Workshop Wednesday presents human capital strategies

G&A Partners Director Jose Laurel spoke to a crowd of local business owners and vendors on Wednesday offering advice on hiring and retaining good employees.

Laurel emphasized two critical requirements that are essential in achieving growth and success: employees must be eager to learn and companies must be willing to evolve.

Laurel asked attendees how often their companies administered employee reviews. While most in attendance said their companies conducted reviews annually, Laurel noted that the best practice was to conduct shorter appraisals on a regular basis. This ensures employees have the opportunity to get and give feedback.

“You must measure what you do to get better,” said Laurel, whose presentation was part of the Workshop Wednesday series hosted by HISD’s Business Assistance Supplier Diversity department. “You want to know the good and the bad from employees to ensure alignment within your organization.”

Laurel added that smaller companies have an advantage over larger companies because they can adapt more quickly to the changing needs of today’s workforce.

“A balanced, happy employee requires other things,” Laurel said, noting that research shows employees want time for things such as family and community.

Laurel brainstormed with attendees about how employers can retain good employees. Some of the suggestions included providing employees with more recognition and time off.

Teacher Heaven General Manager Jamie Flook, who attended the workshop, said she believes employees must be held accountable, but also rewarded when they do well.

“I like rewarding employees when they go above and beyond,” Flook said.

Laurel also stressed the importance of both current and exiting employees having a positive experience during their employment.

“You want to ensure that offboarding employees leave on a good note,” Laurel said. “That employee could recruit your next potential client based on their positive feedback of your company.”

HISD’s Business Assistance Supplier Diversity department hosts Workshop Wednesday on the first Wednesday of each month. The free event covers various topics that are targeted to provide relevant information and assistance to minority- and women-owned companies interested in doing business with the district.

For more information on upcoming workshops and networking opportunities, contact the Business Assistance Supplier Diversity office at 713-556-7273 or