I’ve talked a lot about the fact that Filipinos are intelligent, educated, have excellent work ethic and are very loyal. This will benefit you immensely when you hire them to work in your business.
One thing about the Philippines though is that the majority of them don’t have the same experienced workforce that you’d find in the U.S. For many tasks, the market simply isn’t there.
But don’t let this scare you. With effective training, your virtual assistant can do wonders for you and your business.
Why training is important
It’s no secret that training can be difficult.
You may not want to do it.
You may be tempted to bypass training altogether.
Or you may give your new VA a quick overview of their tasks and put them to work.
Training is time consuming. It requires patience. It can be frustrating and tiring.
But it’s so CRUCIAL.
Would you hire a local U.S. employee for an in-office job without providing them adequate training and instruction? Even a highly skilled and experienced employee will need some onboarding, even if it’s just to familiarize them with your unique systems and processes.
Why would you give a Filipino VA less than that?
Training builds trust
Filipinos aren’t worried about whether you trust them; they want to know if they can trust you. If they don’t feel like they can trust you, your business relationship will go nowhere, and your VA will likely disappear.
On the other hand, trust builds confidence and produces hard work. This leads to excellent results.
When you train your new VA you are proving to them that you are invested in their development and success. You show them that you care. That you are committed to a long-term work relationship.
Not only will your VA appreciate your dedication to training, but they will look to you as their source of mentorship, guidance and information. They will see you as the expert on the task you’ve been assigned to. They will believe and follow what you tell them because you will have gained their trust.
Training will build your relationship
Failure to train is failure to develop a good working relationship.
Think of it this way: What does it say to your VA if you don’t take the time and make the effort to teach and train? It tells them that they’re not important enough.
VAs who don’t receive training and who have a poor relationship with the business owner can often feel underappreciated and undervalued. There’s no incentive to do your best when nobody cares.
Remember, Filipinos are humans. Be kind to them. Be patient and considerate. Take the time necessary to help improve their skills. They will appreciate this care and concern. And you’ll be rewarded with loyal, motivated workers that produce amazing work.
Training prepares your VA to figure stuff out on their own
Training establishes a relationship. Once you have a relationship, you can’t just walk away. So instead of running away or disappearing at the first sign of trouble, your VA knows they can talk to you about it. They know that you’ll give them the chance to fix things. They know you won’t fire them because you have confidence in their skills and abilities. This will empower them to go above and beyond what you have asked.
Having the training to help VAs figure out solutions on their own will be a major factor in keeping them from disappearing. Without question, disappearing is one of the biggest problems I’ve seen in outsourcing to the Philippines. If you want to minimize this risk in your business, make sure you give constant training and feedback.
Types of training to give
Now that it’s clear why training is important and what it can do for your Filipino VA, let me show you a couple of ways to train.
Remember that culturally, there are some differences between Filipino workers and U.S. workers. So it’s important to know the best methods to teach them.
For new hires, I create a welcome video, explaining policies. It’s a good way to introduce myself. It helps the VA so they can feel more comfortable with me. Videos let your VA hear your voice and get to know you and trust you better. When you create a video for your VA, you can be more clear with what your expectations are.
I also use screen capturing and screen recording when giving instructions. I absolutely love TechSmith Capture (formerly Jing) for this. It’ll change the way you work with your VA. It allows me to show precisely how I want things done with an assignment. With Capture (Jing), there is no guesswork. It practically guarantees that they’ll understand what you’re asking them to do.
Give step-by-step instructions
Filipinos are very good at following directions; you just need to make sure the directions are clear.
If they are not, don’t be surprised if assignments are done incorrectly.
Err on the side of being overly detailed in your explanations. Leave no doubt what the objectives of the task are.
Spell things out precisely and unmistakably, especially with new VAs. Take screen shots for the steps you are explaining and for different settings they are working with.
Doing these things will keep your VA on task. It will help make the finished product look outstanding and make your VA more efficient.
Use project management systems and file storage systems
Organization is critical when running a business and working with Filipino VAs. So I highly recommend using a project management system. Here at Onlinejobs.ph, we use Basecamp.
With Basecamp, I can:
- Assign projects
- Track the progress of projects
- Group my VAs into teams
- Manage deadlines
- Monitor milestones, etc.
Train your VA to use Basecamp or any other project management software. Make sure they understand how it works and why it’s important.
And to make sure I always have access to their work, we also use Google Suite. All the files they’re working on are in there. It also makes it easier to share their files with whoever they need to communicate with.
Have your VA watch webinars
Webinars are an excellent teaching tool. Your VA can watch and listen to them multiple times. You can create your own webinars on any topic you see fit. You can also have your VA listen to other industry webinars by successful business owners and entrepreneurs.
Teach them everything you can
Once you find a Filipino who is a good fit for your business, they will almost never leave. Because you can be sure your VA is going to be with you for the long haul, you have much more freedom and opportunity to train them on a wide range of topics. They can take over entire business processes given enough training.
The final word
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of training. It’s not just a good idea; it’s essential. You MUST train your VA, not just when they’re starting out. Keep training them even after they’ve worked with you for years.
The more you teach, the more they will learn. The more they learn and know, the less you’ll have to do. Then you can truly replace yourself in your business.
About John Jonas
John helps business owners learn to outsourcing to the Philippines and replace themselves with virtual assistants.
He founded and owns OnlineJobs.ph.
He currently employs 14 amazing Filipino workers full-time and loves every one of them. He lives in Utah, has a wonderful wife, 4 amazing kids, and golfs 4-5 times/week.
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