How does one thrive during change, rather than simply respond to it? This is one of the greatest professional challenges of our time.
In my recent meetings with customers, I have seen a shift in leaders’ commitments to make sure human resources (HR) functions thrive as they have been evolving from being compliance-oriented functional silos to value-driven organizational functions that naturally join with business operations and technology.
I am excited because the combination of HR, operational, and IT expertise underpins the people function of the future.
And it makes perfect sense. People impact operations. Operations impact people. Technology enables the connection between the two.
To that end, here are a few exciting trends I see SAP customers achieving right now.
1. Reimagined core business processes that touch people’s experiences
One of the trickiest parts of business transformation is simplifying, unifying, and integrating company business processes. Payroll procedures, organizational regulatory compliance, and standardized reporting are some examples.
The people function of the future replaces disparate, manual, and paper processes with intelligent technology solutions that unite people, manage risk, and save time at scale.
The business benefits are significant, but business process simplification is not simple work!
Leaders need tenacity to challenge the status quo. They must ask themselves and their colleagues: “What will it take to make a true difference in our business?”
2. Reinvigorated employee experiences
The people function of the future zeroes in on employee experience, starting with understanding what those words actually mean to employees. Then, it entails taking action in collaboration with operations and IT.
A recent survey, for example, noted that employees can waste up to five hours per week on repetitive, frustrating tasks that could, or should, be automated. Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and robotic process automation (RPA) can clear the psychological friction of those mundane tasks, improve productivity, and contribute to retention and refreshed employee experiences.
A well planned automation initiative starts with a collaborative, top-down assessment of people’s existing workflows. Business process intelligence tools help to quickly identify the business processes that would benefit most from automation.
3. Demonstrated proof of DEI&B commitments
Organizational and HR leaders of the future don’t just say their company is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEI&B). They show proof every day.
Our customers’ business transformations include eliminating systemic hiring biases and making more diverse hiring decisions, for example, with the help of AI solutions. The SAP.iO Foundries program’s SAP SuccessFactors integrations are creating some important avenues for that to happen.
I also can’t wait to see the SAP SuccessFactors functionality for personal pronouns and chosen name in action — a feature that lets employees indicate their personal pronouns and chosen names on their company profiles, enabling them to own how they show up and are recognized at work.
Enabled by Technology and Inspired, at Scale
Building the people function of the future involves masterful collaboration between HR and operations that is enabled — and inspired! — by technology. Organizations in both the private and public sector thrive when their people are engaged in their careers, encounter frictionless experiences in their day-to-day work, and have a sense of belonging.
I’m enthusiastic to see our customers taking major leaps forward in creating environments where teams can thrive and achieve great results today and in the future.
Sabine Bendiek is chief people and operating officer and member of the Executive Board of SAP SE.