EY and Bikeworks ride in tandem on path to growth

When I joined EY, I never thought I’d be running client workshops at London’s Olympic velodrome. But over recent months, thanks to a partnership between EY and Bikeworks, I’ve had the opportunity of doing just this.

Emerging from the pandemic, Bikeworks, a social enterprise that uses cycling as a tool for good to address inequalities, were considering ways to scale its social and environmental impact. Zoe Portlock and Jim Blakemore, co-CEOs of Bikeworks, were seeking guidance on how to attract and retain new people in a challenging economic environment. Over a five month programme, an EY team from the workforce advisory practice with a range of skills, worked together with Bikeworks to consider these questions and how best to achieve positive results.

As work got under way, we focused on four main areas: organisational strategy and case for change, operating model and organisational design, employee value proposition, and communications.

A new organisational strategy and narrative was created that offers Bikeworks a clear operational structure to support growth. Working alongside Zoe and Jim, we developed a future operating model blueprint, including detailed role profiles and a transition plan. An authentic employee value proposition framework and communications audit with recommendations, to help get key messages to intended audiences, was also drawn up.

Perhaps the biggest achievement from our partnership, though, was the emergence of a strong and trusting rapport between EY and Bikeworks. And, indeed, the shared excitement to continue supporting Bikeworks to expand their impact using cycles for good.

And it’s a credit to the Social Business Trust, a partner of both EY and Bikeworks, who were able to bring the two organisations together. SBT’s ability to act as a strategic bridge, if you will, spotted the mutual benefit that would flow by bringing EY together with Bikeworks. In short, SBT matched Bikework’s request with EY’s practical support.

Personally, I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to develop confidence in my skills as a consultant, particularly getting the chance to lead workshops and take ownership of workstream outputs. And I’m grateful to work for an organisation that encourages its staff to volunteer on projects such as this, helping make us more rounded employees to truly live our purpose of building a better working world.

Moreover, it was valuable getting to build my own relationship with the client and hone my skills as an advisor. And it was wonderful to work as part of a large team with a wide variety of expertise and skills. I have learnt a great deal and it has provided me with inspiration in my approach to work. The project has highlighted how the work we do as consultants can add value and purpose to an organisation.

All in all, it’s been a unique opportunity to work alongside clients who are so passionate and energetic about what they do – and this is reflected back onto the team and made us more motivated to produce quality work. We are looking to continue working with Bikeworks in 2023 to build on what we’ve achieved together so far.

By Ciara Dowling, 16th February 2023

Ciara is a Senior Consultant within People Advisory Services


If you work at EY, or any of SBT’s corporate partners, and are interested in putting your skills and expertise to use in support of a social enterprise contact us on info@socialbusinesstrust.org

Registered Charity: 1136151 and Company: 7242976 Copyright © 2024 Social Business Trust