The tide has turned on the job market. Over the past few years, organizations had to turn from one crisis to the next. Climate change, the pandemic, macroeconomic forces, and the skills gap have implications for our planet, global supply chains, and the energy and financial markets. This keeps leaders up at night and affects the people in their teams alike.

The “great resignation” and “quiet quitting” are more than buzz words; they are the reality we live in today, and that’s what leaders need to open their eyes to. These developments require organizations to become more agile and resilient than ever. At the same time, businesses of every industry, every size, and every geography are part of a race for talent.

On the employee side, people are seeking alignment between personal and company values, allowing them to find purpose in their jobs. They are insistent on a culture that allows them to learn new skills, take on different projects, and bring their whole self to the workplace.

People want the ability to self-steer their careers based on their interests and strengths, and to truly make a difference. They want the freedom to choose where, when, and how to work, and they rightly expect support for their mental and physical health.

That’s exactly the balance leaders and organizations need to find today. They need to create an inclusive environment where people feel they belong. This also includes finding the right balance between remote and office work, between autonomy and team collaboration, and between responsibility and recognition.

Keeping Up with Rapid Change

While technology is key to overcoming today’s most pressing challenges, new skills are needed as well.

According to the World Economic Forum, by 2025 technological developments will displace 85 million existing jobs while creating 97 million new roles. Companies are increasingly competing for data scientists, cybersecurity experts, system specialists, and the like. Digital skills alone, however, are not enough. Problem-solving, self-management, and interpersonal skills are just as important. We need to go beyond upskilling and reskilling, and look at humans as a whole, combining IQ and EQ. It’s with creativity that we can solve complex problems, it’s active learning that allows us to adapt to changing environments, and it’s collaboration that brings complementary skills together.

The more complex the world’s problems are, the more complementary skill sets are needed to solve them. And that’s why it’s so important to strengthen the diversity of teams and drive innovation together.

Putting People at the Center

How can businesses handle changing employee expectations on the one hand, and employers’ need for highly skilled people on the other hand?

Both developments have one thing in common: they require a kind of organization that puts people — with their unique and changing work styles, capabilities, and interests — in the center. They require companies to move from human capital management to human experience management (HXM).

When companies stop viewing their people as resources, assets, or capital and start to embrace them for their unique experiences, interests, and abilities, they will not only be able to retain but to grow the best talent.

That’s exactly what our HXM solutions from SAP SuccessFactors do for our customers. Our innovative cloud solutions provide organizations with the tools they need to unlock the full potential of their people and to create a resilient and sustainable workforce. These solutions make the talent system for a future-ready workforce, covering the entire talent lifecycle. It’s no longer about hire-to-retire but hire-to-grow.

Changing Work for Good: SuccessConnect

This week at SuccessConnect, our annual conference for SAP SuccessFactors customers, we introduced an exciting new way for organizations to rethink their talent development strategies. These advancements to our products bring together data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI), providing organizations with a better understanding of their people’s skills and preferences. Here are the key highlights:

  • Skills ontology uses machine learning and automation to continuously identify an employee’s skills based on their role, responsibilities, experiences, and accomplishments.
  • Growth portfolio is a dynamic library of employee attributes, including skills, strengths, works tyles, passions, and aspirations — bringing the whole self model to life.
  • Dynamic teams is a new capability that enables organizations to create, track, measure, and optimize the outcomes of teams that exist beyond traditional hierarchies.
  • Employee users of SAP SuccessFactors solutions can now select their chosen name and personal pronouns so they can be identified and recognized as their true self.

Work is changing, jobs are changing, and people are changing. Altogether, these innovations support a future of work that is focused on skills and people rather than organizations, hierarchies, and roles.

People Sustainability: Driving Sustainability Inside and Out

We won’t stop with technology and solutions. For us at SAP, people sustainability is a key part of our overall sustainability approach. People sustainability expands beyond a company’s own workforce. It means that businesses also treat the people within their supply chains and the communities they operate in an ethical and fair manner. That’s why we offer solutions to identify and prevent any negative impact on human rights connected to their business.

We enable businesses not only to achieve zero emissions and zero waste, but also zero inequalities across their value chains. This is SAP’s holistic sustainability approach – and this is what motivates us at SAP every day.

is a member of the Executive Board of SAP SE.