Latin America’s Strong Climate for People Development

By Leyla Nascimento Feb 10, 2016

Latin American countries face several structural and demographic challenges that have a direct impact on people management. In almost every case, meeting these challenges requires the development of a qualified, trained and engaged workforce prepared to increase productivity and competitiveness in the region’s companies and industries.

In the education sphere, Latin American universities are unable to keep up with market demand for skilled and professional workers. Today’s careers require new competencies, so MBA and postgraduate programs are more in demand by professionals of all ages and career stages. This state of affairs requires new management models that will not only open more places for professional education but also encourage companies to develop their own talent.

In organizations, the way leaders work has to be revised. They must be more active in developing team members, looking beyond internal company dynamics to local and global scenarios of leadership to analyze how leaders could better contribute to business.

New generations, especially the Millennial generation, should be a focal point for professional development today because they have so much to offer. They bring a new mental model of increased connectivity and interactivity, and they bring to organizations the concept of more flexibility and less bureaucracy along with the desire to work in teams. Younger workers have a strong interest in understanding the different parts of the businesses where they work. They consider communication and feedback to be essential tools for their successful professional performance. They appreciate when companies invest in their development and when managers understand the essential needs of their generation. For them, quality of life and work are inseparable.

Another frequent theme being discussed in Latin American human resource circles is the growth of “green jobs.” According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), this emerging career path is defined by “decent jobs that contribute to, preserve or restore the environment, be they in traditional sectors such as manufacturing and construction or in new, emerging green sectors such as renewable energy and energy efficiency.” Green jobs are a growth area in the region, and many international development organizations are funding this area. Human resources has a large role to play in creating a workforce ready for these jobs.

Brazil has been a standout in the green jobs arena, not only because the country has the largest natural reserve in the world—the Amazon Forest—but also because, according to ILO data, more than 3 million green jobs have been created, accounting for about 7 percent of Brazil’s formal employment.

In companies themselves, green workplaces are gaining in popularity, which requires our profession to prepare employees for new types of work instruments, operational processes and people management strategies—such as going paperless and enabling telecommuting.

At the Interamerican Federation of People Management Associations (FIDAGH), it is our responsibility and desire to study these shifting scenarios so that we can work harder to support our organizations. Our success will help make people management a top priority in our region’s education and business environments.

Leyla Nascimento is Vice President of FIDAGH and President of the Brazilian Human Resources Association. Republished by permission from the World Federation of Personnel Management Administrators.


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