I’ve talked a lot about how Filipinos are intelligent, educated, have an excellent work ethic, and are very loyal. However, the Philippines doesn’t have the same experienced workforce you’d find in the U.S. For many tasks, the market simply isn’t there.
But don’t let this scare you because, with adequate 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 want to skip training altogether. It’s easier to give your new Online Filipino Specialist a quick overview of their tasks and put them to work.
Training is time-consuming, requires patience. It can be frustrating and tiring.
But it’s 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 training, even just to show them your unique systems and processes.
How much more, then, does a Filipino OFS need your training?
If they don’t feel like they can trust you, your business relationship will go nowhere, and your OFS will likely disappear. On the other hand, trust builds confidence and produces hard work, which leads to excellent results.
When you proactively train your new OFS, you show them that you are invested in their development and success. You show them that you care and are committed to a long-lasting relationship.
Your OFS will appreciate this. They will look to you as their source for mentoring, guidance, and information. They will believe and follow what you tell them because you will have gained their trust.
Training will build your relationship.
Training forces you and your OFS to communicate with each other. Through training, you’ll understand what works for both of you. You’ll appreciate each other’s personalities and figure out the best way to keep each other motivated.
Training will also teach you to be patient, an essential skill when dealing with an OFS.
Training prepares your OFS to figure stuff out on their own
We all want an OFS who takes the initiative. Someone willing to go above and beyond or try something new to help the business. But that is risky because they know they can make a mistake. Trying something new might not work out.
Training builds confidence. Your OFS will not be afraid to try something new because they know you have confidence in their skills and abilities. They know they can look for solutions instead of running away or disappearing at the first sign of trouble. They’re not afraid because you gave them the tools to fix them.
Having the training to help OFSs figure out solutions on their own will keep 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
Now that it’s clear why training is essential and what it can do for your Online Filipino Specialist, let me tell you how I approach training. There are cultural differences between Filipino workers and U.S. workers, so it’s vital to know the best methods to teach them.
1. Use videos
I like to create a welcome video explaining policies. It’s an excellent way to introduce myself and the OFS so they can feel more comfortable with me. Videos let your OFS hear your voice and get to know you, and trust you better. When you create a video for your OFS, you can be more precise about your expectations.
I use screen capturing and recording to show my OFS how I want something done. I use Jing because it’s effortless and fool-proof. I know my OFS also use Loom and TinyTake to make videos if they want me to show something.
With videos, there is no guesswork. It’s a virtual guarantee that they’ll understand what you’re asking them to do.
2. Give step-by-step instructions
Filipinos are very good at following directions, but you need to make sure the instructions are clear.
Err on the side of being overly detailed in your explanations. Leave no doubt what the objectives of the task are. Take screenshots for the steps you explain and for different settings. Doing these things will keep your OFS efficient and focused.
We use Basecamp for:
- assigning and tracking projects,
- collaborating with other team members,
- managing deadlines and milestones, and
- file management.
You can use any project management software you want. Just make sure your OFS knows how to use it and understands how it functions in your business.
4. Have your OFS watch webinars
Webinars are an excellent teaching tool. Your OFS can watch and listen to them multiple times, if necessary. You can create these webinars on any topic you see fit. You can also have your OFS listen to other industry webinars by successful business owners and entrepreneurs.
5. Teach them everything you can
Loyalty is one of the traits of a good OFS. The great thing about having a loyal worker is that it gives you the freedom to delegate entire processes.
So once you find a fantastic Filipino worker, teach them everything you can. The more you train, the more they will learn; and the more they understand and know, the less you’ll have to do. You can genuinely replace yourself in your business.
The final word
Training is essential. You must train your OFS—when you first hire them and throughout their time working for you. An untrained OFS will be inefficient. They will almost certainly end up disappearing. Once you’ve hired an OFS, make training a non-negotiable priority.
About John Jonas
John helps business owners learn to outsource 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, 5 amazing kids, and golfs 4-5 times/week.
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