Talent Experience Makes Or Breaks A Company’s Success

Bhuvan Naik

As SAP chief human resources officer Stefan Ries recently pointed out, the “future of work” is already here. Human resources (HR) is charged with helping companies navigate a more digitized workplace. Technology is changing the way we connect, starting with recruitment, and also transforming the way we develop and engage employees. More importantly, from the employees’ perspective, it changes how they are experiencing the workplace. Which brings us to the importance of rethinking our approach to talent experience and performance management.

As part of our SAP Future Factor series, Fermin Diez, faculty member of Singapore Management University, and I recently discussed ways companies can adapt their talent experience and performance management approach to keep a culture of engagement. Digitization is a critical component of this transformation. It gives companies the ability to deliver the personalized experience that today’s employees crave. This is a boardroom discussion that executives need to be having now – before it’s too late.

When asking employees how digitization has changed their work, the first topic that comes up is flexibility, the ability to work across locations and time zones. The second is performance feedback, the ability to have a continuous exchange about expectations and career growth. Talent experience and performance management must become as seamless and personalized as the consumer experience has become in the past few years.

Employees expect a more personalized talent development experience that helps them continuously evolve their skill sets. This means rethinking how we do performance management. Employees stress that once-a-year conversations and being rated on a one-to-five scale are not sufficient indicators of how they’re performing. They want a culture in which they can establish ongoing dialogue about their performance, with real-time feedback about their strengths and what they can build upon. Having this culture of trust and ongoing dialogue is critical to establish a sense of belonging and purpose that motivates employees to stay and deliver their best.

We all know that engaged employees lead a company to success. We always say a company’s most precious asset is its talent. This is also true for SAP. Our level of employee engagement is based on the experience our employees have at work. Fermin and I discussed some key ways that companies can deliver a better talent experience. Employees are no longer looking for just a paycheck. They want to be part of something that they value; they want to know that their manager is counting on them and is invested in their growth. Employees are motivated to stay when there is a deep emotional connection between themselves and their company.

For more insight, watch our discussion about how the talent experience is evolving, in the second episode of the SAP Future Factor interactive Web salon series below. The episode also features insights from employees on what they expect from companies and their managers in order to succeed. Let us know what you think!

For more on recruiting strategies, see Recruiting Efficiency Can And Does Improve Candidate Experience.


Bhuvan Naik

About Bhuvan Naik

Bhuvan Naik is Vice President and Head of Global Talent Experience at SAP SE. His responsibilities include defining, designing, leading, and executing the talent management strategy. Prior to this role, he was Vice President and Head of Human Resources for the Indian subcontinent at SAP and member of the Board of Directors for SAP Labs India Pvt. Ltd. Bhuvan has over two decades of HR management experience in global organizations such as Taj Group of Hotels, SAP, Capgemini, and Yahoo!. He graduated with a Bachelor Degree in electrical engineering from National Institute of Technology, Calicut, India, and holds a Master of Arts degree in personnel management and industrial relations from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.