SunPower: Energizing Employees With Self-Service Access To Information [VIDEO]

Roger Noia

Digital technology, especially mobile devices, has made it simple to exchange information across businesses. From the first email check to the final power down, employees are consuming all kinds of data and making a series of small decisions that can collectively yield meaningful business outcomes. However, all of this comes at a cost: Employee burnout.

Valuable nuggets of insight are often locked away as attachments buried in email, stored on a laptop hard drive, or even corrupted and forever lost. This constant hunt for the right data to guide decision making – all day, every day – can be time-consuming. But more perilous, it can wear employees down into finding a new place to work.

According to Jenn Galbraith, senior director of People Operations and Technology at SunPower Corporation, “Even though you pay an employee to come to work every day, they have a choice. They can vote with their feet. And if you are at risk of losing your talent because they’re frustrated, you’re going to have much bigger business challenges. You need to have the right tools, processes, and systems in place that make people want to come to work everyday.”

SunPower enables better employee decision making – without HR getting in the way 

SunPower’s mission is awe-inspiring to anyone who encounters their products. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, the 30-year-old business has led the way to innovative solar panel technology and solar solutions to make a positive impact on the environment and communities. However, just like most businesses, its workforce of over 5,000 employees scattered worldwide still needed to get information quickly to get the job done.

SunPower executives recognized the value of empowering employees to make the best-possible decisions at any moment. But equally important to them was implementing a solution that made the entire experience as efficient as possible.

“We launched [a cloud-based HR solution] at one time globally. Even though this was a real significant shift in the employee experience, our workforce is a lot more positive about what it’s like to interact with our HR tools,” Galbraith recollects.


With self-service access to reports, SunPower managers can review their organization’s headcount and team performance. Because the solution’s capabilities are mobile-enabled, “we are going from transactions being held up for weeks or days to getting approved within two to three hours,” shares Galbraith.

Based on the success of its middle management team, SunPower decided to implement a global employee portal called The Grid. This one-stop place provides all employees with the information they need and has become a highly transformational tool. Galbraith remarks, “There’s just so much engagement and interaction, and they’re using this tool to connect and share information. I see so much empowerment from that.”

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Roger Noia

About Roger Noia

Roger Noia is the director of Solution Marketing, SAP Jam Collaboration, at SAP. He is responsible for product marketing and sales enablement for our dedicated sales team as well as the broader SAP sales force selling SAP Jam.