Empowering Women : Nicole Martin
As the corporate world grows, there has been an increase in employees in organizations. Managing this ever-growing workforce can be an uphill battle for companies. For effective workforce management and better business success, human resource management plays an important role.
With the vision to bring joy and purpose to people through their work, Nicole Martin founded HRBoostTM. She advocates the thought that software is not HR. And HR is more than payroll and benefits. She believes in building a high-performance culture that drives innovation and profitability which is required by leaders at all levels. HR infrastructure can uphold the Culture Invitation and once it is strategically aligned and reinforced, a company can create workforce alignment empowering leaders to innovate amidst even the toughest climate in business.
A Dynamic Leader
Nicole considers herself lucky to have a great mentor early in life: her mom. “My mother is highly spiritual, and she raised me with the philosophy of being happy,” said Nicole. Nicole’s mother always made her believe that she was a special person; she ingrained in her that she is capable of achieving anything.
Right out of high school, Nicole got a job as a receptionist at a pre-Y2K firm where she found her passion quite by accident. “They were hiring all these computer experts from overseas, but when they arrived, the company just put them in the reception area because they didn’t know what to do with them,” recalls Nicole.
You will notice instantly that Nicole loves what she does, and she does it remarkably well. “I’m an accidental entrepreneur,” said Nicole, “I looked back after starting my own business and said, ‘I started a business. Whoa!’” Nicole didn’t set out to create HRBoostTM. She simply followed her passion to help clients understand the importance human resources can play in developing a strong business. Today, Nicole is a successful entrepreneur and an HR industry innovator who is dedicated to helping small to midsize businesses realize their potential through their employees.
Nicole considers it her number one responsibility to empower her team of Boosters, invest in ongoing education, tools and resources to optimize her team. She has faith that they will in turn delight their clients. “I was truly humbled when after years of serving on the Advisory Board and being part of a winning organization in my prior roles, my own company took the stage of Best & Brightest® Companies to Work For in Chicago in 2020,” shares Nicole.
Transactional Work meets Transformational Work
HRBoostTM offers a unique view. They believe you must be tactical and strategic all at the same time. Every resource should be transactional with efficiency but effective for the long term thus facilitating transformational work.
They offer small and midsize businesses HR services on an ala carte, project or retainer basis. They meet their clients wherever they are on their journey to be an employer of choice and also at their pace and budget. Their Shared Services approach allows them to build HR departments from scratch and align them to the business strategy. While they see great value in the middle market, they do have some larger companies that augment their internal HR teams with strategic project initiatives from their team.
“Ironically, the biggest threat/change to the marketplace is talent, even now,” reveals Nicole. Only the truly forward-thinking companies will make winning moves even in the downturn of the economy. Like any business, talent is critical to growth and skilled talent is critical to her business.
As a result, Nicole has reinvested in their talent and approach to not only acquire talent but enable it. They have also been careful to listen to their clients, their experiences, and ways they can better serve them. Nicole’s flexibility and custom approach to how they work with clients has fueled their growth and success.
“The challenge will always be access to capital, both financial and human. As the business grows, those challenges just increase in scale,” says Nicole. She thinks the initial challenges of being a CEO are many. One is needing human capital and financial capital to scale and grow. Many will not grow because they are not investing in talent and often it is the CEO’s job to bear debt. She made a calculated risk to invest in her talent and invest in her bench strength.
Furthermore, in their early years, Nicole was running her business while simultaneously juggling the roles of being a mother and a wife. It was a challenge to orchestrate work-life integration. She looks back and realizes that when she put down a process, hired capable talent, and disappeared to let them work, the process proved to be a success.
“You must trust the people you hire, and you must trust the process,” advises Nicole. When it is time to take a calculated risk, you invest and do what you can to increase the odds.
She believes that success is relative and that real success comes in the joy of doing what you love every day.
Nicole tries to lead by example and also share for the benefit of all. She has published two books that really speak to women.‘The Power of Joy and Purpose’ is her personal story and she shares her ‘7 Presence Principles’ as she gets asked nearly every day, how does she do it all so joyfully? ‘NO FEAR Negotiation for Women’, a co-authored book with John Tinghitella where she set forth a process that women can add to their list of abilities and for the greater benefit of our country. Men are about results and Women are about effort. We need both in business.
Nicole believes that flexibility and trust are critical to building a team of women. Her business happens to be all women, and many are in their child-rearing years. She looks back at how she built an intellectual playground for herself as a new mother back in 2010. “Now my business serves many more who are like I once was and they too, deserve to do the work they have become skilled at and not stop earning just because they want to be mothers and/or grandmothers too,” shares Nicole.
Advice for Young Entrepreneurs
Nicole feels it is imperative to get hands-on experience doing what you seek to learn. She advises making sure it brings you joy before investing time, energy and dedicating your life to it. Enjoy the journey and be prepared to learn, unlearn, and relearn. Surround yourself with people who inspire and support you, but also don’t patronize yourself. Remember, even if it gets harder, or takes longer, stay diligent. Anything you love will be worth it.
Nicole recently engaged a partner to be the HR Expert on Demand and this truly takes their bench strength to small businesses across the country via the phone or their chosen mobile device. While they prefer in-person, like everyone else these days they have gone digital.
She believes HR expertise is essential to any business as they grow their enterprise. Their Shared Services approach allows businesses to access strategic HR at their pace and budget all while taking a holistic approach to integrating a culture plan that enables their strategic and/or operational plans as a business.
She also believes they need both strategic and tactical resources at the same time. One human is not ideal as there are various cognitive abilities to optimize HR strategically. Nicole believes their shared services approach to the middle market is the PEO Alternative.