Discovery Creates a Culture of People Empowerment

As one of South Africa’s leading insurance and financial services providers, Discovery is on a mission to help people stay fit, healthy, and happy – and to mobilize financial services to inspire positive social change.

Discovery’s workforce of 12,000 talented professionals is the engine driving the company’s ambitions. As such, ensuring that its employees have the tools, support, and guidance they need to thrive is a top priority for the company.

“Happy, informed, and empowered people make productive, engaged employees,” comments Kammy Sing, group head of People Operations at Discovery. “We’re always on the lookout for ways to better enable and support our people. Our existing processes generated complexity, high costs, significant inefficiencies, and high volumes of mundane administrative tasks. We needed to make a change and transform the services we provide to our people.”

Previously, employees at Discovery had to call or e-mail HR managers to carry out routine tasks such as booking leave and holiday inquiries or accessing company policy information. Working in this way meant that HR professionals spent a large proportion of their working day dealing with routine queries and employees had no way of tracking the progress of their queries – creating a frustrating employee experience.

Recruiters at Discovery also had to deal with a high volume of low-value administrative tasks, such as conducting pre-employee background checks. As a result, the hiring process at the company was lengthy, expensive, and risked putting off talented candidates.

Discovery recognized that intelligent technologies and employee empowerment go hand in hand. Harnessing the power of cutting-edge robotic process automation (RPA) and virtual assistants, the company automated over 11,000 recruitment admin tasks and provided employees with almost-instant answers to their queries via intelligent chatbots. Employee productivity and satisfaction have significantly improved as a result. “By putting HR in the hands of our employees with SAP SuccessFactors solutions, we have created a culture of people empowerment,” says Sing.

The project was so successful that it was selected among hundreds of other companies as a finalist of the SAP Innovation Awards 2022.

With SAP solutions, Discovery has reduced time-to-hire by 25% while also freeing up time for 37% of HR staff to develop new skills and focus on higher-value tasks. At the same time, the company has gained granular insight into every aspect of its HR operations, which has helped the company stamp out inefficiencies and realize cost savings of up to €1.3 million.

Sing concludes: “SAP has helped us to bring HR into the 21st century and develop an even more supportive culture throughout Discovery. We look forward to working with both SAP and our technology partners as we continue to develop and enhance the employee experience.”


Lara Albert is vice president of Solution Marketing for SAP SuccessFactors.

This article first appeared on the SAP News Center.