I hate to admit it but some of us Filipino online workers and freelancers do have a nasty habit of vanishing right in the middle of the job. This is not a very unique Filipino trait but I think it’s more noticeable when a Filipino does it because it’s so contradictory to our usual work ethics. If you listen to people talk about Filipino workers abroad, we’re praised as some of the most reliable, hard-working people. We’re everywhere and we’re always there.
So why is it that some Filipino VAs have a tendency to disappear? There are a number of reasons:
1. They are not sure what to do or where to start.
Some Filipino VAs feel trapped when they’re given a task they don’t know how to do. This usually happens when:
They don’t understand the instructions. They were given task employers assumed they know how to do, but don’t. How to prevent this from happening to you: You have to remember that English isn’t the first language for most Filipinos. So when giving instructions, NEVER ASSUME that they understood it the first time. Always ask yourself if your instructions are really clear. Then ask them if there’s anything in the instructions you provided that they didn’t understand clearly. With #Clique8, the VAs have a particular skype room where everyone can discuss topics, tasks and seek help from other fellow Filipino VAs.
Another reason why Filipino VAs disappear is when they have been absent for more than a day without prior notice and are too shy to come back. This can be prevented by communicating and reaching them through email or skype with questions about their status. It is also good to include statements that would make them feel that their explanation is accepted. Clique8 Client Managers and Employee Relations Managers are always willing to help. It’s as easy as telling them what happened and the employee in question will be contacted locally.
2. When your employee feels underutilized.
Starting off your VA on an easy task to test their skill and reliability is good. Only giving them an easy task that’s way below their skill level is bad. Why? Because eventually, they’ll get bored. And when your virtual assistant gets bored, they’ll start looking for something that challenges them. THIS IS TRUE. We have seen so much Filipino VA who wants more. This is sometimes the reason why they seek another job while working for the current client.
Why would your virtual assistant do that? Shouldn’t they be thankful that they have an easy job?
Filipino VAs are ambitious. We know that the more challenging the job is, the better the pay would be.
If we’re given an easy job that pays a pittance, we’ll get bored and find something better.
If you pay us an easy job that pays well, we’ll feel guilty and quit out of principle.
If you pay us well and give us tasks that challenge us, well feel fulfilled and we stay.
How to prevent this from happening to you: Train your VA to do more challenging jobs bit by bit. Training not only helps them. It also helps your business by having a highly skilled VA that’s tailor fit to your needs. Then, raise their salary when they consistently meet your expectations.
What we’re doing to stop this from happening: We understand that part of the problem is that Filipino workers are often afraid to speak up. That’s why during the initial interview, we let them know about the things they need to know. On top of this, we always encourage them to speak to us so we can help relay the issue and eventually, let them do it on their own.
3. When there’s no regular feedback or communication.
When employers give feedback, it shows that they care and that they’re on top of things. If we don’t hear from employers, it gives us the impression that:
You’ve already left and we probably should just leave.
You don’t care about the work that we do so why should we do the same.
And this isn’t just a Filipino thing. Any manager will tell you that the reason they stay on top of things, it’s because when the cat is away, the mouse will play. Even CEOs visit their businesses regularly to make sure that their managers are doing their jobs.
How to prevent this from happening to you: Email your virtual assistant regularly. It takes less than 5 minutes each day to check up on them. That’s nothing compared to the number of hours you save thanks to the work your VA does for you. And on the off chance you can’t email them that day, let them know or let us know. If you’re going on a vacation, let them know how long you’ll be gone for.
What we’re doing to stop this from happening: We have always been active online and offline. We have a simple yet interactive room where everyone is free to talk. Everyone is notified and everyone is updated. For every feedback we receive, we relay them to our staff and likewise, we also listen to them and forward the employee feedback to the employer.
4. When a worker isn’t ready to handle the stress.
A lot of people tend to run away from stress, Filipinos included and some Filipino VAs leave because they’re not prepared for the stress that comes with online work. There’s still this stigma associated with online work here in the Philippines. They think it’s not a real job.
It also doesn’t help that there’s now a growing number of (paid) virtual assistant training courses that teach only the most basic lessons. This encouraged a lot of inexperienced workers to overestimate their ability when marketing themselves.
So what happens when a newbie realizes they bit off more than they can chew? They cut their losses and run.
How to prevent this from happening to you: Invest in training for your virtual assistant. Assume they only know the basics unless they can present you a portfolio. If they have the right skills to do the job, they should be able to handle the responsibilities you give them.
5. They’re worried if you’re going to be disappointed in their work.
Filipinos are eager to please. They take pride in doing their job well but when they don’t know, it’s easy to assume the worst.
This usually happens when there’s not enough constructive feedback or communication. There’s this common misconception that once you outsource, you can leave everything and it will run by itself. But if your employees don’t know that they’re doing well, they’ll think that you’ve abandoned them because they did something wrong.
How to prevent this from happening to you: Make sure you’re on top of things by communicating with your virtual assistants regularly. You can do this through your project management software or good ‘ole fashioned email. And you don’t need to shower your VAs with praise every day. Give them honest, sincere feedback that can motivate them and help them to do their work better. Again, Filipino VAs are eager to accept challenges. It’s what makes them stay and be more productive.
Clique8 has always been active and have helped employers around the world by providing Filipino VAs that stay. With Clique8 Philippines, employers are sure that they will not be abandoned by their employees regardless of the work, environment and time.