If you have read any of my previous release blogs, you may have noticed that I am rather fond of using appropriate quotes from people far more erudite and cleverer than myself to make a point, or simply to entertain, and this blog is no different, so let’s get straight to it with my first one:
“The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.” This is a quote by Stephen R. Covey, author of the time management matrix and the international bestseller: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which talks about how we manage our own work time on a personal level.
OK, but what does this quote have to do with this article, Paul? How does this help me to better manage time at an employee, managerial or organizational level? Well, I’m glad you asked. It’s about the word “investment”. We here in SAP SuccessFactors-land have been investing our time into improving how you can manage your time in your organization. Like all worthwhile investments, the fruits of the labor are not always immediately evident, but the buds are beginning to show with this release, which is an appropriate if somewhat obvious metaphor for springtime.
SAP has been around for almost 50 years. We’re in this for the long haul, and we’re excited at what we’re delivering in this release and what is to come.
Before I get to the specifics, it’s important to understand our strategy around Time and Attendance Management, which is – appropriately – based on what you, our customers have told us. Many of you have said that while you don’t need the full workforce management suite that we provide through our solution extension applications, you definitely need some additional functionality above and beyond what we have delivered thus far with SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central. You inhabit what I like to call the “white space” in between, so I’d like to meet you there in this space and I’m bringing along our latest time management solution – SAP SuccessFactors Time Tracking.
Now you’re probably thinking: “That’s nice, but how does SAP SuccessFactors Time Tracking differ from SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Time Management? Pull up a chair and I’ll tell you…
Firstly, it’s important to know that all Time Off features will remain as part of Employee Central. Not only will they remain, but we have plans to significantly update and enhance these features as part of your SAP SuccessFactorsEmployee Central subscription. I will describe some of these enhancements in this blog.
Secondly, it’s very important to know that if you are currently using the SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Time Sheet, you may continue to do so as part of your SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central subscription, but there will be no more enhancements or updates.
Thirdly, all new enhancements to the time sheet will be delivered as part of the SAP SuccessFactors Time Tracking solution, which requires both a separate license and SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central as a prerequisite. I will talk about what is in the SAP SuccessFactors Time Tracking solution for this release and a little about what is to come later in the year.
So, let’s first focus on the 1H 2021 release. I will specify which enhancement is in which solution.
New Time Sheet User Interface
What is it?
We are delivering a new employee self-service user interface, with improved navigation within the time sheet.
Time Sheet on Mobile
New Time Sheet UI on laptop
What is the benefit?
The new two-month calendar overview indicates the status of previous time sheets, so that employees have greater oversight into their time submissions.
In addition, we have made it easier for employees to check their flextime or shift pattern, including dynamic breaks, and to react to alerts and exceptions to ensure correct and timely payment. The new user interface is responsive to screen size (so you can just as easily use it on a tablet or other mobile device) and meets accessibility standards.
Of course, you can still request time off directly from the time sheet and see the status of such requests, as shown in the screen above.
Which solution is this for?
This new UI is available to both SAP SuccessFactors Employee CentralandSAP SuccessFactors Time Tracking customers.
This allows an employee to request advanced approval for specific time types without having to submit the entire weekly time sheet.
Single Record Approval
What is the benefit?
If your employees need to obtain approval in advance for specific time types, such as overtime, business travel or training, there is no need to submitting the time sheet submission as a whole. You can configure which time types you want to use this for, and even configure a specific workflow for each scenario.
Moreover, the status of the request is always visible and always up to date in the time sheet.
As part of our new SAP SuccessFactors Home Page we are delivering a time off engagement card. We are also making it easier for managers to do quick approvals for these leave requests via approval cards on the Home Page, or via the SAP Task Center, which is the central SAP inbox for the intelligent enterprise.
Time Off Engagement Card
Quick Approval Card
What are the benefits?
The time off engagement card contributes to employee well-being, helps prevent burnout and increases engagement by prompting employees about the need to take time off. The employee can simply respond to the card and create an absence request directly from the home page.
The quick approval cards provide managers with the information they require to approve the request, and speed up the approval process, all within the flow of work.
Which solution is this for?
These cards are included in Employee Central and Time Tracking.
I hope that this has given you a good insight into some of my favorite highlights for time and attendance management within SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central and SAP SuccessFactors Time Tracking in the 1H 2021 release. Of course, there is a lot more, so for a deeper dive into these features and a many other enhancements in this release, make sure to read Volker Ruof’s blog here and watch this two-minute video by Daniela Goerke.
We have a lot of exciting features coming in the 2H 2021 release to keep filling that “white space”. To find out more, please go to our SAP Roadmap Explorer.
In conclusion, I should like to leave you with what may be my favorite quote regarding time, which I find inspiring and comforting, and which imbues me with a sense of optimism; and let’s face it, we could all use some of that. It is from the pen of the inestimable J.R.R. Tolkien:
“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
I hope that you all make the most of the time that is given to you, whether that be at work or at play, and focus on how to best spend this most precious commodity.
If you have questions regarding this release, please leave then in the comments below, or better yet, ask them in the Time and Attendance Management section of the SAP SuccessFactors customer community.
For information on release highlights across the SAP SuccessFactors HXM suite, see this excellent article by my colleague, Janne Wise.