Communication is an integral part of life, in business, in relationships, in our daily activities. When we don’t effectively communicate, it’s tough to accomplish what we want, unless you’re a “one man band” and plan to do it all yourself.
When you use a Filipino virtual staff, the better your communication between your core team and your Filipino team, the better the results, that’s been proven time and time again, communicate.
Knowing this, it’s in your own best interest to communicate clearly and concisely exactly what you expect from your team. Your Filipino team can give you a competitive edge, it can help you reach and exceed your goals, and it all begins, need we repeat it, with excellent communication.
When you have a smooth running Filipino team (and it’s worth the effort to get them there), you will have created a powerhouse of productivity. Tasks are accomplished more effectively, time (our most precious commodity) is freed, so you can concentrate more diligently on what matters, innovating, seeking out new clients, raising capital, strengthening your foundation and increasing your bottom line.
Here at StaffOutSource.Net, we strive to treat all of our clients as partners. And while the business is of course theirs, we operate as part of the team, collaborating in a manner that will ensure your success. Ultimately, we’re only as successful as the clients we serve, so your goals, objectives and bottom line is always at the epi-center of our operation.
No matter which BPO you ultimately choose, it’s imperative yo choose one that puts you first, that understands what you are striving to accomplish and uses every facility of their agency to ensure you reach, possibly even exceed your business goals.
And while, in the true sense of the word, we are separate entities, you and your BPO needs to operate with one mind, both of you pulling in the same direction. This type of teamwork not only ensures a smooth running operation, but the most effective way to arrive at your desired destination.
One thing lacking when outsourcing is face time, and no I’m not speaking of the app, though it does prove beneficial at times.
SCENARIO: You have a new local hire and you or members of your management team, take the time to get to know this person, making them feel welcome and encouraging them in their tasks.
Now think of a Filipino virtual staff, and the same scenario is not so easily accomplished unless you make a personal visit to the Philippines.
None of this is said to discourage you from outsourcing, on the contrary, we feel it is essential for every business to, at the very least, take a serious look at how outsourcing to the Philippines has the potential to save money while increasing productivity. It’s not often you get a real win/win, but this certainly qualifies. Thus, even if it takes a little bit of time to get your team up and running smoothly (as it would with any new hire), it is well worth the effort.
One of the things we take care of at StaffOutSource.net is the worker environment. And by the environment we mean everything involved from floor space to work stations, coffee breaks to accolades for a job well done. By doing this, we encourage our workers to stay with us for the long haul which is beneficial to us, the Filipino and ultimately, you as the person who will most benefit from their work. To forge the best possible environment, it helps when the business who has leased the staff, to reach out, either directly to the worker or via a project manager, to let them know they’re doing a good job and their work is appreciated. This is of particular importance to the Filipino, who lives for accolades from their family, friends, and employer. It’s a bit like adding nutrients to a flower and watching it grow to an object of beauty. In this case, it’s a Filipino team who will thrive in productivity as, day by day, they become more familiar with your processes and how you prefer your work to be delivered.
With those thoughts in mind, we thought you might enjoy knowing what has worked for our most successful clients who have (and still are) using our teams to furthering their global reach.
When you’re in the same office/room with someone, you can note subtle changes in their demeanor, body language or mood and adjust accordingly, not so easily accomplished with an outsourcing staff, so you have to make adjustments. The same holds true with getting to know someone personally when you meet over coffee, you learn about their personality, are they outgoing or quiet. These are facts that any good manager can store away for future use or future understanding of their work performance.
The question you may have is this one, “Wait; I thought you guys were taking care of everything?”. We are, and we do everything possible to ensure our office space is clean, modern and fully equipped. We give achievement awards, have company outings, etc., but here is something we’ve learned. When word comes down from the person or company they are performing tasks for, that a job was well done, you should see the smile that breaks across their face; they are beaming. And those feelings are translated into their being even more productive in the days and weeks ahead.
If you’re the CEO of your company, you may not have the time to speak personally with any particular employee, but what happens when they have a question, does it go unanswered, or is there a way for them to find an answer? Generally speaking, Filipinos are shy, not wanting to rock the boat or call undue attention to themselves. In these cases, they’ll want to turn to a team leader or project manager, someone who can communicate directly with the core team if there are questions about a task. In essence, this means that you or someone from the core team should be accessible, allowing items to be asked when and if necessary.
As much as possible, keep in touch with your team via email, chat or text, encouraging them, commenting on their work, giving words of encouragement, etc. When you do this, you are acknowledging them as individuals, providing a “virtual” pat on the back, gently steering them in the direction they need to go.
What you’re striving for is to encourage, particularly in the beginning, open communication. If your Filipino has a question, it’s much better to provide an answer (either directly or via a project manager) than for work to slow based on confusion. It’s just common sense; the same thing happens in offices every day across western countries, we’re just taking an extra step or two, based on the fact your team is remote.
Video chats via Skype (or similar apps) allow you to meet (albeit virtually) with your team in a technology-based, face to face meeting. It’s different than leaning over someone shoulder at the office and directly pointing out something on their screen, but today’s technology allows us to reach out and easily communicate, halfway around the world. Video chat doesn’t need to happen every day, but more, rather than less, is encouraged. It’s a “virtual” personal touch that builds a bridge between teams and cultures.
NOTE: Although we’re seeking to build a bridge, remember this is a professional arrangement, so be personable while remaining professional in dress and demeanor.
We all know how large and popular Facebook has become, crossing all boundaries of race, creed and culture. This is an excellent way to reach out and touch the lives of your workers, liking their posts, perhaps sharing some of their content. This might not be possible if you have a large team, but if you have a company page, you might encourage some of your Filipinos to share relevant content, which you can then, in one place, like, share and comment on. This is just another way of reaching out virtually to interact with your team. While it might seem a small thing, you’d be surprised how good they’ll feel when, “the boss,” likes one of their posts.
It’s The Little Things
- Pronouncing their name correctly
- Wishing them a Happy Maundy Thursday (or other Philippine holiday)
- Scheduling a meeting during their day time
- Asking about their family
- Congratulating them on a promotion
- Sending an e-card on their birthday
- Asking about their recent vacation or weekend trip
- If they’ve had a sick relative, ask how they are doing
- Do they have children, learn their names and birthdays
- Ask about their culture remembering that while the Philippines is Americanized, it remains a different land.
It’s likely not possible to do everything we’ve listed, remember we’re outlining what has worked for multiple others over time. Do what you can, recognizing that a bit of the personal touch can help you bond with your team and make them that much more loyal and productive.
These are all suggestions, not requirements, it’s all about “team building,” the same as many western countries do with their employees. None of these efforts will create an instant bond, but each time you reach out, even in a small way, you are slowly but surely building a bridge. And this bridge will ultimately help you and your company achieve success.
If you’d like to know more about building your Filipino virtual team, please get in touch. We’re always happy to help, answer questions and, should we not be able to help, we’ll put you in touch with someone who can. Our consults are always free and without obligation, so…
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