Clear Communication: A Tool for Retaining Hispanic Employees

Once new hires enter an organization, how does an organization assure they are retained? With regard to Hispanic employees, it could be that the organizational culture and/or policies and Hispanic employees are not on the same page.

Effective communication of culture or policies may not be reaching those employees that are affected the most and when it comes to Hispanic employees, the gap between the “company line” and the “true” message could ultimately have long term recruiting and retention consequences. Here are some factors and possible solutions to consider:

Factor – Supporting Diversity in the Workplace

Company Position – The organization has implemented a strong policy of promoting and supporting a diverse workforce.

The Reality –  Hispanic employees have not attained parity within the organization.

Possible Solution – An organization needs more than a policy. A legitimate plan of understanding the real issues and implementation of solutions needs to be devised. Assemble a team that is representative of Hispanics within the company. Collect a good balance between the most senior executives, those who are on a management track and non-exempt Hispanic employees. This task force should address the following: What are the real issues that concern Hispanic within the organization? The issue of parity is not just a corporate headquarters problem. If the organization has more than one location, representatives from different facilities should be included. The task force should also look outside the organization for examples of companies that have what are considered “best practices” in supporting Hispanics within the workforce.

Factor – Human Capital & Talent Management

Company Position  – People are Our Best Asset

The Reality  – The current economic times reflect the belief that employees can be easily replaced or are overlooked while other financial issues are addressed. Organizations may decide they can resolve the employee fallout later. The reality is that organizational reputation is already broken. Hispanics and other employees may simply not want to work for them once the economic conditions improve.

Possible Solution –  Invest in Hispanic employees. Do this by supporting continuing education and training. Encourage active participation in professional associations. Think about paying membership dues, supporting meeting attendance, and training programs. I find many Hispanic professional end up paying their own expenses to industry events just to keep their professional skill up to date. Provide external development opportunities where Hispanics can be among peers and role models outside their industry, i.e., leadership conferences, training. Encourage Hispanics to expand their skill sets such as writing articles and professional speaking. Have a mentoring program within the organization where Hispanic employees can learn from each other and help new Hispanic professionals grow within the organization.

Factor – Corporate Communication

Company Position – Flattering reports and statements in the annual report showcasing the senior Hispanic executive at the top – representative of the entire Hispanic workforce.

The Reality – The organization struggles recruit and retain talented Hispanic professionals

Possible Solution – Once a reputation is damaged by inconsistent messages, it’s very difficult for an organization to overcome. The solution is a long-term process that needs to be attacked on multiple fronts. Just offering jobs to Hispanics is not enough. Organizations need to be where Hispanics are and promote themselves in the appropriate publications, sponsor the appropriate conferences, and be active in Hispanic events affiliated within their industry.