LACCA’s annual regional meeting was held on Wednesday in Miami, bringing together leading GCs from across Latin America to discuss topics such as using data to add value, dealing with local regulators, managing internal investigations, the impact of NAFTA renegotiations and developing in-house teams.
Senior in-house counsel from companies including 3M, Mastercard, Hewlett-Packard, SAP and Philips convened on Wednesday 27 September at the St Regis Hotel in Miami.
The final panel of the day focused on how GCs could develop and inspire excellence in their legal teams. Barrett Avigdor, managing director for Latin America at legal industry recruiter Major, Lindsey & Africa suggested that a major factor in getting the best out of employees is understanding what drives individuals beyond the simple carrot and stick factors. “Money won’t always be enough to motivate someone to put their best efforts into their work, and threats of what might happen if they don’t will eventually push them to leave,” underlined Avigdor. Instead, a better way to keep staff engaged is to assign them inspiring projects that match their interests and to offer them appropriate developmental challenges according to Avigdor. Underperformers can also present challenges for managers, so Avigdor advised GCs to help those employees transition to a career or company that suits them better. “You don’t want your best team members getting frustrated that demotivated staff can do the bare minimum and pick up the same pay cheque,” she underlined.
Valeria Plastino, vice president and general counsel for Latin America at Level 3 Communications went on to discuss some of the ways that she keeps her staff engaged within the business. According to her, providing opportunities for in-house counsel to continuously develop their skills is beneficial for the employees as well as the business. Similarly, allowing staff total ownership and responsibility on projects can increase satisfaction levels. Finally, Plastino emphasised the importance of providing feedback and recognition for employee motivation.