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Can We Leverage SAP SuccessFactors to Better Manage the COVID-19 Crisis?

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No matter how long you’ve been in HR, it’s safe to say this current crisis has been like no other. None of us have ever faced anything like thisWe are being forced to re-think how we work, how we communicate, and how we manage our businesses. 

Just recently the Harvard Business Review1 issued guidance about our managerial actions during this pandemic:

we should make sure our efforts are balanced around the following seven dimensions: 

  • Communications 
  • Employee needs 
  • Travel 
  • Remote work 
  • Stabilization of the supply chain 
  • Business monitoring and forecasting 
  • Being “part of the larger solution” 

Even under normal circumstances, each one of these dimensions is a lot to handle on its own. In this moment we must address all dimensions simultaneously while under accelerated, stress-filled virus-time constraints. Naturally, Human Resources plays an over-sized role right now. 

So, what can we do? 


Use SAP SuccessFactors as a Communications Platform 


If you are like most conscientious HR professionals we know, you want to fulfill this need as timely, thoroughly and professionally as possible. This high-stakes, high-pressure crisis has made creative thinking for better solutions to our management problem that much harder. But, at IN-RGY, we’ve been doing some creative brainstorming for you that just might make the strain of the coronavirus crisis less painful. And it involves using a tool that you probably already have access to: SAP SuccessFactors. 

When you first signed on to use SuccessFactors, the promise of reframing our roles as managers of human capital to managers of employee experiences sounded both refreshing and aspirational. As HR managers we signed on to this tool because we wanted to provide the best working environments for our employees. The good news during this pandemic is that SuccessFactors can help us improve our associates’ experiences as a communications media and management portal. IN-RGY has created a way for you to leverage your SuccessFactors home page into a COVID-19 central command to help you manage communications, create custom portlets to store information on the health status of your employees (their place of confinement or the working mode to which they are subject), among many other key functions. 

Thanks to the diversity of content that can be mobilized and the finesse of "Role-Based Permissions", you can create personalized tiles and thus offer information that is easily accessible and aimed at a clearly identified audience. 



Find out how to create your own custom tiles here!


Gather information through "Employee Self-Service"  


Already widely used as a tool to promote employee self-service, Employee Central can be mobilized to gather information from your employees.  Thanks to the Extension Center functionality, you can indeed create custom portlets to store information on the health status of your employees, their place of confinement or the working mode to which they are subject.  It is with this in mind that IN-RGY has developed the "Health Status" portlet to offer it to these customers.  


Find out more about this feature here. 


Use Jam as an internal social network 


Today, more than ever before, social media is exploding. "The level of calls made via WhatsApp and Messenger has doubled compared to usual," Mark Zuckerberg reported on March 17. 2020.  The need to communicate and exchange is all the more felt at a time when almost 3.5 billion people are confined across the planet.  

In this context, making an internal social network available is a key issue, so that your employees do not break the link and continue to develop a strong sense of belonging.  

Creating Jam groups, promoting them and encouraging your employees to create discussions on professional and extra-professional themes can be an effective way to keep the flame alive during the crisis.  



Find out more about this feature here. 


Fire Up SAP Qualtrics for feedback on actions implemented 


SAP Qualtrics, is a survey solution belonging to the SAP portfolio, specialized in measuring employee experience.  

It facilitates the identification of factors of experience, engagement and productivity of employees so that you can act in real-time and manage changes where their impact will be greatest.  

Since the beginning of March, SAP Qualtrics has offered a free* solution with the goal of helping organizations manage the changes imposed by the COVID-19 epidemic - Remote Work Pulse allows you to collect comments on the impact of your internal communications, the configuration of remote working and ideas in order to guarantee employees a healthy and productive work environment.  



Find out more about this feature here.

Interested in learning more about the integration between SAP Qualtrics and SAP SuccessFactors?Contact us.

Establish the conditions for effective remote working  


The transition to brutal and massive remote working imposed by this crisis can prove to be a real headache for companies that were not familiar with these uses.  

Here again, SuccessFactors can be an effective relay in the implementation of these practices.  


Ensure each employee has the necessary equipment 


We can use the Extension Center functionality to create custom portlets, allowing employees to make requests for the provision of equipment.  

Tools for creating business rules and workflows can also allow you to associate these requests with different behaviours such as restrictions based on employee profiles, internal validation processes or even notifications to the appropriate departments.  

Find out more about this feature here.


Push training courses in order to disseminate good practices surrounding remote working  


For those employees who have never had to work from home, the transition to working from home is not easy. In order to guarantee continuity of operations, it may be important to provide methods, good practices and advice on how to organize your tasks in telework.  

With the SAP SuccessFactors LMS, you can add content and massively assign it to your users using the attribution profile feature.  


Take advantage of this moment to encourage virtual training  


It may also be worth considering the implementation of features allowing distance learning such as:  

  • Online Content for Mobile, which allows your learners to consume content hosted on your LMS from their smartphones or tablets  
  • Virtual Learning Services, which enables the organization and delivery of distance learning via Webex, Adobe Connect Training or Teams  

Do you want to know more about these features and more broadly about the actions to consider on your LMS in order to reach its full potential during the crisis? SAP has built a very interesting guide describing configuration tracks:Learning Solutions - Remote Workforce and COVID-19 Resources. 


Do you need support or resources in setting up these configurations? Contact us. 


Ensure the sustainability of business 


Unfortunately, this crisis is accompanying by its share of collective and individual dramas. In the face of the unprecedented crisis we are facing, some companies will have to considerably reduce their workforce in order to ensure their survival, while others will have to respond to unprecedented challenges such as urgent and massive recruitments of staff.  


Quickly readjust your workforce


In a context where temporary layoff and recourse to partial unemployment become vital in order to ensure the survival and perpetuate jobs, some employers are forced to change their rules towards more flexibility, in particular with regard to management. working time.  

Adapting the configuration of the Time Off module can allow you to introduce this flexibility in order to give your employees more flexibility in setting their holidays.  

To meet these needs, IN-RGY has produced documentation offering two solutions, which are quick to configure and respond effectively to these needs:  

  • Extension of the leave period  
  • Creation of a quota of exceptional leave COVID-19  

Find out more about this feature here.


Respond to massive and urgent labor needs


Certain industries find themselves facing challenges, certainly different, but no less complicated, such as the need to respond to urgent and massive labor needs.  

Walmart and Amazon, for example, have announced major recruiting plans to meet the needs created by the COVID-19 crisis. These recruitments turn out to be complex, as they must take place in a context of confinement which complicates the connection between labor and employers.  

The Recruiting Management module has a multitude of features, quick to implement and making life easier for the recruiter. The Evergreen requisition and Quick Apply features in particular, which appeared with the last release of 2019, fall within this framework.  

  • Evergreen Requisitionauthorizes the creation of job requisitions, opened for an extended period, which would generate a pool of potential candidates for positions difficult to fill, with a significant number of available positions and for which the need to have a permanent list of potential candidates is necessary.  
  • Quick Applyallows candidates to apply in a minimum of clicks, without having to fill in a complete profile, thus streamlining the application process.  
  • Other features, already present in the solution, but often little used by customers, can meet the needs of recruiters in times of crisis. For example, Employee Referral Program or theInterview Central.  

Do you want to know more about this feature? Contact us.


Keep in touch with your candidates to anticipate the resumption 


The features offered by Recruiting Marketing allow you to intensify and target communications to your candidates.  

Candidate Relationship Management functionalities ascandidate pools or email campaigns, will help you to reach exactly the target audience with the right content, for better efficiency.  



Recruiting Posting and Job Marketing then, will allow you to promote your offers, by disseminating them on the most popular employment platforms and social networks, for better visibility. 


Always, be creative 


The list of features mentioned in this article is obviously not intentded to be exhaustive. But you can see the power of a tool right at your disposal. The period we are going through requires taking a distance from the notion of "best practices" in the face of an unprecedented crisis, both in form and content. Also, do not hesitate to think differently and why not to divert certain functionalities in order to meet your new needs.  

The company Hydro One, for example, communicated at the beginning of April on an originalinitiative developed internally and exploiting the power of the Compensation module to build a COVID-19 tracking dashboard in the company. This dashboard was distributed to 700 group managers. It made it possible to collect information on 80% of the employees and this only 48 hours after being deployed in 48 hoursIn the same vein, your performance forms can easily be used as support for surveys or as forms for requests.  

You want support to carry out your initiatives, contact us.

In summary, even if SuccessFactors will not meet all your crisis management needs, it will undoubtedly be an ally in the sustainability and continuity of your Human Resources management activities. 


Sébastien Roberto

Consultant SAP SuccessFactors


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