people is crucial; we also know, that as clients’ needs become more complex, we need people from a broader range of backgrounds than ever before.

That means attracting, recruiting and retaining people with diverse perspectives and aspirations, who want different experiences. Today EY has more than 40,000 specialist technologists – AI specialists, mathematicians, data scientists, software engineers, product managers and UX designers – working alongside people with backgrounds in strategy, consulting, accounting, finance, law and tax.

We know that to serve clients today we want the best ideas from the broadest group of people; and we need to value differences and team inclusively to build safety and trust.

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Chapter 1: Developing EY people to navigate what’s next ​​​

Giving training and support for increasingly diverse career paths

In FY20, before the pandemic, EY completed the global roll-out of a state-of-the-art learning platform which positioned EY to rapidly ramp up delivery of virtual learning.

During the pandemic, virtual learning increased from 31% of total hours in FY19 to 55% in FY20, as EY people made use of the opportunity to develop their skills while they are working from home. In FY20, EY invested over $450 million in formal learning – spend decreased from FY19 because of a reduction in travel when classes were cancelled mid-year due to COVID-19 – and delivered more than 16 million hours of learning.

This year also saw the launch of a new EY Tech MBA by Hult International Business School. One of EY’s most anticipated and ambitious learning programs, the collaboration makes EY the first organization to offer an entirely virtual MBA for free, for all our almost 300,000 EY people in 150 countries. 

One of EY’s most anticipated and ambitious learning programs, the EY Tech MBA by Hult International Business School makes EY the first organization to offer an entirely virtual MBA for free, for all our almost 300,000 people in 150 countries. 

The MBA builds on the EY Badges program, which gives EY people future-focused skills. There are now more than 100 EY Badges to choose from, covering topics such as technology, sustainability and leadership.

EY people have already earned more than 70,000 Badges with more than 100,000 Badges underway, with Data Visualization and Digital the most popular.

In today’s quickly changing world, ideas of leadership are changing fast too. That is why EY has also developed a new Transformative Leadership model that brings together EY’s purpose, values and the leadership behaviors the world needs right now. The model is designed to help everyone at EY build a ‘‘better me’’, a ‘‘better us’’ and a better working world for EY clients and society.

We are also focused on offering ‘‘multi-track’’ career paths, supporting increasingly diverse career journeys, empowering EY people to build careers that are as unique as they are, and to proactively seek out the experiences that will help them go further.

As the world undergoes unprecedented change it’s more important than ever for EY people to never stop learning. Indeed, clients’ ability to innovate depends on it. 

Businesswoman having a meeting with coworkers over a video call

Chapter 2: Talent acquisition and attraction goes virtual 

Interns rise to online and in-person opportunities

This year all Talent acquisition and attraction and onboarding activity – interviews, career fairs and recruiting events – were converted almost overnight to a virtual experience in order to continue to support recruiting needs in EY.

In FY20 more than 76,000 client-serving people from almost 2 million applicants were welcomed to the EY family. 

In FY20 more than 76,000 client-serving people from almost 2 million applicants were welcomed to the EY family.

Long-standing commitments to internships were honored, despite the disruption caused by COVID-19.

EY offered 15,000 internships this year, with more than half delivered virtually. EY interns took to social media to share their experiences, through Instagram takeovers and stories, and even posting ‘day in the life’ content from their homes, complete with guest appearances from pets, roommates and children.

EY Talent Attraction and Acquisition teams worked hard to provide a valuable experience, with interns contributing to live projects and delivering meaningful work even if they were working from home, and ensured that interns felt supported by the EY culture and inspired by our purpose.

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Chapter 3: Capturing insights and feedback to make better decisions

Transforming ways of working over the long-term

In addition to empowering EY people to pursue meaningful skills and experiences and supporting them to personalize their careers at EY, proactive, authentic and empathetic two-way communication is crucial.

That’s why we use a range of listening tools, including surveys and a single-question “mood tracker” that leverage integrated technology and data, to regularly capture and respond to what EY people are experiencing.

This was particularly important as the COVID-19 crisis developed. Ongoing feedback and conversations during this time meant we could be even more intentional about what EY people needed, whether that was additional training – one of the most popular online courses this year was ‘‘how to run virtual meetings effectively’’  - or additional childcare benefits.

EY peoples’ insights and feedback help create better experiences. They also help teams to collaborate better, support each other more effectively, and foster a greater sense of belonging.

Throughout the year new ways to team and learn were found, and we are looking at how these experiences can inform different, more agile ways of working in the future. 

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Chapter 4: One million strong – EY alumni

Helping connect EY people past and present

Strong relationships are key to EY – it’s what underpins high-performing teams delivering exceptional service for clients. And EY alumni are amongst the most important relationships we have.

The EY Alumni network is active in over 75 countries and helps connect EY people, past and present, to friends, opportunities, resources and networks.

Today there are EY alumni – more than one million people around the world – in every sector: as entrepreneurs, academics, corporate leaders and working in charitable organizations and government agencies.

We proudly celebrate our alumni relationships and EY ambassadors in many ways – one of which is celebrating EY Alumni Week. Each year we take a moment to recognize our alumni, our extended EY family and the contributions they are making to help us build a better working world.


To help create long-term value for people, EY provides the opportunities, training and experiences that our people need – today and tomorrow – to build their own unique careers.

About this article

By EY Global

Ernst & Young Global Ltd.