SAP Partner Zalaris Creates a Healthier Business: One Stroke, Pedal, and Step at a Time

Since it was founded, SAP partner Zalaris has always challenged itself to be one of the top comprehensive HR and payroll services across Northern and Central Europe, U.K. and Ireland, and APAC.

Zalaris combines its deep HR expertise with SAP SuccessFactors technology to deliver a fully managed cloud solution. This enables its customers to attract and manage the best talent to run their businesses more efficiently and with greater speed.

Over the last year, Zalaris has doubled in size through acquisitions and organic growth, earning CEO Hans-Petter Mellerud an EY Entrepreneur of the Year award. Now that award brings about a new challenge. Mellerud has been dared to participate in the Isklar Norseman Xtreme Triathlon. This is one of the world’s most extreme triathlons—a 3.8 km swim, 180 km bicycle ride over a mountain, and a marathon on the tallest mountain in Norway.

Mellerud, an accomplished athlete, accepted. He was then further challenged by AKTIV Against Cancer, a cancer awareness organization that Zalaris has long supported, to use the event to fundraise more than $200,000 for the charity.

Physical challenges are nothing new for Mellerud, a former Norwegian Special Forces Officer, or many of Zalaris’s employees. In fact, Zalaris encourages physical activity for its employees. Mellerud believes that active, happy employees make more productive teammates—which has helped Zalaris make customers happy and grow the business, all while also giving back to the community.

“I’m using this opportunity to show that anything is possible, to be an example for others. Even if you’re busy, running a company, we still need to make time to also think of doing something good for others, Mellerud said.”

Employee Engagement Yields Valuable Returns

Zalaris also is encouraging customers and other partners to get involved with AKTIV, and increase their physical activity to be more productive overall, Mellerud said.

“A lot of us have jobs where we sit still all day, gaining weight, getting out of shape. To help address this, we log our activities on a mobile app and encourage others to do the same, all while generating funds to fight cancer. Even if it’s just walking stairs, we are encouraging employee engagement.  I believe it’s having a positive effect on our employees’ health as it has helped reduce employee absences.”

Mellerud recently ran an eight-day, stage race in South Africa to support another organization and said encouragement from employees and customers helped keep him motivated through the grueling times. “I’m proud to be part of a company with that kind of support. I think the more engaged our employees are, the more likely they will remain with Zalaris and help us continue to grow.”

Despite having participated in races and other sporting events all over the world, the Isklar Norseman Challenge will be Mellerud’s first triathlon. “This will be challenging, but I want to be an example that you can overcome obstacles. You can achieve things you didn’t think you could and even if you don’t ultimately succeed, you dared to test your boundaries.”

Zalaris has raised more than $200,000 for AKTIV over the last several years, a figure Mellerud hopes to match through fundraising around the Norseman Challenge.

“We are always looking ahead and seeing challenges, not problems. If you see obstacles in business, you will hit them,” Mellerud said. “The goal is to see past them and find a way to get through.”

Zalaris believes that every company has the ability to run more efficiently and simply, creating more time to pursue other passions. Whether you want to train for a triathlon, spend time with your family or pursue another cause, Zalaris and SAP SuccessFactors solutions are helping companies become more efficient, allowing for time to help make the world better one stroke, pedal, and step at a time.

Top image features Hans-Petter Mellerud, CEO of Zalaris.


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