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Author's profile photo Kouros Behzad

Diversity & Inclusion in SAP SuccessFactors Workforce Analytics

In a recent blog by Kellye Whitney, she opens with “Diversity’s value is obvious. If a leader is asking for the business case for it, they’re either an alien or they just don’t care.”

Most companies have recognized that the markets in which they conduct business are becoming increasingly diverse. As such, stronger diversity has become a corporate initiative and they are increasingly turning their focus to people with disabilities, ethnic diversity, women and veterans to participate in their sourcing opportunities and retention programs.

With SAP SuccessFactors, customers have access to a unique Workforce Analytics solution, a purpose-built workforce intelligence application that simplifies and accelerates the process to analyze information across HR and talent processes against business outcomes and share insights that matter with leaders and managers in order to influence how decisions are made.

There are hundreds of customers that own our SAP SuccessFactors Workforce Analytics solution, and many use it for analysis and measurement of their diversity and inclusion programs among other uses.  Our own SAP HR organization is a user of the solution and has recently published a case study. There’s a related blog from Nicole McCabe, Senior Director of Global Diversity & Inclusion at SAP, which may be of interest as well.

So what Diversity & Inclusion functionality exists within SAP SuccessFactors Workforce Analytics? Included with our solution is a large library of predefined measures and benchmarks that enable customers to move beyond compliance reporting and bring visibility into talent management effectiveness and impact of diversity.

1 - Male to Female Staffing Ratio - Managerial.jpg

    Figure 1- Example from library of predefined metrics: Male to Female Staffing Ratio in Management

These measures help describe and compare an organization’s workforce using a wide range of organizational and personal characteristics, such as: organizational structure, employment status, occupational group, tenure, and diversity groupings:

Age  –  Allows analysis of workforce measures by different demographic age groups.

Disability  –  Allows analysis of measures with a view to understanding how the physically disabled are represented in an organization.

Ethnic Background –  Allows analysis of measures with a view to understanding how individual ethnic groups are represented in an organization.

Gender  –  Allows analysis of measures across gender breakdowns.

Generation  – Allows analysis of measures with a view to understanding how individual generational groups are represented in an organization.

Minority  –  Allows analysis of measures with a view to understanding how minorities are represented in an organization.

Veteran Status Allows analysis of measures with a view to understanding how the Veterans are represented in an organization.

2 - Male to Female Staffing Ratio - Managerial - Analysis Dimensions.jpg

    Figure 2 – Example of a selection of dimensions that can be used to slice & dice any particular metric

The measures provide detailed insight into workforce demographics and their implications on workforce skill and experience levels, as well as awareness into the work environment and relationships among employees. For this reason, they are critical to be utilized in the workforce planning processes to help:

  • Develop strategic alignment of diversity and inclusion with business objectives and current HR strategy
  • Strengthen pipeline of diverse talent and maximize opportunities to retain, develop, and advance diverse leaders
  • Follow the progress of women and minorities in their careers with the company
  • Identify and develop high potential / high performing employees to prepare them for management positions
  • Analyze data and report findings to:
    • Internal stakeholders and senior management (HR council, C-suite, board of directors)
    • External organizations through surveys (e.g., Diversity Inc., HRC, Fortune 100, etc.)
  • Enhance leadership accountability for diversity and inclusion across the enterprise
  • Communicate commitment to diversity and inclusion as a core business value and growth driver
  • Evolve as an organization with the diverse marketplace and ensure an increasingly global reach

For comparative analysis SAP SuccessFactors provides benchmarking against peer companies directly from within the application and for the specific measures being analyzed:

3 - Benchmarks.jpg

    Figure 3 – Example of a benchmark for the metrics Male to Female Staffing Ratio in Management

The solution is extremely flexible in how the information and insight drawn from the metrics are collated and shared via reports and dashboards to meet the visual needs of executives and managers.  Following are examples of reports and dashboards – sample screen shots are provided for some:

  • Quarterly Diversity Report
  • Metrics for the Board of Directors – Levels 1 & 2: Diversity, by Gender and Ethnic Background
  • Diversity Recruitment – access to a range of recruiting metrics

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    Figure 4 – Example page focused on recruiting from a diversity report

  • Female Representation (women in management) – share of women in management positions

5 - Gender Diversity Dashboard.jpg

    Figure 5 – Example of dashboard for a manager

  • Diversity Representation – access to a range of representation metrics (gender, ethnic background, etc.)
  • Example of Headlines a manager could see from their home page; they can drill down to learn more with one click:

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    Figure 6 – Example of Headlines a manager could see from their home page or iPad; they can drill down to learn more with one click

  • Diversity Retention – access to a range of retention metrics (managers, full-time, etc.)

The following are examples of outcomes achieved by our customers with better visibility:

  • Increased engagement
    • Minority and female engagement increased
  • Increase in minorities at VP and above levels
    • Over 50% over last 5 years
  • Increase in women at SVP+ levels
    • Critical mass reached at 40%

To learn more about the upcoming capabilities such as the sentiment analysis, take a look at the recent announcement from SAPPHIRE.

From a technology perspective, with SAP SuccessFactors Workforce Analytics organizations can analyze diversity and inclusion across all HR and talent processes, including recruiting, performance, compensation, learning, promotion, transfers, leadership and succession planning, etc. by any of the dimensions described here (or extended to include new dimensions as required by customer) , which makes the solution extremely powerful to flesh out workplace inequity.  With the depth and breadth of metrics coverage provided SAP makes it simple for organizations to do the analysis, but the greater challenge is that organizations must want to look for this in the first place, and if they find something, they cannot just ignore it and must be prepared to do something about it. So the question is – is your organization culturally and politically ready to take on the diversity and inclusion challenge brought to light from these analytics, and are you committed to working through the change required?

For thoughts and ideas to identify and eliminate subtle forms of institutionalized discrimination see also blog from Peter Howes on the Evolution of Diversity and Inclusion within Workforce Analytics.

[Update 9/15/2016] In addition, you now have access to great resources that are now available, including an e-book, D&I infographic, and the Defining Moments blog series where internal SAP and customer leaders share their experiences and perspectives around D&I. All of these resources can be accessed on the SuccessFactors D&I landing page (make sure to bookmark this page).

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      Author's profile photo Shyamu Raja Murthy
      Shyamu Raja Murthy

      HI Kouros,

                         Its great to see how we're supporting diversity and inclusion. Taking this a step further, our roadmaps must include functionality within the modules to support this cause. For example, some customers have approached asking for anonymous applications in recruiting.

      While reporting on parameters is crucial and cannot be overemphasised, I think it is also pertinent for individual modules to support this further.



      Author's profile photo Gabriela Burlacu
      Gabriela Burlacu

      Hi Shyamu, great point-- we are definitely hearing this from our customers!

      While reporting and analytics are a critical component of an effective diversity program, they are best used as a baseline and measuring yardstick-- they do not by themselves drive the ongoing, day-to-day behavioral change we need from business leaders, employees and managers in order to truly build and retain diverse workforces. We have a comprehensive project underway to create innovative product features within the SuccessFactors suite that reduce unconscious bias that research has shown impacts decision-making in all parts of the employee life cycle-- influencing who applies, who gets hired, how people are managed, who gets developed, who gets rewarded, and who gets promoted. More information on our approach can be found here.

      We will be sharing exciting updates and previews of this technology at Success Connect Las Vegas in August-- see more info about how we plan to put diversity and inclusion in the spotlight here

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      YEs, anonymous applications are really a requirement, in particular in France.

      SOmething that I wonder about as I read your (well done, complete and throught article), is how US-centric it is, even while we are talking about inclusion.

      THe challenge of a global organization when considering minority/ethnic inclusion analytics is double: a different approach to equal opportunity and the absence of the relevant data,

      i am really looking forward the results of the research effort announced @SAPPHIRE.