SAP Career Success Center Kicks Off in Bangalore

More than 1,000 SAP employees recently showed up for the Pop-Up Career Success Center launch in Bangalore, India.

With the SAP Career Success Center concept, SAP offers a platform where employees can seek guidance on career-related questions. The launch of this new program aims to attract more talent, give all employees support to grow their careers, and see more leaders evolve from within at the company. The program will also support SAP’s goal to increase the proportion of women in leadership positions to 25 percent.

The SAP Labs India team held a three-day kickoff event for the launch of the first Pop-Up Career Success Center, which will become a permanent part of the HR Lounge. Through the sponsorship of Bhuvaneswar Naik, Vice-President of HR, and Mahesh Nayak M, COO, both of SAP Labs India, a variety of events took place. Sunil Chhetri, Captain of the Indian National Football team, spoke about the importance of focus and a positive attitude for his career and Indian author, TGC Prasad, (The Last Ten Percent) discussed how making that extra effort has a profound effect on success.

In a “Recruit-O-Bar,” employees had casual conversations with recruiters about open roles and the development activities they’d need to complete to be considered. Aditi D’Souza led a debate with SAP India business leaders on the meaning of career development, and Manish Sinha facilitated an SAP Business Women’s Network panel discussion on successful work/life balance. The Career Development team also led workshops on professional skills topics so that employees could take immediate steps toward their career goals.

Employees in the Bangalore office will now be able to schedule appointments with career advisors to find the help they need to build their SAP careers.

Bangalore is the first location to host a Pop-Up SAP Career Success Center. Other pop-ups are scheduled for Dublin, Paris, Singapore, Shanghai, Palo Alto, Chicago, and Bellevue. These pop-ups are in addition to other permanent career center locations in Newtown Square, Walldorf, São Paulo, San Leopoldo, and Vancouver.

To learn more, SAP News interviewed one of the event organizers, Barbara Jamelli-Sefchik, Global Head of Career Development and part of the HR Talent and Leadership Center of Excellence.

Q: How did the idea come about?

A: About a year ago, a member of our HR leadership team approached me with the idea of turning our HR headline “Everyone is a Talent” into a reality. As a company, SAP already knew that we wanted to provide more comprehensive support to our employees’ career development – it’s a win for everyone. A lot of research shows that when a company’s employees are happy, both they and their company do well. Moreover, employees told us they wanted more guidance.

We already have a few permanent locations with similar operating models, but extending the idea can be a costly endeavor, in terms of both money and resources. After much evaluation and number crunching, I came up with the pop-up idea and the HR Leadership Team heartily supported it.

However, it’s not just about a physical location. You need to staff the location with career advisor volunteers who are trained to handle career questions. You also need to offer programs that are meaningful for each phase of the career development process. I’m very proud to say our Career Development team provides all of that and helps local project teams through setup and launch.

Q: What is your vision for the future?

A: Our ultimate vision is to see our internal hire rates increase and our attrition rates decrease. It would also be wonderful to see more leaders grown from within, and also to see SAP achieve its goal of 25% women in leadership roles. Our employees have what I would call “institutional memory” – we shouldn’t lose that. Instead, we should foster growth so employees can grow as SAP evolves.

It all starts with employees building meaningful career development plans – documented in Success Map, of course! – that they can execute. The Career Development Team will assist our locations to provide support and guidance for their questions on how to do this.

Just like with a food truck, if you can’t get to the restaurant, the restaurant can pop up in your neighborhood. Therefore, we will take the Career Success Center on the road to seven other SAP offices in 2015, where we’ll help foster a culture of learning and development with a week-long program to support all phases of career development. And once again, career advising will be our focal point.

Q: Who is your target audience?

A: All employees are our target audience because “Everyone Is A Talent”. And while right now we’re focusing on specific locations, there are other programs coming later this year for all employees to take advantage of for their careers.

Q: What makes the event unique?

A: Through my work with some of our customers, and through my own professional network as well, I’ve learned that our ability to provide 1:1 career development support in a scalable way is something special. Alongside this, the program is truly global.