SAP LAB’s Social Sabbatical Program – Unique way to Leadership Development

Recently according to a survey, it was identified that 84 percent of GEN Y care about making a positive difference in the world than workplace recognition.

This indicates that it’s time to fundamentally rethink the established approach to talent strategies. Organizations are dedicating considerable resources to promote employees to undertake paid social sabbaticals

Looking at this, SAP started Social Sabbatical program, which sends high-performing employees into emerging economies such as South Africa, India, Brazil, and China. During these assignments, employees support entrepreneurs, NGOs, and government agencies, with the aim of positively impacting the regions economically and socially; they also gain a better understanding of how to effectively operate in these geographies. Employees leave the daily routine of their jobs to spend a month with a host client.

In India, 21 employees from SAP labs deployed themselves with nonprofits across Northeast States. Some employees imparted corporate skills that helped villages create a comprehensive education programme, make optimum use of natural resources for fishery and animal husbandry and sustain traditional weaving. Others provided need based skills like project, legal and people management.

SAP Labs offers sabbaticals from 3 months to two years. Employees who have been continuously employed at SAP Labs for five years can opt for sabbaticals.

Infosys employees volunteer with charitable, governmental or para-governmental organisations in public interest areas. Employees are eligible for a fellowship from the company based on their role, and they get time off from their normal work schedule for a minimum of six months and a maximum of one year.

Infosys’ Community Empathy Policy allows employees to be involved in community development projects while receiving monetary support. They can come back to normal work schedules after completing projects of upto a year.

These community-based initiatives equip employees with unique leadership development opportunities and encourages experiential learning which infuses future executives with the type of creativity they need to problem-solve in an entrepreneurial setting.

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