20 Sep Building Authentic Relationships with Hispanic/Latinx Community
The Hispanic Heritage Month is here again! If you are thinking of dusting off and repeating the same celebration ideas, think again! Your employees, customers, suppliers, and all key stakeholders expect authenticity and real action that builds meaningful relationships with their community.
First, let's discuss some numbers to better understand why your organizations should strive to proactively and strategically build meaningful connections to the Hispanic/Latinx community.
Hispanic/Latinx community by the numbers
The 2020 Census data shows that Hispanics or Latinos represent 62.1. million of the U.S. population in 2020. What’s more, we account for more than 50% percent of the population growth in the country! Here are some key findings in a recent study by the Hispanic Star that help put this growth in context from different perspectives:
- Every 30 seconds, a Latino turns 18
- The Latino buying power has grown substantially over the last 30 years, from $213 billion in 1990 to $1.9 trillion in 2020.
- The number of Latino-owned businesses grew by 34% in the last ten years
This growth means every organization should keep an eye on our community in order to gain or maintain their competitive advantage in terms of their workforce, customers, suppliers, and other key stakeholders.
We are recommending ways to celebrate the Hispanic Heritage month in a genuine way for two specific groups:
1) Organizations that have established relationships with the Hispanic/Latinx community and 2) Organizations starting the journey towards gaining Hispanic/Latinx employees, customers, or partners.
So you have established relationships with the Hispanic/Latinx community?
If you have established relationships with the Hispanic/Latinx community and already understand our value as employees, consumers, and suppliers, your Hispanic Heritage Month celebration can leverage what you have already built:
- Highlight the Hispanic/Latinx executives and board members in your organization. It is always great to know that decisions are being made by people who can effectively advocate for the community because they genuinely understand the cultural context.
- Highlight the Hispanic/Latinx employees in your organization, their contributions to your organization and their career journeys.
- Highlight your recruiting strategy at universities with a high concentration of Hispanic/Latinx students.
- Highlight and publicize the products and services that have been developed by your organization to meet the specific needs of the Hispanic/Latinx market.
- Highlight the relationships that you have developed with Hispanic/Latinx-owned suppliers.
- Highlight the intentional ways your organization has developed to support the Hispanic/Latinx communities in the cities where your organization operates, such as philanthropic efforts to build and create opportunities for the community.
- Highlight your policies that recognize the value of Hispanic/Latino employees based on their language skills and cultural understanding, and the organization’s enhanced ability to meet customers’ needs and exceed their expectations.
- By now, your organization may have gathered that the Hispanic/Latinx culture is highly loyal and relationship-based. Still, you are not the only ones who have come to that realization. Your competitors are also ready to take their part in this critical market as well. So communicate your plans to continue to serve and gain loyalty of the Hispanic/Latinx community.
Wondering how to start developing a meaningful relationship with the Hispanic/Latinx community?
If you are just starting or planning to develop a meaningful relationship, let's be realistic and begin by assessing the state of your relationship or lack of connection with this market. Only then, you'll be able to identify effective ways for your organization to build meaningful and strategic relationships with the Hispanic/Latinx market.
- Evaluate the makeup of your board of directors.
- Evaluate the current representation of Hispanics/Latinos in your organization, what functions are they working in? Is there compression of Hispanic/Latinx employees at the entry-level of the organization? What types of development and training opportunities do they have to leverage their internal/external knowledge and skills?
- Evaluate what steps you need to take to attract Hispanic/Latinx talent to your leadership positions, as well as the current internal promotion opportunities.
- Evaluate your external relations with the Hispanic/Latinx community. Which organizations can you partner with? What brand recognition does your organization currently have in your area, and what brand recognition do you want to build?
- Evaluate your current Diversity Supplier Management policy and the level of inclusivity provided to the Hispanic/Latinx market.
After this evaluation, you can create a plan to address the gaps you find and communicate the goals you identify to keep your organization accountable. It is better to show up with a plan moving forward than an empty celebration with no real work and effort to make progress. Please avoid any type of celebration that seeks to stereotype the Hispanic/Latinx community and place us all in one box. Not only is that not a celebration; it can be offensive.
We hope this piece has been helpful in providing you and your organization with ways to celebrate, engage and leverage the contributions of the Hispanic/Latinx community. Please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org about your own thoughts and experiences on the Hispanic Heritage Month.