The world is undergoing unparalleled change; we’ve seen businesses forced into shutdown, limited capacity, or digital transformation – and all within a brief period. Discussions around adaptation often get reduced to the technological elements, the incredible platforms and resources we have readily available to facilitate working from home and staying connected.
But through all these adjustments and challenges, it is people that are leading change, ensuring people’s safety, and developing new ways of working during times of uncertainty.
People’s work-life balances and mental wellbeing have always been critical aspects of human development, but now we are realising its real value in maintaining business continuity and ensuring people adapt to change. How does a person maintain a healthy work-life balance when work and personal lives share the same environment?
COVID-19 has highlighted a fundamentally human need to remain connected and supported during this challenging period. We’ve seen SAP customers work closely with staff by being available, responsive, transparent, and communicative. Managers are understanding the less technical needs of employees that still greatly influence their experiences and performance.
At SAP, the health and wellbeing of our people is always one of my top priorities and something our leadership works on daily, but during this time of uncertainty, we are dedicated to it now more than ever. Our people are at the frontline of implementing change and ensuring our business can operate safely and seamlessly regardless of circumstance.
Working from home can be challenging, particularly for those with young children, however our finance team have benefited from SAP ANZ’s investment into the necessary resources and technologies to ensure everyone was well set up to work remotely. We wanted to make everyone feel as comfortable and well supported as possible throughout this journey, especially as our team helps the business navigate through this turbulent economy and its varying impact on our customers and partners.
Work-life balance is a struggle at the best of times, but now it’s so important employees find time to pause and recharge.
We want to ensure our team is doing well and provide an open forum for everyone to express concerns, show vulnerability, and collaborate in a way the empowers people. Creating a spirit of openness can be challenging when working remotely, but its easily facilitated through regular communication and by demonstrating a shared sense of empathy – after all, these extraordinary circumstances have touched all our lives.
To keep communication open, honesty, and consistent, I’ve been running 15-minute check-ins throughout the week for the finance team to share updates, manage workloads, and have a bit of a laugh together. We’ve learnt more about some of our teammates in these few months than we have in the past decade, so it’s a simple but powerful tool to ensure we stay connected and encouraged.
Themed dress up check-ins have also been a hit as we recently did the 80’s and 90’s with music to match. Camaraderie remains critical during times of disconnect and oddly enough, our team has felt more comfortable sharing from home.
SAP ANZ has also developed a range of initiatives throughout the business to keep people informed, connected, and engaged. I share a cross-company weekly COVID-19 and business update to help staff understand the changes occurring and how it will impact their roles and responsibilities. The SAP innovation team have also developed the Bridge-IT app to provide accurate real-time information on COVID-19 that staff can easily access anywhere, anytime.
We’ve provided work-from-home grants to all employees so they can improve their home-office environment while working comfortably and productively. SAP ANZ are also running weekly fitness classes and entertainment to help staff maintain their health and mental wellbeing. One such example is our weekly ‘tools down’ entertainment session called SAP In Touch, which I host with our managing director, Damien Bueno.
Our recent employee pulse surveys across the business point to positive staff morale across our workforce in ANZ, so I’m remain optimistic about our company’s future. Now that restrictions are easing and legislation is undergoing further change, now is the time for businesses to look further down the road – determining what practices can be changed or made more flexible to help staff stay productive and connected, both to the business and one another.
To learn how your business can help ensure continuity while keep your staff well supported and connected, get in touch with your SAP representative and discover the right practices and technologies to get your organisation ready to thrive in a new normal.