Welcome to the virtual space around Moments that Matter at SAP. We have created this digital gallery space for you to explore and find out more about the Moments That Matter at SAP.
Candidates and employees are anxious and sensitive during the application process.
I applied for a job I was really excited about. I felt the interview went well and the hiring manager promised to decide and get back to me at the end of the week. After 10 long days of waiting for a response and checking my emails every few minutes I still had not received an answer. When I reached out to the hiring manager, he did not take the time to give me feedback but just said "no, sorry, we decided on someone else”. I felt discouraged and very disappointed not only because I did not get the job, but also, because the manager did not appreciate me during the process.
The excitement of starting a new chapter is mixed naturally with feelings of anxiety and uncertainty.
- Feeling welcomed
When I arrived at SAP for my first day, I was provided with technical equipment and then was asked to take an online training course. The content was good, but I felt lonely. No one to ask my questions to, or to get connected with. I was not even sure if the people in the same office area were from my team. It took me a little while to start feeling connected and getting to know more people from my team. Also, I was new to the company and there was so much basic information I needed, like how to find the nearest printer, how to order new equipment. I felt embarrassed asking all these simple questions again and again. A few years later, I changed to a new role within SAP, which also meant a location change for me. I had a completely different first day experience. My new manager had blocked time for me, and we went for lunch together. He introduced me to the team and assigned one of my new colleagues as my "buddy" to check in with me and help answer questions. All new colleagues who started with me in that location had a joined onboarding session. I am still in contact with many of these colleagues today.
When returning to SAP after a long absence period, employees feel uncertain about what to expect. Often the manager, the team or the organization has changed in the meantime, further increasing the level of uncertainty. Employees hope to “fit-back-in” to their role and handle any changes and expectations.
Three years ago, I came back to work after my son started to go to daycare. I was very nervous about my ‘first’ day, as I didn’t know what to expect. I had been informed about changes during my absence, nevertheless I wondered: What will I be working on?When I entered the office, I realized that all my worries were just in my head. My new and old colleagues welcomed me warmly and were so excited that I was back, they even decorated my desk, like I was a Newbie! It was even more exciting that my manager had a clear plan for me. He provided a suitable role for me with an interesting scope and a workload that allowed me to work part-time. On the same day, my manager and I agreed further adjustments to my scope. That is how I got started back very fast. I felt valued, because this approach showed me that I am also valuable to SAP as a part-time worker. It also shows me that management understands that part-time employees perform equally in relation to time. That's exactly what they can expect of me. Having this opportunity encourages me a lot and gives me the motivation to do both jobs – at SAP and at home – with fun and enthusiasm.
While the employee enjoys the moment of being recognized, he also feels uncomfortable knowing that other colleagues may not understand why the position has not been openly advertised for everyone.
When I was asked to become a manager, I was unsure at first, because I felt overwhelmed by the challenge. My manager encouraged me to take it, she was full of trust and sure that I would make a good manager. Coming from the meeting, I wanted to tell my office mate because we always share news and have a close working relationship. But, something was holding me back. We had been peers for three years and I knew he was planning to apply for a managerial position as well. How would he react when he saw my new position posted with the comment ‘preferred candidate identified’? Would he be disappointed that our manager had not approached him? Does my new team trust that I am qualified?
Employees want to feel recognized for their efforts and contributions. It is demotivating when they are not visible to upper management, as they feel that their success and contributions go unnoticed. Especially valued is recognition from the Board, visible Executives, or people like Hasso or Dietmar who leave a lasting impression.
I really appreciate my cooperation with our customers. I live for our purpose because I really want to help the world run better and make life easier for our customers. After my last assignment, I got appreciation from external partners. Other companies are also reaching out to me to get my support, but I would prefer to get more appreciation from inside the company. It is strange when I get more recognition from outside for my work, than from inside. I wish my L1 manager paid more attention to this customer feedback and confirm the recognition and appreciation. It’s frustrating, as I’m afraid that nobody in upper management knows how much value I add to the relationship with our customers.
Employees are unsure and often feel overwhelmed in deciding which development direction is right for them, as well as which concrete learning opportunities they should focus on.
When I started in my role, I was really impressed that there was a “customized” curriculum with trainings that I should attend. After my initial excitement, I saw that the curriculum did not consider the skills I brought from my previous role.
I don’t want to complain about these online courses too much as I appreciate the effort. What I am really seeking is a long-term perspective for my career. We have fluid roles here, so, I get to shape it, but I also never know what the next step is, and it becomes hard to navigate. It's always about self-training and manage your own development, but it's hard when you don't know what you are supposed to do training for.
Also, leaders seem unsure what or whom they are looking for in their teams. I always had a great job, but not that many growth opportunities. Many colleagues got nominated as high performers or catalysts, but few really are given career opportunities.
Often, employees and leaders feel alone during reorganizations. In such times of uncertainty, they appreciate openness and feeling informed.
During my time with SAP, I have experienced various reorganizations. One of them I remember well, because that time I felt like we were in good hands. We were moved, as a team with our managers, into a new Board Area. At first this was a very unpleasant situation, but the new Board Area informed us early on about what was happening. HR set up consultation time for further questions and informed me upfront in my role as a manager. I could speak to someone at any time, but that was not necessary, since there was much information to rely on. Nobody had to worry about their job, at least in our team. The new Board Area created training and onboarding plans for us, we seemed to be really wanted and needed in the new business area. In the end, the reorganization brought forward not only the company, but me personally. However, I have had other experiences too. It is especially hard for my younger employees who ask why reorgs are happening, and I often cannot answer them as information cascaded down is not consistent. Once, I had to give up three people, but no-one helped me to allocate the tasks or explain the situation.
First time managers go through situations they have never experienced before, which naturally creates anxiety. They wish to establish a positive working relationship with the team (which often have been peers) and perform well at the same time. They want to be competent in their new roles and avoid unnecessary mistakes.
- Personal coaching-support
Last year, when I was new in my role as a manager I had to build up a team in India. I didn’t know the culture, and I did not feel confident in the interviews either. I took the applications as a fact, without knowing that, due to the local culture, the applications do not always match the reality. I could have done the hiring much better and faster, if I had support in advance somehow. When hiring for the first time within a foreign country, why can’t there be more support with cultural particularities? I want to make good and conscious decisions. It would have been faster and better with the right support, but I had to figure things out myself.
Leaders face high pressure to perform, but do not always think that the resources available will allow them to meet expectations without overworking their teams. Regular hiring freezes add further stress and uncertainty.
I had a big challenge in my team to get all the work done for an additional project we got assigned. To manage the workload, I started talking to people I knew in my network in order to release people from their team for a time so that they could support my team as ‘fellows’. I was able to get additional people from a colleague to help me get the job done for six months, but I wouldn’t have known what to do or who to go to if this solution hadn’t come up. It feels like headcount is the SAP internal currency. Budget and time pressure combined with additional workload on my team makes the situation worse.
For managers, having open positions causes stress as the workload needs to be tackled by fewer people or deadlines/targets are not met. Managers feel impotent, as they have to rely on the recruiting organization. A perceived lack of transparency causes further anxiety and frustration.
The recruiting process usually takes about 2-3 months (from getting the application from the candidate, to sending out an offer). Furthermore, in the past it took half a day, now it is 4 weeks to provide one student with a contract. And you rarely get feedback during the recruiting process - this depends on the recruiter you work with. We can´t afford it, if we want to hire the best employees from the market.
When employees fall ill over a long period of time, managers can feel overwhelmed. Depending on the reason, they feel unsure to what extent they might have contributed to the situation. They don’t know how to react, what they should be doing, especially if and how to get in touch with the employee.
- Personal Support
I had a person in my team who became sick. I didn’t know what was wrong with her. The team was talking about it, but not with me. I felt unsure if I had done everything necessary as her manager and if I had reacted appropriately.
I am the type of person that wants to do everything correctly and I felt overwhelmed with a mixture of feelings: empathy, guilt, insecurity. Maybe my team member is sick because of the workload we had in Q4? And now as she is on leave, should I reach out to her? Am I allowed to ask what she is suffering from and how long she expects to be on sick leave? Should I get a replacement for the time being? How would that work?
Employees spend years and literally thousands of hours working for SAP. When this period comes to an end, they want to feel that they made a difference, that the people around them appreciated it, and that they will still feel connected.
SAP has been my longest employer so far - I was with SAP for 15 years, it was more than just a company to me. I had developed a strong network of colleagues and friends here. Deciding to take on another job outside of SAP was a great next career step for me, but emotionally it was not easy. When handing in my badge I felt I was not part of the community anymore. I got invited to join the Alumni platform, but it seemed like a consolation prize or a pro-forma step. I registered a couple of months later, after I got over the feeling of being on the outside.