Hi, my name is Sue and I work in the Intelligent Enterprise Group as a Development Manager.
I joined SAP directly after my graduation and have been working in several areas within SAP.
I love the environment and the opportunities I get to learn and discover new things. I am based in Shanghai, China.
🗣 Receiving proactive support in reorganization
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.
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 and 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.
🤓 Becoming a leader for the first time
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.
Hacking limited people resources
Still new in my role as a manager, I had to take on a lot of running projects while getting new projects too - a lot of work in a short amount of time. 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.
🤕 Receiving proactive support in dealing with people’s health issues
During that time of overwork, 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?
I didn’t know if I should reach out to her while she’s on leave or how to handle a possible replacement.
🛩 Fast-tracking people resources
In the end, I needed to find quick replacement for this colleague. 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.