Author Archives: Ben

HR Summer School 2024: 5 Years of Lifting Up the HR Community

This month is always an exciting one for me and the team. We’re gearing up for our major virtual event, HR Summer School, an event with millions of minutes watched since its launch in 2020.

The HRSS experience is always a powerful one. It all started in 2020 when I landed in California for a speaking event, turned on my phone, and the voicemail I had received from the event organizer was “Go home, California is closed for this COVID thing.”

I then had four or five weeks open up on my calendar where I was planning on traveling and speaking, and I wasn’t sure what to do. As I looked around me at so many friends who were furloughed, stuck at home, or just plain nervous about what the future held, I thought that I could help.

That first year was something wild.

  • 20 hours of HR Summer School streamed live.
  • No team other than my fearless wife Melanie helping to make it happen.
  • My wonderful mistake of muting myself for the first two minutes of day one 😂

But it was worth it. Since then we’ve delivered 7.5 hours of FREE HRCI and SHRM credits every year to thousands of HR pros around the world. It’s informative. It’s inspiring. And it’s a chance for all of us to remember why we do HR and the value we bring.

The event is coming up soon. If you can’t make it live, we have a replay available. Sign up today!

Why HR Should Consider the CEBS Employee Benefits Certification

“I also enjoy the face to face with employees. And I think I really have chosen this field of benefits, this discipline, because I want to help employees maximize the benefits that are offered to them.”

Summer Martin, Human Resources Generalist, STRATA-G Solutions

We’re Only Human — Episode 174

The episode features a conversation between Ben Eubanks and Summer Martin about Summer’s journey in pursuing the Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) certification. Summer shares her passion for educating employees on benefits and helping organizations enhance their benefits offerings. She discusses the importance of effective communication in benefits and the value of specialized certifications in HR. The conversation highlights the role of benefits in attracting and retaining talent, as well as the significance of tailoring benefits information to different audiences.

Show Notes

Unleashing the Power of Good Managers: Insights from CHRO Cheryl Gochis

“And someone says, ‘I don’t think management’s for me.’ Celebrate that! When somebody says that to you, you need to celebrate and say, ‘Great decision!’ As an individual contributor, you have joy in your job by being excellent, by being a subject matter expert.”
Cheryl Gochis, Chief Human Resources Officer, Baylor University
We’re Only Human – Episode 173

In this episode, Ben Eubanks interviews Cheryl Gochis, the chief human resources officer at Baylor University. They discuss the importance of enabling and selecting great leaders. Cheryl highlights the impact of a good manager on their team, the importance of truthful job descriptions for manager roles, and the need for HR professionals to understand and support the business they serve. The interview also highlights the value of sharing real stories and narratives to guide managers, rather than adopting a formulaic approach.

Show Notes


Learning in the Age of AI with JD Dillon

“My refrigerator broke one day and I didn’t call a repair person. I didn’t go to refrigerator repair school. I went to YouTube, found a person who had a similar problem, followed along, fixed the problem, moved on. And then we go to work and suddenly you can’t do that anymore.”

JD Dillon, Chief Learning Officer, Axonify

We’re Only Human – Episode 172

In this episode, Ben talks with JD Dillon, a learning leader and advocate for frontline workers and the use of technology to support learning outcomes. In the conversation, they discuss the concept of the modern learning ecosystem, emphasizing the importance of enabling frontline workers and exploring the evolution of learning technology and its impact, particularly for frontline employees. The conversation focuses on the practical application of technology to improve work experiences, including personalized learning, language barriers, and the promise of AI. Three takeaways for listeners include:

1. The evolving role of learning technology in supporting frontline workers.

2. The potential for technology to address challenges such as language barriers and accessibility.

3. The importance of rethinking the work experience and leveraging technology to enable personalized, equitable, and effective learning and development.

Show Notes


Benefits Broker Turned HR Leader: How to Take Control of Employee Benefits

“I would be remiss to tell our employees ‘you have the power to question your doctors’ if I didn’t tell HR people ‘you have the power to question your consultants and brokers’ the exact same way.”

Melissa Cassidy, Human Resources Leader, Valpak

We’re Only Human — Episode 171

In this podcast episode, host Ben Eubanks engages in a conversation with Melissa Cassidy, focusing on the topics of benefits, HR, and employee wellness. They discuss Melissa’s background and her experience in the field. Melissa shares the challenges she faced when implementing a new benefit plan and the importance of gathering employee feedback. Moreover, they dig into the strategies they used to educate and support employees in terms of benefits and financial literacy. 

Key Takeaways:

  1. Gathering employee feedback is crucial: Melissa emphasizes the significance of listening to employees and their needs when it comes to benefits. Conducting surveys and actively seeking input from employees can help shape effective benefit strategies.
  2. Tailor education and communication: Melissa highlights the importance of delivering benefit information in a way that meets the needs of the diverse employee population. Using various communication channels, such as in-person meetings, virtual visits, and recorded presentations, allows employees to access information at their convenience.
  3. Holistic approach to employee wellness: In addition to focusing on health benefits, Melissa’s organization prioritizes mental and financial well-being. Providing access to financial advisors and mental health resources demonstrates a commitment to the overall well-being of employees beyond just health insurance coverage.

Show Notes


Can You Really Prove the Value of Learning and Training Activities?

“So when it comes to training and learning as a viable solution for helping people be the best that they can be in the roles that they serve, I believe that that’s always been important.  We’ve just not always been able to illustrate impact in the past the way in which we’re able to now. That is because of the different types of tools and resources and knowledge that we’ve gained about the science of measuring the impact of training and learning.”

Kevin M. Yates, The L&D Detective

We’re Only Human — Episode 170


It’s an age-old problem: We’re training people, but how do we know if it’s working? What’s the impact? What’s the result? What’s the ROI? 

In this interview with Kevin M. Yates, the learning detective and a daily practitioner with experience in learning analytics and measurement at organizations like Meta and McDonald’s, you’ll learn about how measuring and proving training value is closer than ever before. 


Show Notes


A Case Study in Hiring with Intentionality, Not by Accident

“So it’s really designed to be a two-way street and to create that conversation from the very, very beginning points. So we’re setting the expectations for what employment is going to be like, especially as a leader at our company.”

Nicole Hirsch, Sr Recruiting Manager, Lattice

We’re Only Human — Episode 169


Teaching hiring managers how to interview… It sounds like a foregone conclusion, yet data from the 2023 Lighthouse Research & Advisory Modern Screening Practices Study of more than 500 employers shows that it’s not happening as much as it should. Employers put their reputation on the line every time they let hiring managers speak with candidates, but they don’t always do a good job of preparing them for what to say, how to say it, etc.

In this conversation between Ben and Nicole Hirsch, a senior recruiting leader, you’ll hear how to approach this with intentional focus in order to drive the best hiring results. 


Show Notes