Ep 247: Secrets Of HR Technology Implementation

Today’s podcast is part of a new series on the Workology Podcast focused on the role and responsibilities of the Chief Human Resources Officer, or CHRO. The CHRO is an executive or C-level role that deals with managing human resources, as well as with organizational development and implementing policies of change to improve the overall efficiency of the company. The CHRO Podcast series on Workology is powered by HUB International. One of the reasons I wanted to do this series is because there is I think a lot of mystery around the CHRO role. I want aspiring CHRO’s to know what type of skills and experiences they need to promote into a future CHRO role along with hearing from senior HR leadership how they are partnering and collaborating with their executive peers. 

Ep 247: Secrets Of HR Technology Implementation with Cheryl Gochis (@CherylGochis)

Today I’m joined by Cheryl Gochis. Cheryl was appointed vice president of human resources and CHRO at Baylor University in May 2016 after having served as associate vice president for HR since 2014. She manages and coordinates employment functions at Baylor that include employee relations, benefits, compensation, recruiting, employee learning, HR compliance, data management, and leadership consulting. She holds a BA and an MA in business and organizational communication and is also a certified HR professional and learning specialist. 

HR Technology Implementation Secrets 

Cheryl talks about her experience working towards a large scale HR technology implementation with Oracle which happened to happen during the pandemic. She talks about how the HR and implementation team worked together without missing a beat to train, communicate, and work with staff to move their entire university staff to the new HR technology. These kind of large scale implementations are one to two year plus projects in the making. There are so many moving parts including integrating multiple systems and ensuring that setting, access and data are flowing appropriately.

Workplace Communication Strategies During a Pandemic 

One of my favorite parts of the conversation with Cheryl was how the team had to look at employee communication and announcements differently. She shares that in person meetings were part of Baylor’s initial strategy for their technology launch, but that quickly changed as employees worked remotely and from home. Cheryl said their team looked to alumni to help create excitement and awareness around their new technology launch. And luckily, one of their university alumni was one of the actors from the popular television show, The Office. 

I love this creative strategy. It made their tech launch fun, exciting, and a topic of conversation throughout the university. If you’re an Office fan, you need to listen to the podcast to get the full scoop on what characters were featured.

What Skill Is More Important For a Chief Human Resource Officer?

Cheryl has a great background working with a number of different organizations throughout her career and solid experience based in HR. I wanted to know what skills she thought were most important for her to be successful right now as a CHRO. She shares that having an understanding of the business is essential for the Chief Human Resource Officer. She says that typically HR is known for the soft skills, but the business is really critical to supporting the organization. Human capital she says is also important as her responsibility as the CHRO is to build a strategy for how HR fits into the rest of the business. Working in HR is more than just being a people person. She says youo need to be tied to the success of the business and that’s the most important for success in this role.

Throughout this new podcast series focused on the Chief Human Resources Officer role, I’m asking this question because it’s important for us to understand what key skills and abilities are essential for our peers, but also for those who are just beginning their HR careers. Maybe they have aspirations to promote or grow within HR. It’ s important to have a plan, strategy, and mentors for everyone including those working within human resources.


There have been so many changes in HR in the past decade, but we’ve never lost our focus on people. HR teams are now being formed around an executive-level role like CHRO or Chief People Officer who are more connected to the strategy and operations of the overall business. This means that this leadership position has a large role in technology selection, adoption, training, and so on. I appreciate Cheryl taking the time to share her experience with us today. 

Connect with Cheryl Gochis.


CHRO Job Description

Podcast Episode Transcript

Ep 155: Driving Organizational Change and Trust 

2020 CHRO Report 

Your Guide to the HR Organization and Team Structures 



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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.


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