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The Road to 100: Highlights From HR Break Room’s First 99 Episodes

As our HR Break Room® team gets ready to break out episode 100, that means we’ve had 99 chances to sit down with thought leaders across a variety of industries to get their take on the most important issues facing the human resources field.

While every episode offers valuable insights, we opened the vault to pick 10 standout moments in HR Break Room history. Read on to see what we chose!

Episode 19: Jacob Morgan

When Jacob Morgan, futurist and author of The Employee Experience Advantage, stopped by, we discussed the nuts and bolts of helping employees thrive in the workplace, which he narrowed to three primary categories.

As he explained it, “To truly see the ROI, and the business impact and the value, you need to do a good job of investing in all three areas: culture, technology and physical space.” To hear more from Morgan, check out episode 19, “Happy Employees = Happy Customers: The Equation for a Winning Workforce.”

Episode 58: Peter Cappelli

We welcomed Peter Cappelli, director of The Wharton School’s Center for Human Resources, to talk about the complex interplay of HR, recruiting and technology when new hires join an organization. Studies show that companies prioritizing onboarding enjoy 62% higher productivity and 157% lower turnover.

“Your first impressions matter, particularly on something like trying to understand the culture of a workplace,” Cappelli said. “It's not a good experience if your first steps are having to deal with software that doesn't work very well.”

With digital onboarding as a timely topic in today’s labor market, take some time to revisit his insights in episode 58, “Hire Level: Tech’s Role in Today’s Recruiting and Onboarding.”

Episode 70: Barbara Corcoran

Venturing into the entertainment world, we interviewed our favorite “shark,” Barbara Corcoran. More than just a TV personality, Corcoran is a world-renowned investor who offers valuable insights on leading an organization to success.

For example, she said, “You must have one system if you're going to run an efficient organization. Because you need one body of knowledge, one sourcing, clear channels of what happens in what order. You can't do that with multiple systems.”

If you can only catch up on one episode before you listen to No. 100, you can’t go wrong with episode 70, “Swimming With a Shark: Barbara Corcoran Talks Strategies for Workplace Transformation.”

Episode 77: Dickens Aubourg

The Paycom team includes some of the top minds in our field. Need proof? Our conversation with Dickens Aubourg, now Paycom’s director of product management, was especially educational, as he touched on the latest findings regarding organizational learning and development.

“Start with your business goals and objectives. Be clear on that. Know what skills and capabilities you need to meet those needs,” said Aubourg. “Then do a skills assessment and put your plan around a learning and development plan that's going to help you close those skills gaps.”Add some learning to your playlist with episode 77, “Upskilling the Workforce: How Training From Within Boosts Engagement and Profits.”

Episode 83: Robin Boudreau

The New England Patriots are synonymous with winning, and it was a big win for our listeners when we were able to talk about champion-level HR tech with Robin Boudreau, senior vice president of HR for the Patriots and its parent company, the Kraft Group.

In particular, she stressed the need for providing employees with tech that is intuitive and as easy to use as the apps on which they rely in their everyday lives.

Hear more in episode 83, “Tech Touchdown: How Employee Usage Led an NFL Juggernaut to HR Victory.”

Episode 88: Jennifer Kraszewski and Dickens Aubourg

Diversity and inclusion are front-of-mind topics — and ones that Paycom’s leadership have made a priority. How does one create a workplace culture that fosters diversity and inclusion? We discussed ways with Jennifer Kraszewski, Paycom vice president of human resources, and Aubourg, then Paycom’s director of client learning.

Kraszewski noted, “You can't have a successful diversity and inclusion program unless you really are thinking about the end game of belonging and creating that sense of connectedness with your employees and with each other inside of work and outside of work.”Listen now to episode 88, “Better Conversations: The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion.”

Episode 91: Adam Grant

Organizational psychologist Adam Grant joined us to share how companies can address the stresses of 2020 as they build resiliency for years to come.

“The organizations that can innovate, that can adapt and that can ultimately find better practices are going to do a better job when it comes to attracting, motivating and retaining people,” Grant said.Give yourself an advantage in this competitive labor market by listening to episode 91, “Creating a Resilient Workplace Culture in 2021 With Adam Grant.”

Episode 93: Justin Cameron

Justin Cameron, manager of Paycom’s Enhanced Background Checks® service, discussed the latest tools and techniques for pre-employment screening.

“If the process is not easy and efficient and they don't have confidence in the process, good candidates will be lost and the culture of the organization is going to suffer,” he said. “Recruiting and HR is your first line of defense.”For more, check out episode 93, “Effective Talent Acquisition Starts With Efficient Background Checks.”

Episode 95: Steve Boese

What frustrates your employees? Steve Boese, recurring HR Break Room guest and program chair of HR Technology Conference & Exposition, joined us to examine the findings of a 2020 study about workplace frustrations. Conducted by OnePoll, the nationwide survey of 1,000 office workers included some still working from home.

“If 77% of employees are frustrated with workplace technology, you have to stand up and do something about it,” Boese explained. “If 77% of an organization’s customers said they were frustrated with any part of their experience with your company, you wouldn’t have a company for very long.”

Hear more in episode 95, “Reconsidering HR Tech’s Impact on Employee Frustrations and the Employee Experience,” and read more about the OnePoll survey here.

Episode 97: Amy Edmondson

We were lucky to have Harvard Business School’s Amy Edmondson, Ph.D., an expert in workplace psychology, address the challenges and strategies for HR professionals on their path to self-actualization. She talked about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in HR and what organizational cultures need to develop.

“Innovation is dependent upon people being willing to offer their ideas and to combine their different ideas with each other. Without an environment of psychological safety, that simply doesn't happen,” Edmondson said.

To learn more, listen to episode 97, “The HR Hierarchy of Needs: Insights and Strategies for Reaching the Top.”

Are you ready to hear what we have in store for the 100th episode of HR Break Room? Tune in to hear a very special guest as we consider the future of HR, setting the stage for our next 100 episodes!