Last week, we discussed how, for your Spanish speakers, the most influential source of benefits communication is your bilingual supervisors.  They trump any message that comes from HR, brokers, or carriers.  Needless to say, this is problematic.

Bilingual supervisors and foremen are very rarely prepared to give well-informed, up-to-date advice about employee benefits.  However, all too often, they are all too willing to address questions they don’t really know the answers to.  This might be because they feel responsible to their teams, as they tend to take their position of authority very seriously.  It does also happen that some of these folks like to be perceived as “someone in the know” (many of us do!) and do not want to admit that they are not, in fact, experts in this topic.

It is also important to understand that in Latin American culture, the expectation is that an employee is promoted because he or she is knowledgeable, or “prepared.”  Spanish-speaking supervisors in this country are much less likely to ask for help, even when they are new to position, because of the fear of being perceived as unprepared to meet the demands of their new job.

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