Employees and Social Investment
Relevance: A competitive advantage that drives our innovation
Engaged employees turn competence into greatness. They bring a drive and dedication to working through problems that are the forces behind innovation. They give more of themselves in countless ways that add up to tangible business results. In short, they are a competitive advantage that we believe will increasingly set apart leading companies.
Indeed, studies from Gallup and CEB Valtera have shown that companies with a highly engaged workforce are 18% more effective, 15% more innovative, and 10% better at serving their customers than other companies. Given its importance to our ability to innovate and achieve our business goals, we have made employee engagement one of our four company-wide strategic goals, in addition to customer success, revenue, and margin.
Approach: Working to establish a deep connection with SAP
Our mid-term goal is to achieve an employee engagement score of 82% by 2015. We seek to assess three main features of engagement: an intention to stay at SAP; going the “extra mile” to achieve success; and a strong belief and pride in our values, products and services. We measure engagement using our people survey, which addresses such issues as confidence in our strategy and how our employees view their career opportunities and corporate culture.
Achievements and challenges: In 2012, our engagement score increased from 77% to 79%
In 2012 we conducted a “pulse check,” surveying 50% percent of our employees, compared to the 100% we include in our regular survey every other year. Our overall engagement score increased to 79%, compared with 77% in 2011. (In 2010 our score was 68%.) Employee satisfaction went up in nearly every category, including confidence in our strategic direction, innovation, and service of customers.
|Employee Engagement Index in %||79||77||68||69||n.a.1)|
|1)SAP did not conduct an employee survey in 2008.|
Specific highlights of the pulse check include:
- 91% of respondents said they have a strong belief in our products and services (2011: 89%), and 87% have a strong belief in our passions (2011: 83%)
- 91 % feel it is important for SAP to pursue sustainabilitysustainabilityFor SAP, sustainability is the ability to manage economic, social, and environmental risks and opportunities holistically for increased profitability. It contributes to our vision to make the world run better and improve people’s lives. SAP is committed t... (2011: 88%)
- 89% are proud to work at SAP (2011: 88%), again much higher than the average of 72% at other companies
- 83% would recommend SAP as a great place to work (2011: 80%), significantly higher than the average of 72% at other companies
- 81% said their team is constantly looking for better ways to serve customers (2011: 78%), compared to the industryindustryAn economic sector characterized by a value chain, business processes, and a set of products and services that is typical or common for all companies belonging to this sector. benchmark of 74%
- 71% said SAP inspires them to give their best (2011: 68%)
Our results indicate that the gains we experienced in 2011 have become a trend. We attribute this success to our efforts to enhance the experience of employees at SAP – from fostering a culture of innovation to deepening the connection they feel to our purpose. 2011 marked a turning point, as our engagement score rose by nine points, reversing a downward trend that we had experienced over the previous two years.
In 2012, we sought to maintain the drivers that we consider strengths of SAP – namely, confidence that our strategy works, as well as strong satisfaction with our culture of collaboration, respect and openness. We also implemented improvements to a series of employee-facing processes such as the corporate portal search functions, travel expense management, and authorization procedures, which have helped employees to spend more time innovating and less on time-consuming processes.
2013 and beyond: Deepening our efforts to simplify SAP
While our 2012 results keep us on track to reach our mid-term goal, we still have more to do. We still see the need to improve our processes and structures, which will be our primary focus for increasing engagement in 2013. While our score in this area rose by 2% in 2012, it only reached 52%. We believe that effective processes and structures are central to supporting people in doing their best work. They not only save time and duplication of effort, but they free up energy for innovation. In this sense they contribute to a healthy work environment that is less likely to lead to burnout, as our employees can better focus on the more meaningful parts of their jobs.
To drive our progress, we will focus in 2013 on the company-wide theme of simplifying how we work. In support of this effort, every team at SAP is working on an action item for the year that focuses on this theme, and we will be taking additional steps across SAP as well.
As these efforts demonstrate, employee engagement cannot be separated from our other major strategic objectives – namely, customer success, margin, and revenue. The engagement of our employees drives our ability to innovate, thereby leading to breakthrough solutions that better serve our customers and deliver financial value. By focusing on how these different aspects of SAP are connected, we believe we can be far more effective – not just in reaching specific goals, but in enhancing our overall business performance.