Empowering Excellence: Nicole Martin’s Journey as a Transformational HR Leader

Nicole Martin is a trailblazing entrepreneur and influential leader in the field of human resources. As the Chief Empowerment Officer and Founder of HRBoost, LLC, a highly regarded HR Shared Services consulting firm headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Nicole has made a significant impact on businesses and communities alike.

Nicole’s exceptional professional achievements and her unwavering commitment to excellence have earned her numerous accolades and recognitions. Most recently her organization has won Best Companies to Work For in 2022. She also was selected for a Positive Leadership Award whereby she was among 24 global leaders from 11,688 nominations across 22 countries in 2022. She was honored as one of Mirror Review’s 10 Game Changing Women in 2019, acknowledging her outstanding contributions to her profession. The Chicago Daily Herald recognized her with the Awardee for Business Excellence title, highlighting her remarkable skills and accomplishments. In 2016, Enterprising Women Magazine named her a Champion in their Enterprising Women of the Year awards, further cementing her status as a leader in the industry.

Widely sought-after for her expertise, Nicole has shared her knowledge and provided valuable advice in newspapers and magazines across the country. She serves as the host of HR in the Fast Lane, an online platform that offers invaluable insights into the dynamic world of human resources. Additionally, she is a respected contributing writer for the esteemed Chicago Business Journal, where her thought-provoking articles continue to inspire professionals in various fields.

Nicole is also an accomplished author, with several books to her name. Her International Literary Award-winning and Amazon Best Seller, “The Talent Emergency,” has become a definitive guide in the realm of talent management. She has also authored “The Talent Emergency Guidebook,” “The Human Side of Profitability,” “The Power of Joy & Purpose,” and her most recent co-authored book, “No Fear Negotiation for Women.” Through her writing, Nicole empowers individuals and organizations to unlock their full potential and achieve lasting success.

In addition to her professional endeavors, Nicole dedicates her time and expertise to serve on multiple boards focused on human capital, culture, and HR excellence. Notably, she is a Board member of the prestigious Best & Brightest® Companies to Work For, where she actively contributes to shaping exceptional workplace environments. She is also involved with social service initiatives in her community and advocates for the advancement of women in business.

To learn more about Nicole Martin and her transformative work, visit her websites at www.hrboost.com and www.nicolemartin.live. Her tireless dedication to empowering individuals, cultivating thriving work cultures, and driving HR excellence has established her as a trusted leader and an inspiration to aspiring professionals worldwide.

Awards and Recognitions:

2017 Business Excellence Business Leger Award

2020 Chicago’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For

2020 Innovative Companies to Watch For in 2021

2021 Star Icon Best Speaker Award

2021 CIO Times: The Spearheads Most Inspiring Leaders of the Year

2022 Positive Leadership Award – Global Recognition

2022 Best Companies to Work For in IL

Nicole Martin, a renowned international speaker and author, is a dynamic and empowering consultative leader who has made a significant impact in the field of human resources. As the Chief Empowerment Officer and Founder of HRBoost® LLC, a leading Shared Services Consulting firm based in Chicago, Nicole’s journey towards becoming a transformational business leader has been inspired by her personal experiences and influential mentors.

From a young age, Nicole was fortunate to have a remarkable role model in her mother, who instilled in her the philosophy of finding happiness and believing in her capabilities. With her mother’s guidance, Nicole embarked on her path to success, leaving her hometown in Montana to pursue her dreams. It was during her early career as a receptionist at a pre-Y2K firm that Nicole stumbled upon her passion for human resources. Witnessing the mistreatment of talented professionals from overseas, Nicole took initiative and created a training program to assist them. This act of compassion caught the attention of the company’s director, leading to her transition from reception to human resources. Since then, Nicole has dedicated herself to building HR departments from the ground up, always aligning them with the business’s vision for optimal integration and success.

Nicole’s approach to transformational leadership revolves around her high-performance team of HR experts, who partner with clients at every stage of their journey towards becoming exceptional workplaces. The remarkable growth and reputation of HRBoost can be attributed to their personal dedication and commitment to each business they serve. Nicole acknowledges the importance of creating a work culture that emphasizes core values and peer recognition. By empowering her team and investing in ongoing education, tools, and resources, Nicole fosters a culture of innovation, creativity, and shared leadership within HRBoost.

Throughout her career, Nicole has embraced challenges and prioritized the well-being of her team, recognizing the importance of work-life integration. As a CEO, she understands the significance of human and financial capital to scale and grow a business. By making calculated risks and investing in talent, Nicole has positioned HRBoost for success. She encourages others to trust their teams and processes, take accountability, and surround themselves with inspiring individuals who offer genuine support.

As a testament to her transformative leadership, Nicole has led numerous successful projects, with one notable example being her work with Allure Designs Salon & Boutique. By facilitating a Team Retreat and implementing HRBoost tools and workshops, Nicole helped the salon strengthen its culture and create an unparalleled experience for its customers. This achievement earned Allure Designs recognition as one of the top 200 Best Salons in the USA, highlighting the profound impact of Nicole’s transformational approach.

To stay up-to-date with the latest trends and innovations in her industry, Nicole is launching HRBoost®US in 2023, bringing a franchise opportunity and national expansion to the company. By continuously seeking personal and professional growth, she ensures that HRBoost remains at the forefront of HR excellence.

In balancing the needs of stakeholders and shareholders, Nicole prioritizes vulnerability, authenticity, and virtue-based ethics. Her company’s vision of bringing joy and purpose to people through their work guides every decision. By employing chaplains, practicing peer recognition, and fostering a supportive and inclusive work environment, Nicole ensures that the well-being and happiness of her team are at the forefront of HRBoost’s success.

Nicole Martin’s journey as a transformational business leader showcases her unwavering commitment to empowering individuals, fostering exceptional workplaces, and driving HR excellence. With her visionary leadership, innovative thinking, and compassionate approach, Nicole continues to inspire others and make a lasting impact in the field of human resources.

Nicole understands the significance of human capital and financial capital in scaling and growing a business. She believes that investing in talent is crucial for success and has made a calculated risk to invest in her team. In the early years, she faced the challenge of balancing work and personal life but learned that creating efficient processes, hiring capable talent, and empowering them to work autonomously yielded positive results. Nicole emphasizes the importance of trusting the people she hires and trusting the process. Taking calculated risks and investing in talent are strategies she employs to increase the odds of success.

At HRBoost, they challenge the common misconception that small businesses don’t need HR professionals until they reach a certain size. Nicole and her team strive to help smaller businesses realize the value of having an experienced HR professional early on, even before they reach 100 employees. They believe that the sooner a business invests in HR expertise, the better. By providing HR services on an ala carte, project, or retainer basis, HRBoost aims to assist clients at their own pace and within their budget. Their success is measured by the impact they create for their clients, enabling them to become employers of choice and align their HR departments with their business strategies.

Nicole acknowledges that the field of HR is undergoing significant changes, such as remote work becoming more prevalent post-Covid-19 and the transformation of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives into proactive employee engagement opportunities. Additionally, digital analytics are increasingly important in HR, given talent shortages and heightened competition for skilled professionals. HRBoost embraces these changes and recognizes their importance in driving overall strategic and operational results. They stay adaptable by embracing new technologies, fostering a culture of continuous learning, and promoting diversity and inclusion within their own organization.

HRBoost’s unique selling proposition lies in meeting clients at their own pace and budget, providing a team with 40 years of aggregate experience from day one. They offer HR services to small and midsize businesses, helping them build HR departments aligned with their business strategies. The company’s approach emphasizes the importance of HR infrastructure in creating a high-performance culture that drives innovation and profitability. By empowering leaders at all levels, HRBoost ensures workforce alignment and the ability to innovate even in challenging business climates. They have successfully returned to pre-pandemic revenue levels and continue to find innovative ways to serve their clients and retain talent, expanding their reach beyond state boundaries.

During the pandemic, when many businesses were closing their doors and laying off employees, Nicole made a difficult decision to keep every employee at HRBoost, sacrificing her own pay. She recognized that her talent was the company’s greatest asset and was determined to support her team. This decision put a strain on her personal finances, but her commitment paid off. Seven months later, HRBoost received PPP loans, and the business experienced remarkable growth in the following year. Despite the challenges and personal sacrifices, Nicole has no regrets and is grateful for the support she received from her bank throughout the journey.

At HRBoost, their vision is to bring joy and purpose to people through their work. Despite the challenges faced during the pandemic, HRBoost has remained steadfast in their values and mission. They have adapted and found innovative ways to reach their clients, supporting businesses in retaining talent even amidst talent shifts. Nicole believes that forward-thinking companies are the ones that make winning moves, even during economic downturns. By staying true to their vision, embracing change, and remaining focused on helping businesses realize their potential through their employees, HRBoost ensures that their values and mission are upheld throughout the transformation process.

At HRBoost, Nicole and her team prioritize the importance of HR expertise for businesses at any stage of growth. They offer a shared services approach that allows businesses to access strategic HR support within their budget and at their own pace. By integrating a culture plan that aligns with their clients’ strategic and operational plans, HRBoost takes a holistic approach to HR. They deliver skilled talent to their clients and believe in the need for both strategic and tactical resources. Their shared services approach serves as a PEO Alternative for the middle market, catering to businesses across various sectors such as professional services, non-profit organizations, high tech, manufacturing, staffing firms, hospitality, and healthcare. HRBoost’s full-service embedded HR support, project-based assistance, culture design and management training, employee programs and assessments, virtual support, and phone support cater to the needs of their clients, regardless of their size or industry. The company’s growth and success have largely been driven by word-of-mouth referrals, reflecting their client-centric approach and dedication.

Nicole and her team are committed to diversity excellence and have been recognized for their commitment to diversity by the Daily Herald. They believe in the power of every individual in their team and promote a culture that values hands-on contributions from all team members. They challenge traditional hierarchies and foster a culture conversation where two-way exchange and collaboration are encouraged. HRBoost places a strong emphasis on creating a positive work culture, recognizing that talent will not tolerate a negative environment for long. By implementing pulse surveys and check-ins, fostering connection and engagement, and providing resources like chaplain support, HRBoost creates a psychologically safe and supportive workplace. They encourage open discussions on challenging topics, such as racial unrest, and strive to maintain a culture that fosters learning, understanding, and growth.

Nicole’s advice for aspiring transformational business leaders is to invest in women. She highlights the fact that less than 2% of money invested in the United States goes to women-owned businesses, emphasizing the untapped potential and opportunity that lies within women leaders. Nicole believes that women can develop teams that foster collaboration and create positive work cultures. She emphasizes the importance of building a strong culture conversation within an organization, where two-way exchange and learning are valued. This involves having a common language for leadership and promoting open discussions across peer levels. Nicole encourages leaders to prioritize employee well-being and engagement, even during challenging times like the pandemic. By implementing initiatives like pulse surveys, virtual check-ins, and support resources such as chaplain services, leaders can create a deeper connection with their teams. Building a culture that feels psychologically safe, where individuals can share and learn from one another without fear of judgment, is a key aspect of maintaining a positive work environment. Nicole also emphasizes the initial challenges of being a CEO, such as the need for human and financial capital to scale and grow. She encourages leaders to take calculated risks, invest in talent, trust the people they hire, and trust the process. Ultimately, she believes that true success comes from finding joy and purpose in what one does every day and creating a seamless integration between work and life.

Nicole is not only a successful entrepreneur and CEO of HRBoost but also an active participant in various professional organizations and conferences. She serves on the Chicago NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) Membership Committee and has been recognized as a Star Conference Global Speaker, receiving the Best Speaker award in Paris in 2021. Nicole’s passion for empowering women in business extends to mentoring newer female entrepreneurs who reach out to her for guidance and support.

In addition to her involvement in professional organizations, Nicole has achieved notable milestones throughout her career. She graduated from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Chicago Cohort 9 in 2014, demonstrating her commitment to continuous learning and growth. She also chairs the Chicago Peer Group for Best and Brightest Companies to Work For and serves on the Advisory Board of the National Best and Brightest organization, further showcasing her dedication to promoting excellence in workplace culture.

Nicole’s accomplishments extend beyond her own company as well. She has served for three years on the OMNI Board of Directors, where she held the position of Chair of Governance, highlighting her expertise in governance and leadership. As a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) and WBENC (Women’s Business Enterprise National Council) certified business, Nicole’s commitment to empowering women and fostering diversity and inclusion is evident. Her business has consistently met the rigorous standards of certification as a women-owned business.

With a track record of success and an unwavering commitment to her industry, Nicole continues to push boundaries and explore new opportunities. She is actively growing and preparing to launch HRBoost®US, a franchise opportunity that will expand the reach and impact of HRBoost’s innovative HR solutions.

In conclusion, Nicole Martin, CEO and Founder of HRBoost, is a trailblazer in the field of human resources and a passionate advocate for women in business. Her commitment to excellence, demonstrated through her involvement in professional organizations, her mentorship of aspiring entrepreneurs, and her numerous certifications and accolades, sets her apart as a transformational business leader. Nicole’s dedication to integrating joy and purpose into work, creating positive cultures, and investing in talent serves as an inspiration for aspiring leaders in the business world. With HRBoost’s continued growth and the upcoming franchise launch, Nicole’s impact and influence are poised to expand, leaving a lasting legacy in the field of HR.