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Case Study
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Case Study

How EY built a better working world with its people at the center

EY’s People Advisory Services delivers an exceptional transformation experience for its people through data and creativity.

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Can technology augment the art of change to enable transformation?

As a global professional services firm with over 300,000 personnel, EY adopted a people-centered approach to its transformation.

When EY global organization’s strategy needed to be refreshed due to a recent change of CEO, plans called for transformation across a workforce of more than 300,000 people. Rapid deployment of technology, combined with modern and creative engagement and activation experiences, helped inspire and energize the workforce around the change. 

The bold transformation agenda needed to be delivered to ensure the workforce adopted the changes and new ways of working rapidly and sustainably. This required the change to be delivered in a way that was purposeful, impactful, immersive and personalized. 

To do this, EY looked to its own People Advisory Services team to articulate, shape, and personalize the change journey, using its EY Change Experience approach and combining data and creativity.

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Creative activation using data built a unique change experience

EY Change Insights provided deep insights on sentiment and adoption challenges across EY to inform and shape change and activation efforts.

EY’s People Advisory Services leveraged its proprietary solution – EY Change Insights – to provide the data and analytics needed to inform how the change was delivered. EY Change Insights is the technology that EY brings to a human-centric approach to digitalize the activities of change.

EY Change Insights was established as the data heart of the change program. Data on awareness and sentiment were gathered, and the vitality of behavior adoption in the change effort was also assessed. Pre-built assessments in eight languages captured rich insights into the workforce’s change experience. From these assessments, interactive dashboards revealed where and why groups’ change experience was off-track. The dashboards also allowed business leaders to drill down to see their team’s response to the change and understand the different behavioral profiles of employees across different parts of the business.

Moreover, EY Change Insights was used to track and understand the natural information flows, and it further provided an understanding of the key success factors needed for successful transformation – commitment, leadership, preparedness, involvement, and the change vision and plan. To help achieve the transformation objectives, EY Change Insights was also used to deeply analyze how well people were adopting the new behaviors and what the reasons for non-adoption were. Furthermore, the rich dashboards aggregated up to portfolio-level data to give leaders the information they need to steer, coordinate and assure the overall change effort.

By highlighting the hotspots and deeply understanding the workforce, the platform helped to efficiently identify where and how interventions needed to be tailored and targeted to address specific concerns for different employee groups.

Taking advantage of this data, the team was able to deliberately design a set of memorable activation experiences to bring the new strategy to life in a way that was aligned to the learning and communication preferences of the workforce. This helped drive successful adoption, and together with a cross section of the EY community, the team challenged traditional approaches and reimagined ways to engage at scale across a complex audience and cultural landscape. 

Deliberately designed to create and maintain momentum over a two to three-year period, a series of interventions were recommended. New approaches included using virtual world technology to impactfully launch the new strategy globally, re-inventing existing recognition programs, and introducing gamification to drive adoption of key concepts.

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Global transformation through an improved change experience

Through a highly complex global and cultural program, the EY organization transforms at scale by putting its people at the center.

With EY Change Insights providing optics into how teams, business units and service lines are responding to change, together with innovative and inspiring activation approaches, the transformation becomes agile, responsive and impactful to large populations. 

“The innovative Change Experience approach – in particular the combination of powerful data and analytics, together with creative and fresh new activation ideas – has really set us up for success as we move into the next phase of delivery,” says Chris Mazzei, EY Global Vice Chair, Strategy. “It has been an exemplar within EY.”

Natalie Johnson, EY People Advisory Services Global Change Management Practice Leader, adds: “When you put people first, the change experience is authentic. A transformation of this scale and importance required bold and brave thinking.  Leveraging our market leading Change Experience method, we helped deliver an exceptional outcome and successfully scaled our approach to one of the largest organizations in the world, galvanizing the power of over 330,000 people – an incredible opportunity and achievement.”

The innovative Change Experience approach, in particular the combination of powerful data and analytics, has really set us up for success as we move into the next phase of delivery.
Chris J Mazzei
EY Global Vice Chair, Strategy

Armed with data and insight and fueled by creativity to drive inspiring and memorable change, EY’s global transformation has unleashed the power of people to drive the strategy forward enabling long-term value for the organization, its clients and its employees.

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