Organizational investment in health and well-being is very much in the zeitgeist right now. It’s being fueled by the latest science, the growing costs of unsustainable workforce practices and the recognition that promoting smarter workplace behaviors can also have a significant impact on the bottom line.

Business leaders everywhere are recognizing the massive opportunities and challenges as organizations shift to adapt to the “new normal” of today’s global workforce. And many are looking to their HR departments to create new ways of working that enhance the uniquely human qualities that allow us to innovate. But building a great place to work isn’t just up to the HR department anymore. It’s a core responsibility of leaders everywhere to promote and create a great place to work for all.

One of the principal challenges for businesses today, though, is how to manage change in a way that keeps employees engaged and productive, while also readying them to be the driving force behind transformation. This is why placing the employee experience at the core of employee engagement, health, and well-being is essential to building a purpose-led organization. As industries and technology continue to evolve at an accelerated pace, employees expect a more productive, engaging, and fulfilling work experience. This human-focused approach to addressing the future of work is one of the many reasons why well-being is increasingly important across the enterprise, and why SAP saw a unique opportunity to partner with Thrive Global.

When we first met to discuss our joint venture, one of the things we were struck by was our shared mission to not only change how companies approach well-being, but to help companies build future-focused organizations that would grow the bottom line by driving greater job satisfaction, engagement and productivity for employees and customers, alike. This is our shared commitment.

With stress and burnout continuing to be two of the biggest challenges for both employees and employers, our partnership not only made good business sense, it was the right thing to do. Many people wrongly assume that digital overload and burnout are problems reserved for the tech industry, when in fact it is a global conversation. With technology, innovation, and competition all getting faster, job stress in all industries is on the rise, carrying an alarming yearly price tag of over $300 billion in the U.S. alone. This is why the most successful companies in the world – many of whom we recently had the opportunity to speak with at the Great Place to Work For All Summit, are heavily investing in a more holistic, personalized, and science-driven approach to health and well-being in the workplace through technology.

With the support of leaders across industries, we’re continuing to think big about how to maximize employee health and well-being, and engage employees in new ways. While we’ve already begun to use our cross-industry expertise to integrate Thrive’s unique behavior-change methodology into our HR solutions, we’re also seeing an incredible opportunity for growth in AI and people analytics, where technology and data can be infused into career development and recruitment to eliminate bias, give real-time feedback, and engage employees. Imagine how much healthier, happier and more productive your workforce could be if you could use human-focused AI, Machine Learning and Big Data to double-click into key trends and patterns throughout your organization.

We’re not just talking about managing stress downstream after it impacts performance habits or investing in state-of-the-art gyms – we want to go upstream and help our employees and customers better understand the entire employee experience through smarter, better, and more human technology. Providing a more human approach to well-being and productivity through intuitive solutions triggered by key life/work events such as maternity or paternity leave all the way through retirement will help our employees and our customers thrive in all parts of their lives.

To capitalize on this monumental opportunity, companies need to adapt to the demands of a highly-competitive environment to attract, retain, and support their most valuable resource – their employees. This will require the emergence of new relationships, where companies like SAP and Thrive partner together to co-develop and build game-changing products across new categories and portfolios.

And since work-life integration continues to be an important factor in winning the war for talent, building a different kind of culture from what existed 5-10 years ago will be paramount to an organization’s success. Focusing on improving people’s lives – along with the long-term health of the bottom line – will enable companies to go from surviving to thriving.

Author(s)

  • Jennifer Morgan

    Co-CEO of SAP

    Jennifer Morgan is co-CEO of SAP. Previously, as the leader of SAP’s Cloud Business Group, Jennifer had end-to-end responsibility for the company’s cloud lines of business, including SAP Ariba, SAP Concur, SAP Fieldglass and SAP SuccessFactors solutions as well as SAP C/4HANA and Experience Management solutions from SAP (Qualtrics). Jennifer was spearheading the company’s rapid and aggressive shift to the cloud as her portfolio included revenue, product development, research, engineering, operations, and sales and marketing across SAP’s cloud businesses. In 2018, SAP cloud revenue surpassed license revenue for the first time in the company’s nearly five-decade history.
  • Arianna Huffington

    Founder & CEO of Thrive

    Arianna Huffington is the founder and CEO of Thrive, the founder of The Huffington Post, and the author of 15 books, including Thrive and The Sleep Revolution. In 2016, she launched Thrive, a leading behavior change tech company with the mission of changing the way we work and live by ending the collective delusion that burnout is the price we must pay for success. She has been named to Time Magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people and the Forbes Most Powerful Women list. Originally from Greece, she moved to England when she was 16 and graduated from Cambridge University with an M.A. in economics. At 21, she became president of the famed debating society, the Cambridge Union. She serves on numerous boards, including Onex and The B Team. Her last two books, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder and The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night At A Time, both became instant international bestsellers. Most recently, she wrote the foreword to Thrive's first book, Your Time to Thrive: End Burnout, Increase Well-being, and Unlock Your Full Potential with the New Science of Microsteps.