When I returned to work in 2014 after battling my way back from cancer, I had to learn a dizzying array of things. Some were new attitudes, like thinking more positively or letting go of the belief that I could do everything. Others were new skills, like relaxation techniques or healthier ways of eating. One habit that I picked up and have never put down since is asking for help when I need it.
One of my first actions when I came back to SAP was to head to HR and ask them for support as I found my footing. Their response was extraordinary. The folks in HR, whom I’ve come to see as allies and even friends, gave me what I asked for and also what I didn’t yet realize I needed.
By setting new challenges in front of me and not just facilitating a return to the job I already knew, they reminded me what I was capable of. They helped me learn an even broader set of skills than I’d had before, and perhaps most importantly, they set an example of how to create a workplace that truly engages and inspires.
Supported by the rock-solid sense of psychological safety that my HR allies created, I felt free to ask the questions and take the risks that were necessary to rebuild who I am as a professional and to help my teams tackle new challenges. No matter what, I knew I could count on their support. Interacting with HR became a kind of blueprint for connecting with the rest of SAP.
Seeing HR’s huge impact on my own career is one key reason I so readily stepped in to my new role leading Marketing for SAP SuccessFactors. I wanted the chance to help every company create the kind of environment we have at SAP. The tools we have in the cloud — from core HR and payroll to analytics-based hiring and customized onboarding, from continuous performance management and intelligent succession all the way to real-time collaboration — all have the potential to help companies measure and change more of what matters than ever before.
At this time of rapid change, when companies need every employee to tap into every last ounce of their resourcefulness, these tools aren’t just a nice-to-have; they mark the dividing line between just getting by and thriving.
That’s why we’re launching what we’re calling the “Human Revolution.” It’s a set of ideas and tools for tapping into our collective humanity at a time when we need it the most. It will be a big subject at this year’s SuccessConnect, and you can learn more about it at Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global, which is helping us share what the Human Revolution stands for.
At SAP, we have the chance to keep the revolution going. Because of the tools and the amazing culture we have, we are test driving what the future looks like for companies everywhere. Take a look at the newly launched hub we’ve created with Thrive Global, and claim your place in the Human Revolution.
Kirsten Allegri-Williams is global head of Marketing for SAP SuccessFactors.