Posts tagged ‘diversity’

Hispanic perspectives on organizational commitment

by Miguel Corona

Nothing harms a company more than employees not “showing up” to work. Absenteeism or long-term in the way of employee turnover has obvious negative consequences on an organization’s effectiveness and success. The impact of turnover, for example, has financial costs when you consider the time and expense of recruiting and training a prospective employee. Another way that an employee might miss work, or not “show up,” occurs when he or she is at work but is mentally “absent” due to lack of motivation, frustration with a supervisor, or lack of support. This combination of physical and mental absence might be viewed as a lack of commitment to the company. Organizational commitment can be described as the degree of an employees’ connection with a company, which is typified by their belief in organizational values, motivation to perform organizational activities, and desire to stay engaged with the company.

As an employer it’s important to understand why Hispanic interns might have unique perspectives regarding organizational commitment. Numerous management studies have shown that Hispanics have a higher sensitivity toward bias in workplace. Despite having comparable qualifications and experiences, research has shown that Hispanics in the workplace still face discrepancies in income and fewer promotional or career opportunities. Given this research data and perhaps based on their personal experiences, Hispanic interns might also be more conscious of organizational inconsistencies. Taken together, Hispanic interns perceiving any supervisor partiality or unfairness might question the organization’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. This could eventually lead to decreased motivation or engagement with the company.

Of course, this is a broad illustration; however, by beginning to understand that Hispanics have unique perspectives about organizational commitment, employers can enhance the way they communicate and manage Hispanic interns. To thoroughly benefit from the potential returns of diversity efforts, employers should be fully aware of these characteristics. One of the many positive aspects of diversity initiatives is the opportunity to increase personal effectiveness and communication with employees as well as create an environment of fairness and equality. By engaging and understanding their perspectives as it relates to organizational commitment, employers have a greater opportunity to make Hispanic interns feel they’re part of an organization where their skills and diversity are valued. Building this positive awareness will allow Hispanic interns to feel they’re part of an organization where they can potentially begin a career and develop long-term professional opportunities after graduation.

April 26, 2010 at 1:14 pm Leave a comment

Understanding cultural differences in the student world

By Miguel Corona

The rapid expansion of globalization continues to transform American society in a number of ways. We now live and work in an environment that is consistently being influenced by diverse cultures. The same diversity that is changing the American workforce has already transformed many colleges and universities. Students from varying ethnicities and races including Hispanics now constitute a growing part of the student population on many campuses in the United States. It’s a transformation that many colleges and universities are embracing. Hence, it’s logical to assume that much of the diversity found on campuses will continue to spill into the work environment.

Employers of all sizes and from various industries are conscious of this trend. Many employers have already grasped the idea that their organizations’ workforce should reflect the broader demographic and social environment in which they operate. But while diverse representation in organizations is important, just as vital is an employer’s ability to manage this diverse workforce. This creates a new set of challenges for employers including the development of new types of leaders skilled in managing an increasingly multicultural workforce. These new generations of leaders will require the ability to identify, understand and appreciate cultural differences – in other words, to be culturally intelligent.

Cultural Intelligence, or CQ, can be described as a person’s ability to relate effectively with people of different cultural backgrounds. By developing this skill, people are better able to engage, manage, and work with diverse work groups. From a Hispanic intern perspective, CQ can provide considerable value. Take for instance understanding acculturation differences. Acculturation can be described as the process of taking on another culture while keeping aspects of another (original) culture. Studies have demonstrated that Hispanic acculturation levels vary in the United States. Language, for example, is a cultural characteristic many Hispanics hold onto in order to maintain a connection with their heritage, family, and community. On the other hand, English becomes more dominant and important in the workplace or as Hispanics become more acculturated.  

Employers who have a greater understanding of CQ and its implications are in a better position to connect and manage Hispanic interns and other interns from differing cultures. Like other intelligences, CQ can be developed in most people with the objective of increasing their confidence in managing employees of different cultures. In future posts, I’ll continue to introduce specific cultural topics and concepts related to Hispanics in the workplace that might impact their values, attitudes, communication, and performance.

February 9, 2010 at 12:03 am Leave a comment

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This blog is dedicated to employers with a focus on how to hire and manage interns effectively. We will have a variety of experts who will share helpful ideas, tips and more. We invite you to comment, ask questions and share your experiences. You are also welcome to submit written contributions to this blog.

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