Using SAP SuccessFactors for People Sustainability

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Meet the Experts

  • Luke Marson

    SVP Human Experience Management, The Silicon Partners (TSP)

    SAPinsider Expert since 2021

Key Takeaways

⇨ Organizations must attract, engage, and retain workers to maintain cohesiveness and achieve business goals.

⇨ To keep employees, organizations should offer career opportunities, care for workers, and offer inclusiveness initiatives.

⇨ Companies can leverage SAP SuccessFactors to maximize the pillars of "People Sustainability."

People Sustainability and SAP SuccessFactors

Hiring for jobs has become more difficult, and the Great Resignation is still trending. It is becoming ever more important for companies to become sustainable with regard to their workforce. Sustainability has many meanings.

In the context of the workforce (“People Sustainability”), it generally refers to strategies that organizations leverage to attract, engage, and retain the workforce to minimize turnover and increase productivity. By becoming more sustainable, companies can reduce the need to attract employees for existing and new positions. This reduces brain drain and hiring costs.

People Sustainability, according to SAP, “focuses on treating people—those within an organization’s workforce, across their supply chains, and in the communities in which they operate—ethically and fairly.” Just like with the environment, People Sustainability enables continued use of existing people resources, while maintaining support for workers and balancing growth. Companies should treat people as a precious resource that must be nurtured and protected, rather than maximized until exhaustion.

Creating career opportunities, caring for employees, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are just a few key areas that companies can turn to in order to become more sustainable. However, there are a number of other pillars of People Sustainability.

The Elements of People Sustainability

Organizations should consider several elements as part of their People Sustainability strategy, including the following:

  • Employee experience
    • Employee experience is a critical aspect of employee retention. It underpins a lot of what companies are trying to achieve through People Sustainability.
  • Career development
    • Providing a plan for career advancement is a critical factor in employee retention and organization growth.
  • Upskilling and reskilling
    • Upskilling (training employees to develop existing skills in a current role) and reskilling (training to provide new skills for a new role) employees is tied into career development and sustainability. These enable employees to work better or move into new positions in the company.
  • Employee health and wellbeing
    • Caring for employees and their wellbeing makes them feel valued by the company. It also enables employees to be more productive and greater contributors, enhancing their personal satisfaction.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)
    • DEI helps provide employees with opportunities and makes them feel more a part of the company. It also fosters inclusivity that can be appreciated by all employees.
  • Trust and transparency
    • Employees want to feel trusted and want to trust their company. Transparency helps with this trust, but also provides employees with a better sense of belonging.

Redesigning work to be people-centric and satisfy employee needs creates a more sustainable environment that employees want to be part of.

How Can SuccessFactors Help with People Sustainability?

The SAP SuccessFactors Human Experience Management (HXM) Suite provides multiple capabilities that organizations can leverage to help them be more sustainable. SAP also partners with vendors that have specialist solutions to support People Sustainability that can integrate with SAP SuccessFactors.

Many employees decide whether to leave a company in the first six months of employment, so effective onboarding is critical. SAP SuccessFactors Onboarding provides a platform for managing a structured onboarding process and giving new employees a positive experience from their first interactions with a company.

Providing employees with personal development and career planning is important and remains a critical factor in employee retention. SAP SuccessFactors Goal Management provides short-term goals for employees. SAP SuccessFactors Career Development Planning (CDP) provides long-term career goals and creates clear paths of progression for employees. CDP can help plan for reskilling or upskilling the workforce.


SAP SuccessFactors Learning (LMS) provides training and education to employees to support career development, reskilling and upskilling, and improving employee skills and capabilities. LMS is integrated with other SAP SuccessFactors applications so that employees can access training when onboarding into a company or on their development plan.

A recent addition to the SAP SuccessFactors HXM Suite, SAP SuccessFactors Opportunity Marketplace, is a one-stop shop for employees to discover new opportunities in their organization. These opportunities include temporary assignments, learning courses and programs, career roles and job opportunities, and mentoring and coaching opportunities.

With Opportunity Marketplace, companies can provide employees with many ways to improve their skills and experiences. That way, they know that there are always opportunities available for them to grow themselves and their careers.

Another new capability in the SAP SuccessFactors HXM Suite is SAP SuccessFactors Dynamic Teams. Dynamic Teams gives companies a way to manage informal teams, like project or temporary teams that are set up to deliver a specific piece of work. They often have members from different parts of the business and are usually self-managing with no permanent place.

These types of teams give employees the chance to perform different types of work with different colleagues than they normally work with. This gives them different experiences and helping them gain new skills and knowledge.


By leveraging Qualtrics, companies can get critical aggregated feedback from employees that can help drive positive changes to enhance the employee experience. Qualtrics integrates with various SAP SuccessFactors HXM suite applications to trigger surveys in a variety of scenarios.

For health and wellbeing, SAP partnered with Thrive Global. Thrive Global aims to help manage employee stress and burnout. An employees’ health and wellbeing enables them to perform at their optimal level and better enjoy their life inside and outside of work.


SAP SuccessFactors HXM Suite provides a wealth of capabilities to help companies be sustainable employers. That way, organizations can offer the workforce everything needed to have fulfilling careers and avoid disruptive and costly churn.

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