Developing SAP's ground-breaking wellness strategy

July 5, 2019

In conversation with Tom Loeffert, Head of Human Resources, SAP… 

What are the three things a service provider has to have to make you want to do business with it?

Good partnership and someone who understands our business and our people. And, of course, someone we will enjoy working with!

And what was it that made you want to work with Capita?

Our previous provider lacked innovation, whereas we share a common vision with Capita.

When I started with SAP, the business was under-performing, and we needed to attract a new workforce in a highly competitive labour market, as well as retain the best talent possible over the long term. So we needed a provider like Capita with a wealth of experience.

Capita is working with us on developing a market-leading benefits and wellness programme. I think mental wellness and wellness in general are important, especially as we are a 24/7 global technology organisation and that puts stress and strain on anyone who works in any company like that. It is important to understand how we equip both our leaders and our managers with a tool kit to help identify where we have challenges with wellness.

How do you work with Capita?

Capita handles all our pensions and benefits administration and has worked with us to set up a ground-breaking wellness strategy. Capita’s Orbit platform underpins how we deliver our services to our employees: it showcases all the employee benefits openly and is available on demand; it can be accessed via your app, laptop, iPad or iPhone; and it can be accessed whenever staff want it. Digitalisation has been enabled by Orbit.

Capita, for us, has been without question one of the key partners that has allowed us to transform our HR strategy and our workforce. It’s been critically important to have a partner that has been a thought leader and pushes our thinking; we would not have been able to do this alone over the past four years. I think where we engage most heavily is around strategy and how, year after year, we continue to focus on that strategy and evolve it over time. I look at the work we’ve done around mental awareness in particular, which has been pretty ground-breaking and market-leading, certainly within the UK but also within SAP as a whole, and I think companies actually look to us in the UK as a leader in this arena.

We could not have achieved this without Capita and it’s been a privilege to work with the company in my time here in the UK.

So can you explain how Capita meets your requirements?

Capita is a trusted partner that helps to educate us and helps us make better decisions. Making the decision to outsource these services to Capita has allowed us internally to focus on strategic outcomes for our business while delivering a higher level of service through Capita to our employees.

Since working with Capita, employee engagement has also increased! We conduct annual people surveys, which focus on things like diversity, inclusion and wellness, which helps to shape our strategy as we get feedback from our employers.We take that information as we engage with Capita in our yearly planning and they then help us put the plan in place. In 2017 we achieved 281 employer awards, including ‘Employer of Choice’. Without question, the awards continue to be an outcome of all the work that we’ve done with Capita.

Capita has a lot of specialist knowledge and experience. Have you been able to use that to your advantage?

In partnership with Capita, we have transformed our HR model to support a business that is now changing. We have used Capita’s experience and technology to underpin our business model transformation.

 Tell us about a project that you’ve done with Capita that has gone particularly well

We worked with Capita to change our reward strategy to attract people of a different demographic, and part of that was to really figure out how we address things like wellness in a way that’s going to apply across five generations in our workforce. We have a huge focus now on how we equip our leaders and our employees with the right toolkits around wellbeing, how we equip them with mental wellness strategies to operate in this demanding environment.

Capita has successfully provided our leaders and our employees with tool kits with which to operate in this challenging environment. They have helped us think differently and made sure we have benefits and a wellness strategy that is comprehensive and aligns to the people who we want to attract and retain.

We have also successfully addressed demographics from a gender perspective. We now sit at approximately 30% of women in management, which is up from 9% when I arrived in 2014 and which is ahead of our company goal. This was achieved by reviewing our policies and our practices, and where Capita was certainly beneficial for us was in the gender and equal pay gap analysis. Capita had the strength in data science and analytics that we needed to understand the factors driving our gender and pay gaps, and to consult on strategies to eliminate it. This was hugely insightful data for us and, without working with Capita, we would not have gotten the outcome that I was looking for to drive the change and behaviour internally from our leaders.

So what’s the next big challenge?

To continue working in partnership with Capita to focus on simplifying and innovating every business process, winning the war for talent, and diversity and inclusion for business beyond bias. And to promote a culture of wellbeing and purpose to enrich the employee experience and drive peak performance.

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