Aiming high with SAP’s HR team

The VP and COO for global HR discusses his firm’s most innovative learning, diversity & inclusion and performance management initiatives

Aiming high with SAP’s HR team
“The focus of our HR strategy at SAP is to create a culture that is able to deal with the complexity, speed, and volume of a digital workplace that is inspiring innovation, change and creates employee satisfaction at the same time,” said Christian Schmeichel.
The senior vice president and chief operating officer of global human resources at SAP SE was talking to HRD about his firm’s most innovative HR strategies.
Overall, SAP uses three guiding principles – simplification, standardisation and customer satisfaction – to boost results in a number of business critical areas.
“We have made learning a top and centre priority because we firmly believe that continuous development of our workforce is the key to remain successful,” he said.
“As a consequence, our learning landscape adopts more enhanced and innovative technology to enable self-paced development anytime, anywhere.”
SAP believes that diversity and inclusivity drives innovation and engagement and creates a more attractive workplace, he continued. To this end, the firm has made a commitment to put 25% women in management by the end of 2017.
“To achieve this, we offer executive sponsorships for women and strive for a qualified, equally distributed hiring shortlist. Additionally, we run the Leadership Excellence Acceleration Program (LEAP) to help prepare women for leadership roles at SAP.”
Also along the lines of diversity, SAP’s Autism at Work program allows people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to gain momentum and recognition in the workplace, he said. As the program is now implemented in eight countries, SAP aims at having 1% of its total workforce comprised of workers with ASD by 2020.
“These employees can add enormous value to our ability to innovate with their high attention to detail in development and data analysis and contribute to us as a diverse company.”
SAP has also redefined performance management by creating a culture of continuous dialogue, he added. This includes providing opportunities for meaningful performance and development conversations between staff and managers at all times.
“While innovation is key, it is important to understand that the most successful strategy is one that generates the best output and business impact. To do so, we need to consequently execute on it. This is where we are focusing on,” he said.
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