Cheif Learning Officer Solutions for Enterprise Productivity

Culture Matters: Development for the Latino Employee

 -  8/6/12

By tailoring development to the needs of Latino employees, CLOs can boost their performance and spur innovation.

The Latino community is developing a stronger voice in corporate America to go along with its growing demographic and political power. CLOs have an opportunity to tap into that growth with employee development targeted to their needs.

“Given the growth of Hispanics in the workplace, it is clear they are looking for things that are culturally relevant, that give them the opportunity to be more of who they are and recognize that culture is an advantage,” said Glenn Llopis, a consultant and founder of the Center for Hispanic Leadership.

Further, in designing development CLOs should examine some of the cultural assumptions traditional programs sometimes make about their audience, said Robert Rodriguez, president of DRR Advisors and author of Latino Talent: Effective Strategies to Recruit, Retain and Develop Hispanic Professionals.

“Hispanics often have to deal with issues that some of their non-Hispanic colleagues don't have to deal with,” he said. “Things like their sense of identity, isolation and perceived tokenism are real issues for many Hispanic professionals.”

Targeted and culturally relevant development programs should address those aspects of culture important to Hispanics.

“For example, concepts such as personal branding and marketing yourself internally may be difficult concepts to master for some Hispanics because their heritage taught them that hard work should be enough to get them noticed,” Rodriguez said.

Diversity and Development
The Center for Hispanic Leadership’s Llopis identified six characteristics — what he called the “immigrant perspective” — to consider when designing targeted development for Latino employees.

In general, Hispanics:

• See opportunity in everything.
• Have an ability to anticipate the unexpected.
• Have the potential to be passionate and pioneering.
• Display entrepreneurial initiative.
• Work with a purpose and consider others’ needs.
• Embrace the promise of their culture.

Relevant training and development recognizes that culture is a competitive advantage that can be unleashed to boost Hispanic employee engagement and help advance their careers, Llopis said. Being more aware of these characteristics also helps the organization better manage Hispanic employees and ensure their perspectives and ideas are included.

Article Keywords:   culture   leadership development  


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