SAP is using Cultivate to coach managers and improve their self-awareness



Managers have remained engaged with Cultivate.


Continue to engage with the recommendations sent to them on at least a a monthly basis.


Managers reported the tool improved their self-awareness.


SAP, a German multinational software corporation of nearly 100,000 employees, makes enterprise software to manage business operations and customer relations. Like many large organizations, SAP realized its managers could benefit from stronger communications with their direct reports.

The challenge, as always, though, is how to deliver the feedback and information managers need, in the right moment, to help them improve their communications.

SAP launched a Cultivate pilot — to give managers data-driven feedback on their digital communications with direct reports and the frequency, tone, and responsiveness of those communications. Using machine learning and natural language processing, Cultivate scans the words and the metadata of email, chat and calendar communications, and then delivers personalized coaching and feedback directly to managers themselves – not to any corporate leaders. Individuals in the pilot were invited to opt-in; it was not imposed upon them or mandated. The SAP team rolled out an initial small pilot to 35 HR and corporate innovation managers to determine if the data and insights from the tool were useful – and they found that they were. Following that, the SAP team did a larger roll-out to approximately 250 sales managers, where 79% of those eligible to participate chose to do so.

Increased Employee Engagement

Improved Leadership Trust

Increased Manager Recognition


SAP reports that 96% of managers have remained engaged with Cultivate since the initial roll-out.

Of those managers who have adopted the technology, 86% continue to engage with the recommendations sent to them on at least a monthly basis – and this has been the case for a year and a half.

In addition, 83% of managers said that the tool improved their self-awareness of how they interact with the team. Finally, SAP says they saw a 17% increase in the level of recognition of employees’ efforts by the managers who participated in the pilot when compared against their average rates of recognition over the previous 3-month period.

Given the research link between employee recognition and employee engagement, SAP is hopeful that this will translate into higher employee engagement and leadership trust, both of which drive performance SAP is now rolling out Cultivate to all managers, companywide.

Managers reported the tool improved their self-awareness.