Tag Archives: Houston

What is human capital?

Investing In Human Capital Results In Long-Term Returns

Human capital is often discussed in business and political discussions and considered a well-known parameter in conversation. But just what is human capital and is it strictly a business term or can it be applied in other aspects of everyday life? Human capital is quite simply the investment and the return on people producing a valued product in the market place. And just like a large piece of machinery or a piece of real estate, human capital must be developed, sustained and managed carefully for the maximum return on the investment.

Investing In People

There is a general rule in business that whenever a new employee is hired the business will lose money with the new worker for a certain amount of time. Whether it’s a few days or a few months, there is an investment in the employee to teach, train and instill the business philosophy of the new job. Employers take this loss as a cost of doing business but anticipate the long-term return to eventually far exceed the temporary loss. This is the basis of all capital investment: putting money in to see it grow and return profits later.

Managing Human Investments

As with any investment there are managers who apply certain conditions and processes leading to a fulfilling relationship for both the employee and the employer. Human capital consulting with professional human relation specialists will lead to a better work environment, incentives for greater production and eventually a seamless work flow with all involved engaged in increasing the business’s bottom line. Human capital consulting with both business owners and employees allows for more feedback as to what works and what is not as effective. It’s difficult to apply specific criteria to all businesses and adaptability is key to effectively managing the workforce.


Over time businesses have also learned their capital investment in people involves additional rewards other than just money. These include the well-known job perks of paid vacations, health insurance, satisfactory overtime compensation, bonuses, family time allowances and breaks during the workday. Whether a factory floor worker or a commissioned salesman out on the road, the means to manage human assets remains constant. Applying additional compensation for the employee is much like upgrades and regular maintenance to existing machinery or other production assets: increasing productivity and reducing friction. Also, these benefits lead to greater retention with existing workers. This means a greater return on the initial investment while avoiding the expected loss of hiring a replacement worker and starting the process over of training and familiarization with a new job.

Fokal Fusion is a boutique “non-consulting” consulting firm. Located in Houston, TX, Fokal Fusion works alongside with our clients to determine the problems and then get to work to get the job done.


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Five Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Freelance Writer

When you need a quality writer that will do exactly what you’re asking for, you may think it’s a simple task. But in reality, there are millions of writers around the world, and choosing the right one for your project could be like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

The job can certainly be made easier if you’re using a freelance site to find writers, as these types of sites offer much in the way of tools you can use to communicate with prospective writers. But there are still several important questions to ask your would-be freelancer that can help make which writer to choose a much less stressful experience.

Ask Yourself First

The most important question to ask is what you need your writer to do for you. Does the project require design in addition to writing, or technical skills that not all writers possess? If so, these are important items to list in your project description. If not listed, much confusion on both sides could result if expectations aren’t clearly outlined prior to project start.


Working virtually means that more communication may be needed than if you were working with your writer in person. So ask your writer how they plan to communicate with you, and how often. If the writer’s plan is to only communicate once or twice per week and you don’t feel this is enough, ask them if they would be able to communicate with you more often. If they refuse to do so, this writer may not be the right one for your project.

In addition to the frequency of communication, enquire about how many modes of communication are available to the writer. For example, in addition to email, a writer may have access to voice or web cam chat. Knowing all of the types of communication they have available can allow for more productive conversation in the event you find one type isn’t getting your message across in the manner you desire.

Who Is The Real Writer?

While this question may seem like a no-brainer, it’s important to be aware that there are teams of freelance writers who may work on one project together, and then split the payment between them. This could mean that your project contains different writing styles, something that may not be desirable to you. If you prefer the style of one writer, then knowing beforehand who will be doing the work can help you avoid mistakenly hiring a team of writers.


Find out how your prospective writer expects to be paid. Freelance writers often have their own payment terms. If you find a writer whose style you like, but whose payment terms could be better, ask them if they would be willing to alter their terms slightly for your project. And don’t be surprised if you get asked by your prospective writer to slightly alter your terms. Being able to come to an agreement in a logical and civil way is crucial if you plan to hire a writer long-term.

Track Record

If your writer is an experienced one, they will have a portfolio of their previous writing projects. Looking at these will not only allow you to assess the industries they have written for in the past, but you may also be able to get information about what their other clients thought of their work. Some freelance sites offer statistics about each writer, including comments from their other clients and ratings for their work. All of this information can give you a good overall picture of what your writer may be able to accomplish for you.


Guest author Ruth Suelemente is a seasoned freelancer, and has hired several for her company.  They generally focus on technology topics such as who the best internet providers are available in Houston.


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Moneywise Motivation: Employee Recognition on a Budget

Your employees are working to make ends meet and survive financially. But in addition to gaining financial security from their position at your company, they are also seeking many other factors. Pride, accomplishment, training and education are just some of the needs that your workers are seeking through their role. Although you probably wish to motivate employees with bonuses, higher salaries and gifts, your company’s budget might not always allow for such extravagance. Follow these easy suggestions to motivate your workers without cutting into your business’ limited budget.

Create a Community

Events for your employees don’t always have to include an open bar or expensive party. Instead, let your workers get involved in the planning and execution of a get-together and in-office party. Setting up a theme and encouraging them to bring snacks and dishes can be a good way to encourage comradery and community within your office, allowing employees some much needed downtime and responsibility in event planning without always footing the bill.

Make Break Time Fun

Break time can be a time your employees simply eat and get back to work. But making breaks fun can give your employees the mental break they need to return to work refreshed and rested. Games, contests, magazines and books can transform a break room from a mere cafeteria to a place where they can achieve true downtime.

Recognize Your Employees with Simple Words

Sometimes, the best way to let employees know that they are doing a good job is to simply let them know. Whether you decide to stop by their desk or cubicle and point out what it is that you appreciate about them or leave a kind note at the keyboard, everyone loves to feel appreciated. Additionally, if you let your workers know when they have done a great job; they may realize what expectations you have for them and repeat such accomplishments. Small items, like tickets to a water park or restaurant gift cards can also have a big impact as you seek low-cost methods of showing appreciation for a job well done.

Be Flexible

Employees with families sometimes struggle to achieve a balance between home and work life. By being a bit more lenient when it comes to offering flex hours or giving workers time off for holidays and days when school is out can show employees you care about their home life. A couple hours here and there can be very valuable as you seek to reward your employees and highlight their importance to your institution.

Carl works for Motivo Performance Group in Houston, TX. They design and implement custom employee recognition programs that are designed to improve company culture and increase financial success..


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You will not BELIEVE I carried this on an airplane – 10 times!

I tend to be a creature of habit.  When I travel, lots of little items end up in my shaving kit.  I noticed last night that one of them had leaked, and resolved to empty the thing out and wash it thoroughly.  What I found in there was scary:  one  5” nail file, two pairs of razor pointed scissors, a box of matches, a flashlight, and 3 oversized  tubes that could have held enough plastic explosives to … well you get the idea.

This by itself is not so scary.  What is scary is that I always have this shaving kit in my carry-on in case they “misplace” my checked-in luggage.   This same shave kit has made it through security at the following airports at least once in the last year:  San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Denver, Chicago, Houston, Los Cabos, San Jose and Ft. Meyers Florida.

I have no editorial comment to share on this one; it kind of speaks for itself.  The last time I got on a plane from SFO to Denver there was a gun in my backpack, but that’s a story for Friday’s blog.  You don’t want to miss that one.  

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