Dwane Lay
Dwane Lay

Dwane Lay

VP of Customer Experience
About :

Dwane is responsible for analyzing, defining, documenting and communicating HR processes and best practices to Dovetail’s HR product development team and the HR community, as well as working with prospects and customers to analyze their current environment and improve it with technology and process implementation. Prior to joining Dovetail, Dwane was the Director of HR for Missouri Baptist Medical Center, St. Louis MO. He is the author of LeanHRBlog.com and is a well-known presence on the HR social media landscape. Dwane holds an MBA from Lindenwood University in St. Louis, MO, is a certified Senior Professional of Human Resources with HCRI, and has earned a Six Sigma Black Belt.



hr process design, hr technology, technology adoption and implementation

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Posts by Dwane Lay:

Dwane Lay
September 1, 2015

The Challenges HR Practitioners Face

One of the greatest challenges I faced in my time working as an HR Practitioner was making sure I gave the right information when answering an employee’s question.  I’ve never worked with any company that had the same answer for every employee, especially when dealing with things like benefits, compensation, or vacation policy.  And the challenges for a global company are even greater, especially when policies are all in English (“Because that’s the standard!”) but your employees only speak French.  Answering a question is easy.  Figuring out how to find the right answer in a language specific employees speak and understand can be maddening.

What to Do?

Enter our filtering feature for knowledge.  The Dovetail Employee Engagement Suite allows your system admin to set up and apply filters to your knowledge, making sure

Dwane Lay
August 11, 2015

Employee Engagement Suite


The Dovetail Employee Engagement Suite (EES) was designed around a few simple ideas.


Our clients are smart. Our clients deserve to be able to build and modify their own configuration in ways that suit them. Our clients sometimes have better ideas than we do.


To that end, we purposefully built a system that is all about configuration choices.  This leads to my answering a lot of questions with, “It depends.”

Does the system notify you when you get a new case?  It depends.

Do I have to log in to see my alerts? It depends.

Can I have a hug?  It depends.  (OK, that one usually is a yes.  But you get the point.)

Why is “It depends” the answer?  Because the question of “does it” depends on “have you told it to?”  Have

Dwane Lay
June 25, 2015

A Little History

Three years ago, I was goaded into playing street hockey in Atlanta in the middle of summer.

Two years ago, Jonathan Brewer and I put together one of the greatest kickball games HR has ever seen.

Last year, we celebrated The Big Lebowski in a Orlando bowling alley.

All of there were great fun, and were done in the spirit of changing the world.  And in the process we’ve raised a significant amount of money for those who need a little help.  And many of you have come along for the ride.


This year, we are going in a slightly different direction.  At the SHRM Annual Conference next week, we will be hosting a Poetry Slam, and are partnering with Quantum Workplace, Broadbean, Dice and Branded Strategies in our support for

Dwane Lay
March 24, 2015

We’re always excited to roll out new features and improvements to our client partners.  It’s like Christmas, Halloween and Flag Day all rolled together.  So imagine how happy we were this weekend to release version 13 of the Dovetail Employee Engagement Suite (EES) into the wild!

If you haven’t seen it in your environment yet (or, heaven forbid, you don’t have one!), here are a few of the highlights of the latest update.

Email Improvements – We continue to build on our email system, including new integrations with the employee database to make sharing information easier and faster.

Employee Data Filters – More granular control of who sees what, without limiting the ability to support all employees in your organization.  We’ve bypassed traditional org structure methods to bring you an almost unlimited amount of flexibility on how you set up

Dwane Lay
February 26, 2015

I’m always excited to see the HR Carnival roll into the Dovetail station.  As always, we bring you a look at some of the best blogs in space over the last few weeks.  I’m a sucker for themes, so in honor of appearing at Tru London this week, I asked our friends to send me their thoughts on what they consider to be truths in HR or recruiting.  Take a look at a few of them, right after this musical interlude…

David Richter leads off with his strict adherence to the theme, sending in 5 Truths I Have Learned in My Time in HR.  And they are all important lessons.

Friend of the Show Crystal Miller brings us The Truth of Employee Recognition in Branding.  Complete with poetry, links and video. 

Dwane Lay
February 9, 2015



We know through usage and satisfaction scores that people like to be able to find their own answers to questions.  If not, Google would be having some serious revenue issues, and they seem to be doing ok.  HR Shared Services teams are built around efficiency and quick turnaround, and almost all of them are looking at self service as a major part of their program. If you don’t know just how powerful self service can be, take a look at the Infographic from Zendesk (a company of which we are very much fans) at the bottom of this post.

We at Dovetail are no different.  We are fans of letting our clients find information and ask us questions directly.  That’s why we’ve

Dwane Lay
December 2, 2014



As we come out of the Thanksgiving holiday, it is easy to lose ourselves in the commercial gorging known as Christmas.  It’s the reason Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday (or at the very least, my favorite in the second half of the year).  Christmas is commercial.  Thanksgiving is about feeding the people you love.  With that in mind, I’m sharing this with all of you in hopes it will catch your eye.  Today is Giving Tuesday, a special fundraising day for No Kid Hungry.  And this year, the amazing people at Hickory Farms are matching donations TODAY.

No Kid Hungry connects kids in need with nutritious food and teaches their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals. The campaign also engages the public to make ending childhood hunger a national

Dwane Lay
November 7, 2014

source: http://www.siliconstrat.com/marketing-memos-blog/2013/04/02/evil-email/

I’m very fortunate to be in a role that allows me to work with HR departments around the world. I get the chance to see areas in which we, as a practice, thrive or struggle, where we are growing, where we can improve, and the shared struggle of practitioners everywhere to be effective in taking care of our service groups. And there is one common enemy, one shared scourge, one universal pain point with which my brethren wrestle daily. And that long-tendriled beast is known as email. In many ways, it is the bane of our existence.

That doesn’t mean that we should do without. In fact, for anyone serving a 24/7 operation without a 24/7 HR function, email is a critical communication path.

Dwane Lay
September 16, 2014

I never tire of conference season.  Getting to see so many familiar faces, hearing the latest from the world of Human Resources and shared services, seeing all the advances in the HR technology world are perks of the job.  And I’m excited to say the season is upon us again.  It is, truly, the most wonderful time of the year.

If you happen to be out and about, I’d love the chance to say hello.  The standing offer, as usual, is that if we’ve not met before and you catch up to me, I’ll buy the first round of coffee.  So where can you cash in?  We will be making our annual trek to the HR Technology Conference, of course.  This year we’re also supporting our friends at cFactor as they host an Onboarding event featuring

Dwane Lay
August 15, 2014


This week I had the privilege of sitting in as a guest on HR Happy Hour.  (If you are interested, you can listen to the replay here.)   The topic was Heartland HR, specifically trends we have seen in the last few weeks as I spoke at ILSHRM and MOSHRM.  This happened in the same week I was working with teams in six different countries for one client while simultaneously preparing a trip that will take me to two different continents this weekend to work with another client.  In between, I spoke with an HR leader who is building out their HR Shared Services function and trying to figure out how to put an HR case management system in place without causing any heartburn for the team.  It’s a lot of perspectives

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