Home' HR Monthly : October 2019 Contents MEET
BENNETT EBEL CPHR
Sydney-based Bennett Ebel has worked in
various roles for Coca-Cola Amatil since 2012.
As the current people & culture leadership
partner, he’s keen to continue helping staff to
bring their best selves to work.
Ever y month we profile an HR professional to
find out how they got where they are and what
lessons they learned along the way.
How did you decide on an HR career?
I was interested in people and behaviour, so I
did psychology at university and was registered
as a psychologist. When I was coming out of
university, I didn’t really know much about
HR. It was only when I was working as an
organisational psychologist at a small HR
consulting company that I got an insight into the
work HR did. That’s when I began thinking it
would suit my interests for a longer-term career.
What’s the best part about working
long term with a single organisation?
You get the opportunity to grow and challenge
yourself in ways you don’t necessarily do when
you frequently switch organisations. I’ve been
with Amatil for seven years and I’ve had around
five roles in that time. In each, I’ve been able
to influence leadership, performance and the
business in different ways. That’s helped me to
become a more effective H R leader. I wouldn’t
still be here at Amatil if they hadn’t been so
generous as to provide me with different grow th
In your opinion, what’s a big challenge
for HR at the moment?
One is being recognised for the contribution you
make to the performance of the business, rather
than just being seen as a support function. Some
of that comes from an industry misconception,
but it happens at a personal level too in terms of
how practitioners position themselves. We need
to engage with leadership and highlight how
people strategies can enable strategic outcomes.
What’s one of the standout lessons
from your HR career?
Earlier in my career at another organisation,
I was leading the people team for a major
transformation project which involved
a significant organisational redesign at
senior levels. Some of the behaviours I
observed from the most senior people in the
organisation really shocked me. A few were
behaving badly towards me and others. I
looked up to those people; they always came
across as confident and secure. But this
made me realise they’re no different from
the rest of us. They’re humans with their
own insecurities. I learned that the most
effective way to work is to treat everyone
equally: frontline staff, salespeople, senior
executives. That’s when you develop the best
relationships and achieve the most effective
Why did you decide to get certified?
Certification provides recognition of the
specialist nature and contribution that we
offer as a profession. It’s really important
that HR sets the standard for what ‘good’
looks like. A nd I think certification is a really
valuable and effective way to do that.
What is one of your passions?
The uniqueness of individuals. Everyone has
a story to tell. I’ve got three young kids and I
want them to grow up to be proud of who they
are, rather than conforming to expectations. I
challenge myself as a parent on how I can help
them to be their best selves, and I do the same
at work. I ask myself, “How do I help everyone
to live their own story, challenge myself to be
courageous in my coaching of leaders, and
create opportu nities for employees to perform at
their best and show their best selves?”
How do you maintain a work-life
You can often get caught up in the importance
of what you’re doing at work which, in the
grand scheme of things, will probably happen
again the following week. Whereas the things
in your kids’ early lives will only happen once.
Whether it’s a performance at school or a
sports game, I get one chance to experience it
with them. That’s how I think about it and that
allows me to really reflect on where I should
apply my time to benefit myself in the long run.
Discover your own HR story and accelerate
your career at ahri.com.au/hr-certification
to hire a person
Lower staff turnover rate
A person with a vision impairment
is more likely to show loyalty to
an employer, giving you a lower
turnover rate and a lower overall
cost of employment.
Due to the access challenges they
face every day, people with vision
impairment tend to be great
problem-solvers, flexible and
Less workplace incidents
People with a disability are far less
likely to have an accident at work
than their peers.
More days at work
People with a disability have lower
levels of absenteeism and use less
sick leave than their colleagues.
Diversity = good business
A more diverse workforce will
effectiveness. It will lift morale and
enhance productivity. In short,
diversity is good for business.
An untapped workforce
You are looking to recruit a new
employee for your business, but what if an
applicant is blind or vision impaired?
Understandably, you may initially question
how they can possibly do the job that you
advertised for – how would they read emails
or find their way to work?
You may also think, “What about
the extra costs and the changes
that I will have to make to my
To alleviate your concerns,
Guide Dogs NSW/ACT has
developed a handy guide to
highlight the benefits of employing
someone who is blind or vision impaired,
and provide solutions to common concerns.
These job-seekers are loyal, great
problem-solvers and can provide an
inspiration to your workforce.
All they need is an opportunity!
To download our free Employers’ guide for hiring
people who are blind or vision impaired please
19/9/19 3:24 pm
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