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SAP’s Brigette McInnis-Day Recognized as an Outstanding Leader in HR

April 18, 2016 by Angela Schuller 112

Earlier this month, Brigette McInnis-Day, executive vice president of Human Resources for Global Customer Operations & oCEO, was selected as the 2016 Outstanding Leader in HR by Temple University, Fox School of Business.

Temple HR award

Image via SAP

According to the school, this award “recognizes a distinguished, senior-level organizational trailblazer who significantly impacts the business community and HR profession through highly visible, innovative and respected contributions. The awardee provides valued information and insights that promote exemplary Human Resource Management practices and policies.” Applauding her contributions made in the area of developing women leaders, Temple University also cited that McInnis-Day is the youngest awardee and the first female to win this award.

The future of HR is the human touch powered by Big Data.

Read on to learn more about what has set McInnis-Day apart in how she approaches talent management.

Your value-add to an organization isn’t always correlated to the number of years you’ve worked in your profession.

During her remarks, McInnis-Day confessed that in the beginning of her career, she felt self-conscious about her age. “There was a time when I felt the need to apologize for my lack of experience,” she said. “I did things to ‘look’ like others to fit in unconsciously.” But McInnis-Day learned that the value she could bring to the table had nothing to do with her age, but rather from the kinds of contributions she made to the companies she worked for. She joked, “Everyone knows you are young so at some point you need to just get over it!”

Case in point? McInnis-Day developed the “Build Your Brand” program at SAP North America. The goal of the program was simple: allow people to understand and embrace their strength and areas for development with confidence. “I always tell people ‘be yourself and believe in yourself,’” she told the audience. “Personal brand can make or break a career. In this program, not only is being different okay, we encourage it. It helps us reach better, more innovative ideas even faster.”

Take risks, understand the root causes of things you need to change, and put a plan into action.

At SAP, embracing diversity is central in recruitment programming. In an effort to increase the number of women in leadership roles, McInnis-Day and two members of the HR team took an accelerated development approach and created the Leadership Excellence Acceleration Program (LEAP). In its pilot phase, 50 high potential women from the Sales and Services organizations entered into an intensive, months-long development program. According to McInnis-Day, roughly 35% of the participants were promoted or moved into more senior roles just 18 months later. The program is now rolled out globally.

“Women in the program were encouraged to know their strengths, tap into them, and recognize they have the skills to move themselves to the next level professionally,” McInnis-Day said. “But we also encouraged them to take risks. Many of our participants already had the skills they needed, but they needed the confidence and visibility to know they were ready.”

Know the business and be disruptive in your recruitment processes.

In addition to knowing the business, your customers, and your competition, HR professionals have to find innovative ways to attract external talent. “The HR organization of today is highly enabled and empowered by technology,” McInnis-Day explained. “HR professionals must be familiar with mobile collaboration and recruiting tools, predictive analytics, and what data means for recruiting the very best talent. Without data, you’re just another HR person with an opinion.”

Now more than ever, embracing digitization is crucial for HR professionals.

Now more than ever, embracing digitization is crucial for HR professionals managing today’s professional workforce. Being disruptive, like McInnis-Day has been throughout her career, helps move SAP forward. “The future of HR is not a machine,” she warned, “It’s the human touch powered by Big Data.”

Top image via Shutterstock

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