7 Ways to Successfully Motivate Your Filipino Virtual Workers Part 1

WorkersEveryone wants engaged workers who take your success to heart and are happy in their jobs, but how do you attain that goal? It’s not too difficult to motivate your staff when you see them every day – how about remote workers you’ve never even met?

In this two-part series I’ll talk about how to motivate your Filipino virtual assistants to do their best for you.

Understanding motivation

motivationThe quick and easy definition of ‘motivation’ is ‘the desire to do things’. When we’re talking about employee motivation, it means, “How do we make people desire to do what we want them to do?”

According to the 4-Drive Theory of Motivation, people are generally motivated by these four basic needs:

  • The drive to acquire and achieve
  • The drive to bond and belong
  • The drive to create and challenge
  • The drive to define and defend

When all of these needs are fulfilled by their work, people are motivated to perform at their best. Filipinos are the same as any other people, but their culture makes them see things a little differently than Australians.

Motivation though the drive to acquire and achieve

Of course, the primary reason most people work is to get paid and support themselves. Because of the Philippine culture’s focus on family, many Filipinos work hard to support their loved ones as well. This includes parents and siblings, as well as others in the extended family who might need help. Many Filipinos will take on more work, so they’ll have more to contribute.

I generally recommend that your full-time Filipino remote workers focus completely on you, so that they have the time and energy to give it their best. To stop them from looking afield for some extra money, and motivate them through their drive to acquire, think about following some or all of these suggestions:

1. Provide benefits such as SSS, Phil-health, and Pag-Ibig

SSS, Pag-ibig, PhilhealthSocial security (SSS), Phil-health (medical insurance) and Pag-Ibig (social housing fund) are all very valuable to your staff members. Family members are covered, and low-interest loans are available through these programs. If you’d like to pay other benefits, take a look at this list to see what’s available.

If you want to show that you think of this a real, long-term working relationship, consider paying the employer’s share for these benefits after your VA has been with you for the appropriate probationary period.

2. Pay the 13th-month bonus

13th month payBy Philippine law, companies there must pay a 13th-month bonus equal to one month’s pay, or 1/12 of the basic yearly salary. The bonus is usually paid in December, but if your workers have children they’ll probably thank you for paying half of it in June when the school year starts.

3. Pay raises, bonuses and commissions based on performance

performanceIf you give your staff something to strive for they’ll be more likely stay with you long-term without taking any extra jobs, and they’ll feel more appreciated too.


4. Paid leave

paid leaveIf you don’t need them during the holidays, you could provide paid holiday and sick leave according to how long your Filipino virtual assistant has been working for you. There are 17 regular and special holidays on the Filipino calendar. Most Filipino companies provide 12 days of paid sick leave per year after someone has been there for one year. Unused sick days can accrue towards the next year’s batch or be converted to cash.

5. Holiday overtime pay

If you do need help during the holidays, you could think about providing holiday pay.

6. Calamity leave and loans

calamity leave and loansThe Philippines experiences around 20 tropical storms per year, with about 10 of them rising to typhoon status. Not to mention the floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. Some areas of the country are less disaster-prone than others, but every town gets hit sooner or later. If your worker is one of those affected, it would be kind to allow them leave, or even offer a loan or advance on their salary. If you help them in their time of need you’ll earn their life-long loyalty.

7. Internet allowance or subsidy

The average internet speed for a DSL line in the Philippines hovers around 3 Mbps. High speed internet is available but would cost a fair percentage of your VA’s pay check. If you’d like them to get faster internet, consider offering to pay part of the cost.

Tune in next week for part 2 of this series. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

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