SAP Social Sabbatical

SAP

The SAP Social Sabbatical, which piloted in 2012, is a unique, short-term assignment for the company’s High Potentials who work in international, cross-functional teams to solve business challenges for entrepreneurs and the SME sector in emerging markets, while strengthening their leadership competencies, cross industry sector know-how, and intercultural sensitivity. Participants get the unique opportunity to turn SAP’s vision of “helping the world run better and improving people’s lives” into their personal reality. Having started with 30 participants in three countries (Brazil, India, South Africa), the program will send 120 employees to 10 different locations in 2016-17. New locations for the program include Ghana, Tanzania, Panama, Peru, China, and Vietnam.

The Social Sabbatical Impact

135 PARTICIPANTS

135 SAP leaders have contributed their time and unique expertise to the program.

29 NATIONALITIES

Social Sabbatical participants represent 29 nationalities.

32 HOST ORGANIZATIONS

Since 2012, teams provided pro bono consulting to 32 host organizations in Brazil, India, South Africa, China, Colombia, and Kenya.

Awarded Best Practice, 2nd Asia Pro Bono Rally, 2015

In recognition of the outstanding impact SAP pro bono projects have brought to young entrepreneurs, start-ups, and other incubators throughout China, the SAP Social Sabbatical was awarded Best Practice at the 2nd Asia Pro Bono Rally in 2015.

"SAP is excited to be on the cutting edge of pro bono and volunteer programming. We are committed to finding creative ways to use the talent of our employees as a resource that can enhance the effectiveness of organizations around the world. "

Alicia Lenze
Global VP of Corporate Social Responsibility, SAP

The Social Sabbatical Experience

Selected to participate in the SAP Social Sabbatical, Jim Tubman, a Senior Support Consultant from Ireland, went to Kenya to support a local farming initiative. Video courtesy of SAP.

In today’s globally integrated economy the most successful leaders are global citizens who understand and effectively collaborate with people from a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives. The SAP Social Sabbatical, which piloted in 2012, is a unique, short-term assignment for the company’s High Potentials who work in international, cross-functional teams to solve business challenges for entrepreneurs and the SME sector in emerging markets, while strengthening their leadership competencies, cross industry sector know-how, and intercultural sensitivity. Participants get the unique opportunity to turn SAP’s vision of “helping the world run better and improving people’s lives” into their personal reality. The Social Sabbatical began with 30 participants in three countries. The program was designed to rapidly scale and has since sent an additional 105 participants to six countries.

Employees who participate in the SAP Social Sabbatical gain new knowledge about working in emerging markets, improved resiliency and the ability to lead in uncertain circumstances. To ensure that this kind of learning is integrated back into the company’s working environment, SAP offers each pro bono consultant a series of dedicated sessions on career and personal development, both prior to and following their assignments. In this way, Social Sabbatical participants create an action plan in which their experiences are integrated back into the SAP work environment.

Projects are selected according to their fit with the strategic CSR focus on entrepreneurship and education. Regional CSR is integrated in the selection process from the start. They also identify senior managers in the local SAP offices to interact with the Social Sabbatical teams while on assignment attending presentations, providing feedback on project status, and including the team in local CSR activities. By doing this, SAP maximizes the local expertise and network, exposes the Social Sabbatical teams to senior management and vice versa, and increases long-term social impact by creating relationships with client organizations as regional CSR offices continue to work with them even after the Social Sabbatical teams leave.