5 Management Tips to Increase Your Filipino VA's Productivity

In a recent survey, we asked what you wanted to learn more about in regards to outsourcing. We were inundated with the same question, "how can I more effectively manage my Filipino VAs to increase productivity?" Every manager has a different style and has to figure out what works for them. But in my experience, I've found a few recurring principles that build employee trust, increase productivity and maximize your outsourcing investment:

  1. Be generous with positive feedback. From my experience, this rings true for ANY human being you hire as an employee, not just Filipino VAs. Recognize and verbally acknowledge the things your 'guys' have done right before giving any negative feedback.

    Use the 'sandwich' method:

    Dear Joe,

    (POSITIVE) You've done great work on this project and I especially appreciate how you_________. Thank you for your attention to detail.

    (FEEDBACK) I don't love the idea/format/color/wording of this particular thing_________. Do you have any ideas on how we can fix that? (Or give them specific instructions on what you DO want.)

    (POSITIVE) Again, thanks for your hard work and please let me know if you have any questions or if I can help with anything. (Offer your help and let them know you're not upset.)

    You'll be amazed at how this simple method affects your employees' enthusiasm and loyalty.

    When you receive an email with a daily report (see #4), if you don't have any criticisms or feedback, still respond. It can be as simple as, "Great work. Thanks for getting that done." A little appreciation goes a long way.

  2. Give your employees room to grow. Filipino VAs are not robots. They will get tired of the same monotonous tasks day after day. It may even drive them to start looking for other employment, and that's BAD NEWS for you. Experience shows that if they're looking for other jobs or working for someone else part-time, the quality of their work significantly decreases.

    Once they're comfortable with their daily tasks, give your Filipino VAs opportunities to grow. Ask them to figure something out for you or give them a new project. Be sure to include plenty of feedback and instruction with new tasks, and be encouraging.

    In the long run, teaching them new skills will be an investment. They'll become more valuable to your business. Have the patience to teach them (and delegate something from your to-do list). You'll have more free time and they won't worry about job security (or be bored out of their minds). It will pay off.

  3. Learn how to do it yourself. ReplaceMyself.com outsourcing pro Scott Smith offers great advice in his case study: get a basic understanding of what you're asking your Filipino VAs to do. You don't have to be a pro, but try to understand the rough details of tasks you delegate. Then when they ask questions, you can give intelligent feedback. It will save you and your employees a lot of frustration.

    There are some exceptions, of course. You don't have to be a web designer or programmer to hire one. It's just a good idea to understand the general workings of your business; it will make you a more effective manager.

  4. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate! Stay connected to your employees; it keeps them on-task and keeps you updated. Ask them for daily emails that include what they've accomplished and be sure to respond to their questions and/or suggestions (don't forget to be positive, see #1).

    With all of the communication, don't fall into the trap of micromanaging! Just because you are communicating with your Filipino VAs everyday doesn't mean you have to scrutinize their every move. Let them do their jobs and let them know they're appreciated.

    Remember: not all communication has to be professional. Show interest in your workers' families, ask them how they like their jobs etc...You'll find that your business relationships will improve with your communication.

  5. Don't forget to compensate them fairly. Your Filipino workers have families, bills, and mortgages. Reward them for exceptional work. Give them bonuses and raises as they earn them. In my experience, overpayment builds extreme loyalty. Don't forget the 13th month pay and for goodness' sake, pay them on-time. They appreciate paychecks just as much as you do.