When we introduced human experience management (HXM) one year ago, it signaled a fundamental shift from treating people as company assets to rightfully placing them at the center of business.

This human-centered mindset has been put to the test this year, at a time when organizations and individuals alike have been forced to work and live in an ever-changing, unpredictable environment. The organizations that have survived and even thrived during these challenging months are those that have quickly pivoted to new business models, products, and services. But their resilience did not happen with the flip of a switch. It was made possible by the passion, commitment, and agility of their workforce.

People ultimately determine whether businesses succeed or fail. So the experiences we deliver and how we address the moments that matter for every individual – from the birth of a child to a leadership change to planning for retirement – impact business growth and how quickly an organization can adapt to change.

The recently published Thrive XM Index validates this connection between employee experience and business results. Between 2019 and 2020, organizations that scored in the top 20 for experience grew revenue on average by 16% year-over-year. The study also reveals that companies with higher experience ratings have 37% less perceived stress, 35% more engagement, and 34% increased retention among employees.

Put simply, experience wins.

It’s with this in mind that HXM remains our North Star. It guides how we develop our solutions today, and it is our vision for a future of work that is more productive, purposeful, and personal. And our momentum in the HXM market demonstrates that it is resonating. Earlier this month, we topped 4,000 customers using the SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central solution. As the pace of change seems only to accelerate, leaders need a balance of technology, thoughtfulness, and ingenuity to prepare their workforces for what is next.

Empowering HR Leaders to Take Charge of Change

With HXM guiding our product strategy, we’ hae made it our mission to make technology work better for people, not the other way around. In recent months, when workforces were forced into unprecedented situations, we helped our customers leverage technology to streamline the flow of work and provide the data needed to make fast, intelligent decisions. Human resources (HR) leaders have taken on increasingly strategic roles to redeploy and re-skill their people while reinforcing business continuity.

Earlier this month, we announced a new service offering that is helping customers return their employees safely to the workplace while at the same time allowing them to build resilient workforces for the future.

Making the Digital Workplace Experience Personal

We know there is not a one-size-fits-all solution to tackle today’s challenges. It’s why HXM abandons the notion of pushing top-down, HR-driven processes and focuses on building technology that serves the individual. Our newly designed home page is a dynamic tool where immediate tasks, actions, and content are organized specifically for and by the individual.

We continue to embed experience management capabilities across SAP SuccessFactors HXM Suite so individuals can share their feedback and business leaders can listen and make informed changes. From design modifications to new features, the latest updates in our second half release continue to put the experience of the employee first so they can bring their best self to work.

Accelerating Employee Experience with the Intelligent Enterprise

Employee experience extends beyond the tools offered by HR, but encompasses every touch point across a business, including IT, finance, and operations, as well as the many other services and applications that cover everything in between. The Intelligent Enterprise enables organizations to understand how the entire end-to-end experience for an individual can impact morale, productivity, and business results. SAP Work Zone for HR helps companies on their journey to becoming intelligent enterprises by providing a personalized, intuitive, digital workplace experience that seamlessly extends beyond HR solutions, connecting to other SAP technologies as well as third-party and partner applications.

With more than 250 partner apps in SAP App Center to help organizations address employee well-being, diversity, equity and inclusion, recruiting, talent management, and more, we are building a pipeline of innovation that applies the latest technologies to tomorrow’s most pressing workforce challenges. Recently, we announced six early-stage HR technology startups that have joined the latest SAP.iO Foundry San Francisco cohort focused on the future of work.

A Vision for the Future of Work Begins with Learning

Together with our customers and partners, SAP strives every day to deliver the ideal workplace experience that brings out the best in employees. As we look to a future with continuous change, building and supporting a culture of learning will be a cornerstone to how work is done. The skills needed today might not be sufficient in a year. Learning helps employees better understand their role and address compliance needs, and demonstrates that an organization is investing in their development.

True to our HXM vision, learning programs must be reimagined to deliver ongoing, dynamic, and individualized experiences. They need to be adaptable to how each person wants to consume information, regardless of format, source, context, or device. By supporting every individual to achieve their development goals, businesses can be more agile, more innovative, and ultimately, more impactful.

When we reflect on our momentum and envision the future of work, change is the only constant. Human connection remains vital to success. Prioritizing individuals — whether it is in the way technology is designed or the way they are personally cared for — is what will build a workforce that is equipped to excel today and tackle tomorrow’s challenges.

Because if people win, business wins.

Jill Popelka is president of SAP SuccessFactors