I get asked all the time about the best way to create an amazing business relationship with a Virtual Assistant from the Philippines. In my experience, the way to do this can be a lot different from approaches most bosses take in western societies. Solid relationships are not built on money or gifts. It’s not about that. It’s all about connecting with your staff on a personal level. Take these five approaches to build the most loyal and productive VA in the world.
Celebrate the little victories
The importance of celebrating little victories as they happen is vastly underrated. If your VA does something noticeably awesome, let him know. It will take you 30 seconds to fire off a Skype message or email that will have a daylong positive effect on your staff. Giving a virtual high-five or kudos increases motivation, employee satisfaction and loyalty.
It is proven that celebrating little victories and milestones with your staff will:
- Expedite the attainment of a bigger goal
- Increase job satisfaction, motivation and confidence
- Make employees feel important and appreciated
Remember that when training and managing an employee, especially one who is remote, there is no better return on your investment than to give him or her multiple reasons to wake up each morning and WANT to work for you.
Don’t alienate your VA
Treat your virtual assistants as you would any of your in-house staff. It can be easy to neglect them given their distance and time zone difference, but this is a recipe for failure. Include them on all of your team meetings and emails. Make them feel just as valued and respected as the person sitting next to you in the office.
This is ESPECIALLY important if you are trying to build up a full team offshore. The way you treat and manage your first VA will most likely be a manual for all future staff. Put in the time to get it right your first hire and it will be much easier to create a self-functioning and cohesive team down the track.
Treat them like they’re family
If there is one cultural attribute to know about people in the Philippines, it’s that family is EVERYTHING. Staff will quit their dream job on a whim if there is a family problem that needs attention. Why is this important to you as their boss? Filipinos treat their employer and colleagues like family. The more you include them in your company’s culture and create a family atmosphere, the better results you will see.
Try these little things to get a laugh, smile and loyal VA
- Friday afternoon GIF of a cat dancing (they love this)
- Team shout out for individuals birthdays
- Phone call and team email for work anniversaries
Treating people (especially staff and coworkers) with respect is a no-brainer but an action that a lot of people shockingly forget to do when working with virtual assistants. It’s easy to forget you’re dealing with experienced professionals when they are working in a different country and making a fraction of what workers get paid in Australia. Don’t fall into this trap. Show your staff that you value and care about their insights.
If you see a chance to improve the skills of your staff, take it! Investing in the growth of your virtual assistants can lead to them taking a bigger role in your company than you ever could have imagined. Not only will it increase results and save you time, it will also send a message to your virtual assistants that you genuinely care about their growth as professionals and see them as valued members of your team.
Along this line, let your VA know that it is OKAY to ask questions. One of the more noticeable cultural differences with staff from the Philippines is they tend to shy away from proactively asking questions or giving suggestions. It’s highly important to communicate with your virtual assistants from the beginning that it is okay to clarify something if unsure, and on the other hand it is completely fine, and they should be and encouraged, to give suggestions if they see room for improvements. By doing this you provide an atmosphere for betterment and decrease the chance of mistakes happening.