How SAP Wins with the Best Recognition and Rewards Practices? Interview with Chetna Singh, Part 2: Rewarding People in Flexible and Hybrid Work Environment

We’ve sat down with SAP’s Global Head of Total Rewards, Chetna Singh, to talk about how SAP’s Total Rewards and Recognition practices make SAP one of the best places to work globally.

April 3, 2023 By Ravijojla Novakovic Share on Twitter! Share on Facebook! Share on LinkedIn!

This is the 2nd part of the interview series with Chetna Singh. Access the first one on this link: How SAP Wins with the Best Recognition and Rewards Practices? Part 1: Holistic approach to Total Rewards


Chetna Singh has been with SAP for 11 years; she rose from being a Total Rewards Director for South East Asia, to filling the role of Vice President of Total Rewards Partnering for Asia, Pacific, and Japan, and finally embodying the role of the SVP Global Head of Total Rewards for the past two years. As the creator of the Total Rewards Reimagine Strategy, Chetna Singh takes on the mission of transforming SAP’s outlook on all the dimensions of Total Rewards.

In the first part of the How SAP Wins with the Best Recognition and Rewards Practices? interview series, Chetna Singh talked about a holistic approach to Total Rewards and designing a program tailored specifically to employees’ needs. SAP’s Total Rewards relies on the 3Cs pillar, comprising compensation & benefits, career growth, and culture, providing employees a well-rounded and attractive employee value proposition.

Rewarding People in Flexible and Hybrid Work Environment

What has been the greatest challenge in scaling flexible work on a macro organizational level?

Whatever is a challenge, it is also an opportunity. Employees do not necessarily understand that there are taxation and health insurance limitations when it comes to flexible work. Companies need to create work environments from which they can arrange the work to be executed from anywhere, anytime. For SAP, it was first about getting to a stage where we could launch Pledge to Flex.

Of course, the journey to work flexibility is still ongoing. There are nuances, and the world is constantly changing and reshaping. You can’t think that what I did five years ago will sustain an organization for the next five years: you must continually reimagine your strategy and your contribution.

How are you preparing for the rewards challenges of new work trends shifting towards new business models like remote work, the gig economy, or digital nomads? What is the recipe for balancing company and employees’ needs when it comes to flexible and hybrid work?

Like every organization, we must stay relevant and keep pace with external trends.

However, keeping up with trends needs to be carefully planned and executed. We can only accept a trend if our internal world is ready and misaligned externally.

Our reward function is intertwined with our business strategy. Once business models change, the compensation model needs to adjust accordingly. The same applies if the nature of work changes; you need to start thinking about how to align your benefits and compensation.

There was a time when no one was envisioning gig workers or flexible work, but now it’s a common practice. So, it’s a continuous learning curve, and staying up to date with external and internal trends, such as internal strategy shifts, macro-level changes, etc., needs to happen simultaneously to design a balanced reward strategy.

We’ve worked together for a while now on our Recognition and Rewards software. What would be the next big thing in R+R software that you’re looking forward to?

The concept of a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) is very interesting. It’s emerging fast and can be used for recognition purposes. The NFTs are lifetime badges, which could have financial value. And even if not, the NFTs are a powerful tool for recognizing employees.

Currently, at SAP, we have monetary and non-monetary awards, but my dream would be to leverage the power of NFT in the recognition space.


🔜 Stay tuned for the last part of the series, How SAP Wins with the Best Recognition and Rewards Practices? Interview with Chetna Singh, Part 3: SAP’s Champions Journey to Fair Pay, in which we’ll talk about radical transparency, pay fairness and employees as shareholders.