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Confianza y Compromiso: ¿Qué Son? (Trust and Commitment: What Are They?)

Jun 17, 2011

Look for ways to develop trust and commitment with your employees. Help them and to be part of their lives. They will pay you back with loyalty, hard work and results.


Duvall, Shaun pro photo 1 11   CopyBy Shaun Duvall, Puentes/Bridges


We are all beings who thrive on relationships. Whether we like it or not, we are in any number of relationships with all those with whom we deal daily. Somehow, though, we tend to forget that our interactions with our employers/employees are also relationships. We reduce it to an economic transaction- x number of hours of my time for x amount of money. And yet work consumes a significant amount of our day and our lives.


How many of you remember or had a first employer who took a personal interest in you as a young person? How many of you had a first employer who didn’t take a personal interest in you? I ask you, how different are your memories of that employer? Unless I am wrong, you probably worked harder for the employer who cared about you than you would have for someone who didn’t take the time to get to know you.

You are all people who work with cows. My question to you is: How much easier is it to get a cow to do what you want by hitting her or coaxing her? The vast majority of the 40-plus dairy producers with whom I work would say that you can get better results by coaxing and not scaring a cow. Why should we think it is any different with people?

Do not get me wrong. I do not mean that one disregards high standards of performance to be nice. Indeed, the standards are often much higher due to the fact that the employees WANT to perform better for someone who cares about them. I have seen this on many of my farms. When the employer cares and demonstrates that level of trust and commitment, his/her employees return the “favor” by performing at higher levels.

There is an old concept in Mexico about the “patrón,” or employer. In the very best sense of the word (not always practiced there or here), it is someone who commits to his/her employees, doing more than just paying them a check. It is someone who attends his/her employees’ baptisms and quinceañeras, lends them money if there is a need, helps them when they need something. It is part of the “trato,”or the deal. In return, the patron gets an employee for life, someone who is loyal and works his/her best “para quedar bien” (be on good terms) with the patrón. It is my experience that it is on the farms where this is practiced that the production, quality of milk and of life is the best.

Confianza and compromiso mean trust and commitment, respectively. Trust in your employees, be trustworthy to them. Commit at the level you can to help your employees and to be part of their lives, and they will pay you back with loyalty, hard work and results. The respect will be mutual. I am not saying be their “buddy.” Far from it. You are the employer. I am an old teacher. I never could be my students’ friend, but I was always friendly. There is a big difference.

We live in a world of great “disposability” – that which we no longer want, we simply toss. This includes people. I challenge us all to take a different approach. Look for ways to develop trust and commitment. Help your employees reach their potential, help them in the ways that you can. Train them through their mistakes. Earn their trust and you will reap great rewards.

Puentes/Bridges is a nonprofit organization that, under Shaun Duvall’s direction, promotes cultural understanding, particularly in the dairy industry. Duvall also operates SJD Language & Culture Services, LLC, a translation and interpretation business. For more information, contact Shaun Duvall at or (608) 685-4705.

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