Dawn Runge, HR Executive and Business Transformation Advisor, SAP SuccessFactors, explored some of the ways that digital tools are transforming the HR space in her presentation to Argyle's CHRO membership at the 2017 Human Capital Leadership Forum in Chicago on May 10. In her presentation, "Translating the Digital Revolution to Everyday Work," Runge described how culture, employee engagement and technology can help organizations differentiate themselves in a highly competitive job landscape.
According to Runge, how HR professionals approach technology is paramount.
If HR professionals embrace technology as soon as possible, they can use the latest and greatest digital tools to drive disruption. Or, technology will disrupt organizations even if HR professionals ignore it entirely, Runge said.
"Basically, technology is about disrupting, or being disrupted," she stated.
To illustrate how technology drives disruption, Runge described how Kodak became obsolete after the company failed to adopt digital technology.
Runge pointed out that Kodak had the founder of the digital photograph on staff. Yet the company ignored technology and innovation, and as such, missed out on an opportunity to stay ahead of the competition.
"A Kodak moment doesn't mean a perfect picture," Runge said. "Now, it means something that didn't hit the mark."
Ultimately, technology is transformative, and HR professionals must be prepared to embrace technology immediately.
"Anything and everything is changing. When we talk about transformation, we mean a completely different way of working," Runge pointed out. "You don't want to be that Kodak company, so you have to think of a different way to transform."
Technology-enabled companies often are more profitable than rivals, Runge noted. These businesses also are faster to invest in diversity than the competition, Runge said, and have more mature succession strategies in place.
"A Kodak moment doesn't mean a perfect picture. Now, it means something that didn't hit the mark."
Meanwhile, technology has transformed the way that HR professionals and job candidates connect with one another.
No longer can HR professionals simply provide details about a job vacancy and expect candidates to apply. Instead, HR professionals must leverage social networks, online job boards and other job recruitment technologies, or risk alienating top talent.
"Facebook is one of the most popular recruiting tools out there," Runge stated. "Because if my friends like working [for a company], I'll like working there."
Although technology enables HR professionals, it is important to note that technology requires collaboration.
If HR professionals find the right technology partners, they may be able to optimize the value of technology both now and in the future, Runge indicated.
"You can't know it all if you're in HR tech," she said. "You've got to partner with people and figure out the innovators."
In addition, technology requires HR professionals to revamp their outreach efforts, according to Runge.
"You have to be able to meet [talent] where they are, and you have to be able to get talent to drive your business results."
HR professionals now must be able to reach job candidates on any device, at any location and at any time, Runge said.
"The war on talent is over," she pointed out. "You have to be able to meet [talent] where they are, and you have to be able to get talent to drive your business results."
HR professionals must realize that technology that works for one organization may fail to deliver the same results for another. Thus, HR professionals must explore a wide range of technologies and consider digital tools that support an organization's day-to-day operations.
"Almost every area of HR is going to be disrupted," Runge stated. "I don't care where you get your technology, but you have to get it … and understand that [technology] is not a one-size-fits-all. You need to make technology work, and you need to make it work for you."
With the right technology in place, HR professionals can become key contributors within their respective organizations. HR professionals will be able to take a technology-first approach in all that they do – something that could drive a cultural transformation across an organization.
"[HR] is going to get away from the tactical piece and become more strategic," Runge said. "We're going to utilize technology more for the employees and less for HR … and we're going to have a digital mindset about what we do."
Perhaps most important, technology can give HR professionals the ability to influence their respective organizations like never before, Runge said.
HR professionals who understand the value of technology can use digital tools to bolster their employee engagement, recruitment and retention. That way, HR professionals can help an organization attract and retain top talent and ensure workers are fully supported at all times.
"HR has a major seat at the [executive board] table," Runge stated. "You are in charge of the most expensive and important tool that anyone uses – the people."
Dawn supports the SAP SuccessFactors North American HR Healthcare Cloud Sales team, working directly with senior leadership at both current and prospective customers. With over 25 years of expertise in operations, finance and human resources in healthcare, Dawn is a trusted advisor to help achieve strategic goals and results through people. Dawn has partnered in the design and implementation of several enterprise-wide talent management programs, leadership development, HR transformation, performance management, learning initiatives, and cultural transformation. Additionally, Dawn has broad academic and learning experience, with over 20 years of providing insight and instruction on a college level.
Previous to joining SAP Success Factors, Dawn fulfilled her dream of owning her own consulting business. She shared her aptitude for turnaround initiatives and extraordinary energy with mid-sized to large businesses to create net income and drive cultural transformation, specifically utilizing technology to drive value and produce results.
At SSM Health, a large Catholic health system in the Midwest, Dawn was the System Vice President of Innovation and Learning where she was responsible for the creation of leadership development, strategic human capital management, performance development, succession planning, process improvement, and innovation for the entire system. She has also held numerous senior leadership positions in both operations and finance in healthcare, and successfully transformed numerous non-clinical departments through talent management strategies, thus increasing employee engagement and retention. Her early career was in financial and operational leadership roles at BJC HealthCare.
Dawn also currently serves as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Saint Louis University in the College of Public Health and Social Justice.
Dawn received a PhD from Saint Louis University, MBA from Lindenwood University, and BS from Southern Illinois University. Dawn holds both SPHR and SHRM – SCP certifications. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri, is a trained classical pianist, and remains fearless in the kitchen and classroom.