4 minute read 7 Apr 2019
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Why your people are the key to navigating disruption

By

Carmine Di Sibio

EY Global Chairman and CEO

Passionate about our clients and the power of our global organization. Driver of growth and innovation. Relationship builder. Sports fan.

4 minute read 7 Apr 2019

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Organizations need to upskill and motivate their people to work with a global and digital mindset.

New technologies are transforming global businesses. Sectors are converging. A competitor today may very well be a collaborator tomorrow – or vice versa. In my conversations with clients and business leaders around the world, everyone seems to be asking the same question: How do we stay ahead of the curve?

It’s a challenge that every business must address – and why EY is making a billion-dollar investment in technology and global innovation. But even as we innovate, we also know that no single breakthrough can guarantee success in a world that moves this fast. That’s why, in addition to investing in technology, we’re investing in our people.

When your people are empowered to collaborate, learn new skills and succeed in a changing world, they can drive your organization’s success no matter what challenges come next. We’re working to build that agile workforce of the future in three key ways.

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Innovation Realized

At the Innovation Realized Summit 2019, we convened brilliant minds to collaborate on how to solve the now, explore the next and imagine what's after what's next.

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1. Skills training and workforce development

Today, 45% of employers worldwide say they have trouble finding candidates with the necessary skills. This skills gap has left companies shorthanded and constrained growth – but businesses have an opportunity to help close it.

One of the most powerful things you can do is invest in the people who work for you right now. At EY, for instance, AI, data analytics and other technologies are increasingly relevant to our tax and audit practices. That means we need our people to have some fluency in these areas, no matter what professional background they bring to the job.

With changes like this in mind, we’ve enhanced the training, mentoring, and personal development we offer around the world. Each year, we’re investing more than US$500 million in training and nearly 13 million hours in classroom instruction for our people.

One of the most powerful things you can do is invest in the people who work for you right now.

We’re also incentivizing continuous training by offering EY Badges, which recognize people who’ve learned new skills. If someone earns a badge in data analytics, they can display that credential both inside our organization and on external platforms like LinkedIn. This helps our workforce adapt, and enables our people to acquire skills that will benefit them long into the future.

2. Global networks of talent and resources

The future of work won’t just require new skills. It will also require us to rethink how we build the teams that deploy those talents.

Why? Because as sectors converge and the world becomes more interconnected, business’ challenges are becoming more complex, too. A group of people in one room with a whiteboard will rarely be best at solving a problem spanning multiple continents and dozens of industries. None of us can afford to operate in silos like this anymore. Instead, more and more, businesses will need to draw on global networks of talent and resources.

We’ve seen this firsthand at EY, where we have 270,000 people working across 150 countries. We’ve found it’s vital to ensure they don’t feel like they’re working in isolated outposts – but instead are connected as part of one global team with a common purpose. That means if a company in India wants help with transactions in the US and Europe, we’ll build a global, integrated team with experts in each geography. They’ll work as one cohesive unit to help navigate local markets wherever the client wants to do business.

It’s equally important to build teams that incorporate a wide range of stakeholders, each of which bring unique skills and advantages. Already, we have 21 different alliance agreements, generally specializing in advanced technical solutions. We’re expanding our base of talent to include in-house technology experts, including over 20,000 data and analytics practitioners.

When we need even more specialized skills, we’re also able to bring in freelancers through our GigNow platform. This has enabled us to build a talent pool of nearly 30,000 contractors and fill over 2,000 gigs around the world.

3. Purpose-driven results

A third trend is shaping the future of work, too. Today, by and large, people expect more from their work than a pay check. They want to be motivated and engaged with a clear purpose – so they feel that they are working toward something bigger than themselves.

Today, by and large, people expect more from their work than a pay check.

This has a real impact on the bottom line, because a more engaged workforce is also a better performing one. In fact, our most engaged teams show 4 points higher revenue growth per person, 8 points higher retention, and 8 points higher gross margin.

These results didn’t surprise me – because in the end, a business is only as strong as its people. We can’t navigate the forces of disruption without them, so it’s more important than ever to invest in their success.

At Innovation Realized 19, from 7-9 April in Boston, EY convenes leaders to further explore how companies can continue to create and deliver value by planning in three dimensions simultaneously: Solve the now. Explore the next. Imagine the beyond. Join the conversation by following #InnovationRealized and visiting ey.com/innovationrealized.

Summary

To compete as industries converge, organizations need to invest in their people more than ever.

About this article

By

Carmine Di Sibio

EY Global Chairman and CEO

Passionate about our clients and the power of our global organization. Driver of growth and innovation. Relationship builder. Sports fan.