We are in extraordinary times, during which extraordinary things happen.

Human resources (HR) organizations take great pride in their preparedness for every potential disruption. But today’s disruption is no ordinary event that could have been anticipated. Within weeks, the traditional paradigm of work was shaken at its core, leading to the acceleration of what is perhaps the most significant transformation of the employee experience to date.

This shift is much more than establishing work-from-home policies. HR organizations must also support employees across seven dimensions:

  • Physical and mental well-being and safety
  • Remote work arrangements that provide access to the right tools, information, and people
  • Leadership perceptions in how to manage a remote workforce and succession planning
  • Compensation for employees who are sick or unable to work from home
  • Virtual practices for recruiting, hiring, and onboarding new talent
  • Digital learning that allows employees to stay informed, advance skills, and work productively
  • Future measures that protect the health of employees when facilities reopen

HR leaders are indeed dealing with uncharted challenges. However, with human experience management (HXM) services from SAP, a new paradigm for the future of work can emerge – one that is equitable and inclusive, values diversity and innovation, and supports an experience that employees demand.

Emerging Stronger with Outcome-Based, Proactive Support

Through innovation and advisory, HR organizations can discover new ways to focus on the economic, social, and environmental impacts of their employee experience. They can pinpoint previously unseen process and communication gaps, analyze scenarios for potential improvements, and rethink their business culture.

With 99 percent of  HXM service engagements from SAP now delivered off site and leveraging the latest digital technology and tools, SAP has made itself accessible and prepared to help customers navigate every twist and turn in today’s turbulent work environment. Every day seems to bring new information and challenges, impacting HR policies, strategies, and contingency plans at a moment’s notice.

By focusing on standardization and simplification, SAP services support and guide customers to assess leading practices and apply the ones that add value to their existing business processes. This approach gives HR leaders the insight they need to help ensure employees gain the most benefit from the tools and solutions used to complete daily activities, satisfy customer needs, and get ahead of emerging risks.

SAPrecommendations are not a sales pitch, but a commitment and promise to help deliver the specific outcomes and expected return on investment (ROI) that customers need to transform their talent models and digitize their employee experience.

Take, for example, a leading natural resources customer. Prior to COVID-19, the natural resources extractor and processor simplified, automated, and improved its core HR activities with the guidance and support of SAP experts. The initiative transitioned 80 percent of its processes into a self-service experience, cutting activity checkpoints in half, giving line leaders direct access to manage their teams better, and increasing visibility into employee information. Most importantly, its employees have the support they need, when they need it – from on-screen, step-by-step guidance to a global toolkit and 24/5 phone or e-mail support.

These efforts set the foundation for the capabilities it needed to navigate this time of intense disruption. At the onset of the pandemic, SAP added a remote employee pulse check capability to allow the company to monitor workforce well-being, stress, and health in ways that are relevant, meaningful, and insightful. The flexibility to update the pulse check enables the business to pivot its practices and self-services quickly to meet current business needs.

Doubling Down to Get Ready for the Next Normal

For customers, transformation does not end once the foundation is set. SAP is constantly innovating and curating leading practices quickly to help customers tackle today’s challenges and prepare the workforce for whatever comes next – whether it is a fast-paced economic recovery or a longer-term recession.

While some companies announce plans to design a workforce experience for a new generation of norms, HXM service experts at SAP are already ushering in the “next normal” of work.

Now more than ever, SAP customers are tackling challenges with the tools and capabilities they need and setting a foundation for a future of work that will undoubtedly continue to evolve and provide extraordinary moments that matter in the employee experience.

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Jo Morrow Aimandi is senior vice president and global head of HXM Services for SAP SuccessFactors.