Refocus, re-energize, retain

Departments - Hire Power

February 10, 2016

When we talk about worker retention, specifically when it comes to the Hispanic workforce, we constantly think of training in terms of human resources, efficiency and safety. The spotlight is rarely turned on leadership and how to properly manage a workforce to connect a group of individuals with an organization’s mission.

You can’t retain employees who are being poorly managed. At times, this means restructuring management strategies entirely to re-energize the team.

© jodi jacobson | istockphoto

Research shows that employee engagement drives the customer experience and in turn determines profitability.

According to the State of the American Workforce study conducted by Gallup, 70 percent of workers are “not engaged” or are “actively disengaged,” indicating that this percentage felt emotionally disconnected from their workplaces and were less likely to be enthusiastic or committed to their work.

Another study by the Dale Carnegie Training and MSW found that 80 percent of employees who are dissatisfied with their direct manager are also disengaged.

This tells us that leadership must take the reins and make it their top priority to engage employees and redefine company culture to create a sense of belonging, community and loyalty, especially when it comes to the values of a Hispanic workforce.

Set clear job descriptions.

When considering the landscape industry’s Hispanic-heavy workforce, company culture seriously affects employee satisfaction, efficiency and the bottom line.

Managers must set clear goals and constantly revisit their management styles in order to ensure that they are accurately defining roles and expressing company needs to workers who communicate better in Spanish.

Embody the company’s goals.

Managers need to make their way out of the office and onto the trucks. The fastest way to earn the respect of Hispanic employees is to show them that you are willing to do what they do. In its simplest form, lead by example.

Hispanics are visual learners and appreciate solidarity. Getting down and dirty will show them that, as a manager, you understand the physicality of their work.

Engage and inspire employees.

Gaining the trust and respect of Hispanic employees is important in maintaining positive relationships and retaining your workforce.

Management should make employees feel like they are all in it together, emphasizing joint accountability.

Understanding Hispanic culture and values will make managing employees more productive and efficient for all involved.

Recognition and rewards will go further than discipline when it comes to the Hispanic workforce. Public reprimands will cause employees to shut down and disengage.

Allow them to identify their own solutions to problems that present themselves. If discipline is necessary, managers should do so in a private setting, being firm but fair.

Delegate responsibility.

Provide opportunities for responsible workers and set examples for employee growth. Put skilled workers in leadership roles and allow them to make decisions that matter.

Pay them equally and show them that they have a place in your company. Show them their needs are important and the company will fight to keep them because of their value and growth. If you are willing to fight for your employees, they will fight for you.

If you treat your employees with respect, you will gain their loyalty. Remember, your Hispanic workforce wants to achieve the same thing as everyone else: the American Dream.


Juan Torres is the president of the National Hispanic Landscape Alliance.