Monday, January 14, 2013

Human Resources vs "Un" Human Resources

Human Resources vs. “Un” Human Resources
by Edwin Martinez, PHR

The momentary insensitivity of an HR professional can set in motion a disastrous and a potentially harmful chain of events for any business today. Taking a closer look at what can happen when employees seek advice from their employer’s HR department and instead are treated as if they are a nuisance, can reveal that some “Un” human resource professionals have managed to settle in positions for which they have no calling.  The reality of what we see in the news these days concerning workplace violence and vengeance can lead one to wonder if the HR representatives are abiding by the core values and professional HR code of ethics that can strategically minimize some of the employer tragic stories.

Many companies of all sizes have HR departments comprised of ordinary people who serve in many different roles for the benefit of the organization’s growth and stability. The many facets of HR have become difficult for people to understand when it comes to functions and responsibilities. Some see all HR people as recruiters, some as administrators, and yet some as strategic business partners and legal consultants available to help companies stay out of the court room.  The variations are customizable to the organizational structure and strategic measures. Nonetheless, people view HR as the one-stop shop for employment issues, concerns, investigations, etc. The bottom line is more and more people look to HR for advice and counsel. So, along with the responsibility to counsel the employer, the HR professionals need to maintain the “human” approach when dealing with employee concerns, complaints, and any other issues that may come their way. Showing the employee genuine care and concern should never be asking for too much.  In these days, it is the best approach from a “best practices” standpoint.

Ann Bogardus, states in her PHR/SPHR Study Guide book that by the middle of the twentieth century, the personnel function was part of almost every business and thus in 1948 the personnel practitioners developed into a profession. Today, this profession is called Human Resource Profession and plays key roles from administration to strategic partnerships. Hence, it behooves businesses to take a closer look at their HR departments to assess if their “un” human resources representatives can be either properly trained and coached to serve in their respective roles or replaced by professional “Human” Resources teams that can provide all aspects of HR while maintaining the “human” touch necessary for the overall stability and safety of their organizations.

In consideration of how all the pieces of the Human Resources fit together in the  realm of business and organizational growth, it becomes increasingly important to examine, assess, and determine  the best solutions at least on an annually. A coherent argument on the benefits of in-house vs. outsourcing of the HR department can draw interesting conclusions. One sided views without proper quantifications is a dangerous precedent and quantification without the “human” element will produce skewed and inconclusive results.

Taking a serious look from both angles will allow organizations to view and decide on the best possible solutions that can improve their bottom line. Understanding the importance of balancing the HR functions in conjunction with the core values and strategic company goals can make all the difference in the world.

Start your journey today by reaching out to the HR professionals that can offer your organization the tools needed for compliance with a winning edge on the real “Human” Resources approach.

Edwin Martinez

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Networking in the Church?

It has been said that people go to church to seek God and find refuge from a world of much turmoil. There is a lot of truth to that statement as it identifies the quest of millions. As people gather or meet within the confines of a church whether in a building or home groups, there are personal needs that can be met simply by getting to know each other.

I would like to share some tips for the human aspect of fellow-shipping with one another without imposition on beliefs or religious agenda. It may be that even by many people also go to church to see God within each other.

I have been attending church since about the age of five and have learned that networking is almost an automatic and effortless dynamic that just happens from a simple handshake and warm greeting to a planned event for product or services presentations.

Every time there is a connection, there is an opportunity for networking in some fashion or other. From the countless examples, let's say there is a Hair stylist attending a particular church and wears her own hair in a trendy color and style. Another member takes notice one day and says something like "I like the way you wear your hair; where do you go?" The hair stylist share information about her salon and there you go. A networking connection has been established.

In another example, let's say there is a massage therapist within a congregation who notices that another member is walking strangely. The therapist may approach this person as ask some questions and maybe even offer to provide a complimentary session to help this person. Now this person knows about the therapist and tells her friends and family that about the experience and there you have another networking opportunity. In fact, this person could offer to repay the therapist with a product or service and the net continues to widen.

Every time you turn around, you can find a need to fill. Perhaps there may be initial seeds to be sown in terms of relationships and gradually, new opportunities continue to unfold. We see even church musicians and singers who network all the time with their service and talents. It is no secret nor is it taboo to network within the church membership.

There are, however, within the positive and excellent opportunities of networking in church, certain tips and pointers that may help prevent misunderstandings in this area. I have listed some here but by no the ultimate and only list of tips.

I guarantee that as you read these, you will probably think about some of your own. Nonetheless, if we apply our best and sincere approach to all that we do, networking within church membership can remain a positive and influential means of reaching out to other people in need and be blessed by others as well. Here is a list of 10 tips for church membership networking:

1. Go To Church and become a member (of course that is your decision).
2. Be proactive in reaching out and meeting other church goers
3. Be sincere in approaching others with in social gatherings
4. Be sincere in presenting your intentions in relationships
5. Give others the opportunity to approach you / stick around and socialize
6. Imprint your lifestyle with positive values
7. Prepare your business opportunities in good taste and be professional
8. Eliminate confusion from your approach for friendship and socializing
9. Follow through on all your offers made in casual conversations
10. Show respect for the boundaries and never surprise your invites with something different than they are expecting!

The list can go on and on but the main idea is simple. Network with integrity and reap of harvest of great relationships and opportunities. Church networking is a positive and fun way to grow in many ways. Others should always benefit from knowing you. Set your expectations high when it comes to serving others and be pleasantly surprised when others go out of their way to meet and network with you.

Before we jump to the next section of this book, I wanted to share just a few more thoughts on this subject that keep nagging at me because they were not singled out in the top 10. Some people may not know where or when to consider their approach a networking move or simply a reaching out approach. Therefore, here are just a few more tips: Networking in a funeral or hospital setting is not a sin or entirely taboo.  Although it may not be the best place to attempt to recruit another church member into your business, there are occasions when it may be appropriate if the conversation leads the way and to the subject of a particular need. Just use common sense in judging the right moment to network so the individual's needs remain as the main reason or purpose for attending.

When networking with others in the church, one should never expect that everyone should patronize one's business, products, or services simply because of the communal membership. There should always be a sense of freedom from all members' part to choose with whom they do business. Never assume that other church members should give discounts or freebies just because there is a common membership. On the other hand, never feel obligated to give away or discount your services or products based on the relationship.

There should be a mutual respect for each others products just as with any other vendor. However, if the relationship is such that there can be some flexibility in this area, that is fine. The key is to not always assume, expect, or get mad if that is not the case. Be polite when networking with other members in the church. There is never a reason to be disrespectful or distasteful when exchanging cards such as making negative comments or putting down the competition. Non-verbal and body language communication is very important to keep in mind especially if you do not like the other persons business, product, or services. The same should be expected from all parties.

The rub is that colors were made for choices and not everyone will like, agree, or believe in what you have to offer. You may feel the same way about the others. The best thing to do is conduct yourself as an educated adult with more common sense. Now that we've covered some of the most obvious pointers on church networking, let's go forth and conquer.

Let's put our best foot forward in all of our endeavors so that our lives can reflect an automatic networking machine that is not confined to the four walls within a church building but that transcends barriers of lack and need.

Share your successes with others and enjoy the blessing of being someone others can come to for help. In your own quest for substance in life, you will find that others may include meeting people like you as part of their life's quest.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Do You Ever Find Yourself Struggling for Something in Life?

Do you ever find yourself struggling for something in life? In spite of all the answers, solutions, and alternatives at our surroundings, we tend to go looking beyond and going in circles in areas of our lives that could very well be in order by now. What does it take? Do we need a silent revelation or a thunderous voice to direct our every move? Where does it end?

Today I had prepared an after-church one person dinner (no one invited me to share) which included a T-bone steak with fries and mushrooms. It was delicious but just a tad over cooked since I really like medium rare. The interesting thing to me was that I found myself going for the T-BONE again as in the past and digging deep to scrape the meat off the bone! It was like I had no meat left. Then, I realized I had cut the meat off the bone, set it aside and went full force on the “struggle” for the meat on the bone! What a bone head, I thought. But, then it hit me. I do the same when it comes to other things.

For one, I don’t like seedless pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds. It’s so much more pleasurable for me to crack them and eat them one a time. I also prefer not knowing the answer to everything mystery and enjoy the surprises. I don’t like to know what my Christmas gifts are and especially do not like when others try to figure out what I wrapped for them until they open it!

There is a mystery in life that I enjoy to some degree that may be a characteristic fiber I haven’t figured out yet. It was much more enjoyable for me to be surprised in movie outcomes than to hear those around me say what they think is going to happen (by the way, I hate that!). I have found myself getting lost on the road driving and expecting to find my way without asking or even “knowing where the heck I’m going”…is that crazy or what? Wait a minute, I have always found my way though.

If I can speak for myself, there tends to be an inner fiber of mystery and challenge woven within my being that at times cries out for help from somebody, anybody. There have been many times when I looked at others and thought or felt inadequate or insignificant next to their so called “big names, titles, or degrees” until I noticed all their own weaknesses and ugly characteristics. No need for me to feel superior, but thank God I am me and not them. I realized that people are people and no matter what, we are all alike to some degree. Much of the people I thought I should admire turned out to be people I have learned a lot of what I do not want to be like. On the other hand, there are many I admire and would love to get to know better.

There are people who remind me of the “meat” I cut off my T-Bone and set aside to struggle and scrape off the bone. People who show their kindness and genuine spirit without putting that fake front to appear bigger and better. Those are the ones who make me want to look deeper in my soul and find the person who was created for greatness. In spite of the struggles imposed or otherwise, help me define the stages of forgiveness for past hurts and disappointments and focus on what I have to give to others. I applaud the winners in my life for showing me to be bigger than vengeance and greater than unforgiveness. I constantly search to find same minded individuals who drive me to greatness.

The struggles only have the power we give them. If we find a way to the answers through struggle than it’s perfectly fine. The key is to not get stifled in the same routine year after year looking for life solutions that lie within our own hearts. A struggle is only a mechanism of survival and utilizing it to the best our abilities can open the impossible doors of success and victory. However, today I put down the bone and cherish my victory of every imposed obstacle.I release and forgive everyone who has ever done me wrong and claim my ticket to the impossible and triumphant voyage. Let our struggles be only for the purification of our souls and the cleansing our inner gratifications. Let go; be happy and struggle no more!

Edwin Martinez, PHR, LMBT

Friday, January 21, 2011

Let the Still Moment Live - Happiness Does Not Come in a Box

Let the Still Moment Live – Happiness Does not Come in a Box
By Edwin Martinez, PHR

Sometimes when we are still for a brief moment, time seems to stop and everything around us might strike us as empty and meaningless. We stare into thin air and simply allow the moment to exist without interruption until forced to shake it off and let time tick tock again as reality sinks in. That strange phenomenon that’s exists between our ears forces us to take notice from time to time and evaluate our very existence. What happens when we realize that life is far more than our surroundings? What is it that tugs at the guts and screams a silent voice of acknowledgement?

The greatest minds of the ages took the time to listen to an inner voice and made the choice to follow it. Those choices lead to the fulfillment of their destinies and have left imprints on our society that will carry on for generations to come. Still moments of reflection from time to time can help steer our life paths in ways we destined but not quite yet connected.

When I was a child around the age of five or so, I found a clear square box approximately 3x5 with a lid that opened and shut so perfectly. I don’t know who it belonged to but I remember thinking that if I owned that little box, I would be very happy. I don’t remember what happened to that box and or why I felt that way about it but, for some odd reason, that clear box always remained in my subconscious mind even throughout my adult years. Perhaps it represented some of my character traits or maybe even some of the things I am drawn to in my vocations.

Recently, I found another clear box causing me to recollect my memories about that box. I put it in my home office even though I didn’t know what I was going to do with it. All I know is that it brought me back to my childhood thinking that boxes like that can bring happiness. Perhaps it represented something greater than I could understand, but I am still not certain.

A few days ago, I came across that box while organizing my office. I looked at it and struggled whether to keep the box or discard it. My dear wife was in tune with my feelings and helped me detach from it as a representation of letting go. I didn’t have an out-of- this- world revelation as to what the box meant but I know that in releasing that “meaningless” box, I felt a sort of empowerment that is not so easy to put into words. Along with this personal experience, I am entering into a realm of detachment in other areas of life, which may help to experience even greater happiness than ever before.

Sometimes, life can get so cluttered with so many different views, likes and dislikes, judgments, expectations, disappointments, sorrows, false hopes, belief systems, and so on, that we cannot see the beauty of a simplified life of happiness, gratitude, and contentment. It appears that true happiness will come with the next best gift, promotion, job, truck, partner, etc. Only to find ourselves back in the still moments where reality nudges once again as we say “wait a minute…where am I? what did I do?; is this it?,”

Make today the day to have a still moment that brings you in a new direction and resist clinging to obstacles and impediments that have kept you bound to repeat another meaningless cycle.Taking advantage of the brief moments to ponder on our path for life before we transition into eternity may not be such a bad idea. Coming to a point of detachment to the things and illusions that trick one into believing that happiness is tied to the perishables of life can open the door to greater possibilities of expressing our life in this world. Let the still moment live.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Why "Let's Wait and See What Happens" May Not Be the Answer to Our Dreams

Everyone has dreams and aspirations for their lives. Believing in those dreams is what fuels many people to take action towards making them come true. Unfortunately, some people go through their entire lifetime as "victims of the circumstance" while they wait to see what happens. According to, this phrase refers to someone whose bad luck was not of his own making; born at the wrong place at the wrong time; got out of bed on the wrong side; or crossed the road at the wrong moment. This mentality consequently impedes some people from achieving success and prosperity or realizing any of their dreams.

Sadly, some people prefer to negate their dreams based on negative circumstances and use them as an excuse to live in mediocrity. Some simply sit and wait for doors to open without ever knocking on them or just expect miracles to happen without ever making any effort. As free agents in this world, we have the ability to manifest our desires far beyond our own expectations if we first identify what it is that we really want. Unfortunately, most people do not even identify with their callings, gifts, or talents that can serve as the catapult to achieve what they want out of life.

I recently shared a dream with someone with the expectation that this person would encourage me to go for it and to share some enthusiasm and excitement at the possibility of such an accomplishment. However, this person immediately took out his pin and attempted to “pop” my dream bubble! When we share our dreams with others with others, we take the risk of encountering “bubble poppers.” Those who do not want to see other succeed immediately reveal their jealousy by sharing disaster stories and reasons why our plans will not work. They thrive on negative energies and do not want others to “pass them up.”

If you want to achieve YOUR dreams and aspirations, there is good news that will inspire you to stay the course. There is no need to wait for others to approve our dreams or help us in any way. Simply put, we do not need wait for things to happen; we can MAKE them happen! We can take charge of our destiny by making every effort on our own FIRST. You can achieve all your dreams once you understand that more steps must follow the first foundational step of courage and determination. Then be surprised by how the right people and opportunities will appear in your life at the right time and at the right place, all there to help you achieve your goals. You may still encounter some bubble poppers who will try to discourage you, but YOU are in charge of your life now. Taking responsibility for your life gives you an upper hand.

Although a nonchalant and lackadaisical attitude is not necessarily a bad thing, it may not help when it comes to our hopes and dreams in life. Waiting to see what happens is a passive attitude towards your goal of accomplishing your goals and achieve success. No one who has ever achieved success has done it based on what others have done for him or her and waiting to see what happens. The internal drive for success MUST be the underlying force to drive us to make our dreams come true. Should we wait for everything to be perfect before doing something that we really want? Not if we really want it!

There will always be another piece of education to attain, a person to meet, and even a closet to organize. In short, the time is never right to start moving towards our dreams. Waiting to see what happens makes no provision for our greatness. Making daily strides towards our goals is the only way to ensure that we get to where we want to go. No one can claim to have climbed a mountain by just looking at it and telling others, “someday I will climb that mountain.” Mountain climbers and dream achievers see it in their minds, believe it, and then take action to make it happen. You have heard it said that life waits for no one, so why wait and see happens anymore. It is time to take the first step and see YOUR dreams come true!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Start Right Where You Are

Start Right Where You Are
By Edwin Martinez, PHR

The time comes for everyone to look at where we are and where we would like to be. However, why is it that for most people the path towards success never reaches to the starting point? Do we forget that the little everything we do has the potential to bring us closer to our goals? It may not always seem as though our efforts are making a difference in certain areas of our lives. However, the manifestation of our desires will eventually appear and solidify our deeds, determination, and commitments. Consistency in the little things can produce habitual actions towards the big goals.

When we set our standards too high that we cannot meet them, we make it easier for feelings of discouragement to take over and stump our personal and professional growth. After many attempts that seem to fail, it is easy to stop all together and entertain the thoughts of insecurity, low self-esteem, and even rebellion towards progress. There is no need to set the standards so high, just live life as they you are the creator because you have the option of where to start and finish.

There are times everything seems to be going our way and the feelings of confidence are high. The thought of unfortunate situations or negative circumstances seem so far removed that we feel we can conquer the world. Times of joy, happiness, and success are alive and threading through every fiber of our being. Life is grand and we just do not understand why others are not in the same frequency. We cringe at the thought of others suffering and their misfortune while we have it all.

Then there comes the day where out of nowhere a situation arises that causes us to look deeper into our lives and find the dark spaces that hold all of the emotions tightly squeezed and out of site. The force of bad feelings, thoughts, and embarrassment about our flaws and frailties force us to acknowledge that we are living in a human body with a soul that is not exempt to the realities of life.

Life gives us challenges that cause us to take inventory of our lives and make adjustments in the areas that really matter. Unfortunately, we lose sight down the road and fall right back into the mindset of superheroes where “everyone else is just cramping my space” attitude. Fortunately, the days of adversity, which may “appear” to be negative and disruptive, help enlighten us of the realities of life and guide us to make new commitments of loyalty, faithfulness, and determination. These moments can inspire use to succeed in spite of all opposition including our own inner conflicts.

It is only through our acknowledgement of what we really want in life that we can truly make a difference in where we finish. Life is full of disappointments and major bumps that can derail our intentions towards success. However, life is also full of great people that care enough about extending a helping hand to others and making their dreams come true. Life is full of opportunities for everyone regardless of where we currently stand.

It is time to look around, focus on what is good today, and not what was bad yesterday. Start today and MAKE this the time to live and shine beyond the obstacles of fear and misfortune. Start today to make the small subtle changes that will produce greater rewards later in life. Start today and SEARCH out the new opportunities to “create” your life of success. We have a new opportunity right we are! Have a TREMENDO day!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Poor Customer Service - Is Someone Having a Bad Day or a Symptom of Bad Management?

Have you ever walked into an establishment and wished you had done an about-face right before entering? You might have been feeling full of confidence and enthusiasm walking in only to feel deflated and indignant on the way out because of the way you were treated. Maybe the person who projected this behavior was having a bad day or simply disliked their job and let you have it! Perhaps you responded with the same attitude or you likely just decided to let it go but never return there again. Whatever the case may be, poor customer service does impact a company's bottom line but not in a positive way.

The good news is that companies can take steps to ensure that those bad experiences are kept to a minimum. They can also put in place measures to make up for those rare occasions of poor customer service and perhaps gain even further loyalty to their business. Here are some thoughts on why it’s important to treat everyone in an organization and everyone that touches the organization feel good about what they are doing.

I recently attended a superb forum called Diversity & Inclusion Practices to Sustain Employee Engagement. During this forum, the keynote speaker Joe Machicote said “If you are not serving your customers, you should be serving those who do”. I found this statement to be a key to help me understand why it is that people experience bad customer service. I realized that it could very well be that the employees on the front line may not feel “included” in the mission of the company or worse yet, they may feel disrespected or ignored.

Could that be the only reason to explain these types of scenarios? Maybe not, but it may be a way to help explore and engage employees to feel like everything they do regardless of how insignificant it may appear to others, does not only have an impact on the bottom line for the company, but that they are valued and appreciated for their contribution.

Sometimes employees have their own personal problems or prejudices and reflect it in their job performance but it may not be the only reason for poor customer service. At least looking at this dilemma from an objective standpoint, we may be able to find answers and solutions rather than brushing them off as low performers with no people skills. In fact, after this seminar I was open to the idea that perhaps some employees simply reflect the management leaders by example default. If those in management roles take proactive approach in the development and inclusion of their employees regardless of their ethnicity or background, it may produce long term benefits of loyalty and commitment. While they may not always be comfortable with this approach, it may significantly improve customer service within their companies.

While customer service skills are learned and paired with our own personal characters, a genuine organizational approach to cultural diversity and inclusion may prove to be more than just lip service and instead motivate and empower employee to develop themselves and succeed in their tasks and personal lives.

Let me illustrate with a personal experience I encountered many years ago. I had spoken with a very pleasant company representative of company for which I was going to do business with. I was asked to come to the local office to complete some required paperwork. Upon arrival, I was greeted by the same person but this time in a very unprofessional manner. I was dismayed and confused but rather than just let it go, I wrote to the owner of the company regarding my experience. My thought was that this company must have spent hundreds or thousands of dollars to advertise how great they were only to have an employee throw their marketing investment out the window through poor customer service. Every person walking through their door was a potential result of company marketing efforts. However, a person leaving their office with a negative impression would potentially have a negative affect on their profitability. I was very impressed that the owner took heed to my expressed concern and made every attempt to rectify the matter. Nonetheless, the image of their company was now tainted for future opportunities.

Rather than relying on fixing a bad customer experiences, companies should incorporate internal checks and balances to ensure that everyone within the company understands that they are serving a customer at all times. For example, if one of the HR representatives does not serve an employee in a professional manner, it may cause the employee to feel disengaged and less likely to project an enthusiastic approach to the end-user customer.

Taking initiatives to engage employees from the perspective that Machicote recommends may prove to be a value-added approach to organizations that are losing great talent because there is no customer service examples from leadership. If management leaders embrace their employees as individuals and invest in their talents and skills, employees may improve in performance and deliver with excellence because they are being lead by example.

Granted this may not be the cure-all answer for every company but it sure beats a passive or rigid approach to managing people as if they were assets, clones of one another, or dispensable. Every individual has the potential to make a company shine or bring it to its knees. Let us all take pride on how we deliver customer service whether it’s to the end-user customer or to those who work under our management. It’s a world of inclusion for all to enjoy!