We noticed that a lot of Filipinos quit around Christmas time because they don’t know what their bosses expectations are.
In the Philippines, you see, the holidays are a big thing, especially Christmas and New Years. The week between both is when most family reunions and get-togethers happen. That’s when they travel to be home with their family.
But here in the US, that week is just like any other week. We go back to work.
Bosses get frustrated when they see their virtual assistants not working. And the Filipino VA gets stressed because he’s torn between familial obligations, tradition, and work. So what happens is your VA disappears or chooses to resign instead. He’s afraid to come back to work because he knows he’s already disappointed you. And by resigning, at least he’ll fulfill his familial obligations. If he keeps working, he would have to deal with an angry boss AND disappointed family. By quitting, he keeps his family happy.
So early on, you got to tell your VAs if you expect them to work that week. In our case, we do give them that week off BUT we expect them to check the email or messages to see if there’s anything urgent they need to respond to. And it works for us.
I know this doesn’t work for everyone. For an e-commerce business, your team does need to work. So make sure you discuss that with your team and work out a schedule. Do it now, especially if this is an important time for you.
Will their family be disappointed? Probably. But by resolving this issue ahead of time is going to stop your Filipino VA from disappearing. Just remember when you talk to your VA about this, show that you understand their dilemma. Show respect for the culture. If you can afford it, offer overtime pay or alternative days off. Whatever it is, get it done now to avoid problems come the holidays.
If you want to learn more about this, I actually talk about it in my book The Outsourcing Lever. In there, you’ll also learn more about the 13th month and other cultural idiosyncrasies you need to be aware of when outsourcing to the Philippines.
And if you want to see more videos, check out our YouTube channel or our Facebook page for more outsourcing tips. You can also check out how to get started on hiring Rockstar Virtual Assistants.
About John Jonas
John Jonas is a long-time outsourcing expert and the creator of OnlineJobs.ph.
Since 2005, John has taught hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs how to profitably delegate to VAs in the Philippines (and get their lives back in the process).
With help from his own VAs based in the Philippines, John has created an outsourcing empire that allows him to work 17 hours/week and to spend most of his time with his wife and 5 kids.
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