“May I have a raise?”
As the boss, you can’t necessarily blame a worker for asking this. Everybody wants to make more money. The point of working after all is to make enough to support yourself and your family.
But when to grant raises and how often you should give a raise are challenging questions to answer.
But answer them we must. First, let’s explain the best way to handle pay increases for your Filipino VA. Then we’ll explore a few different types of raises employers give to workers.
It’s no secret that the cost of living in the Philippines is far lower than it is in the United States. Filipinos’ salaries are significantly lower than the average U.S. pay. It’s common for professionals in the Philippines, such as engineers and professors to make $450–$700 a month. When you hire a Filipino VA, be aware that many skilled Filipino VAs are available for between $450 and $600. If you’re not sure how much you should offer when creating a job post, you can use our salary guide.
The initial offer should be a bit lower than what you really want to give them. Once they’ve proven themselves after working for a few weeks up to a couple of months, give them the initial raise. This is their starting salary.
After the initial raise, additional raises are certainly appropriate. A good rule of thumb is to give raises annually, provided your VA has performed well. More frequent raises can be given at your discretion. Raises can also be given when your VA has proven to be dedicated and loyal to your business.
The Thirteenth Month
In the Philippines, there is a law that requires employers to pay employees an additional month’s pay after they have been with the organization for one year. This pay is part of the employee’s salary and is paid out in December. It is known as “the Thirteenth Month.”
You don’t have to pay this because your Filipino online specialist is an independent contractor BUT we strongly recommend it. Most Filipinos expect this when they work for someone full-time, and it goes a long way in motivating them.
I give raises from time to time to my VAs
- when they have produced exemplary work and
- when they have extended their efforts beyond my expectations.
Let me relate a story to illustrate how and why you should give bonuses to your Filipino VA:
Once, I gave one of my VAs a marketing task. I gave him specific instructions on how to accomplish the task. At first, I got regular updates, explaining what progress he was making with the project. After six months, the updates stopped. I heard nothing about how the project was proceeding.
I sent a follow-up email to check in with my VA and to see why the updates had stopped. Turns out, he figured out a better way to accomplish the tasks than with the information I had provided. Then he explained that found more effective tools and methods to complete the assignment.
I was shocked. He improved on the process I gave him. Made it better and easier. I was impressed with his proactive attitude and desire to go beyond what I had asked. To reward him for his efforts, and to show my appreciation, I gave him a $100 bonus. He was thrilled.
Why didn’t he email me about it? He was afraid that I might not like the fact he made some improvements. This is typical of Filipinos. They don’t want to let you down or disappoint you. So, showing them your gratitude for excellent work is important.
Common Types of Raises
How much of a raise should you give? How do you compute for it? Here are a few suggestions.
1. Performance-based or merit-based raises
Performance raises are a wonderful way to motivate top workers to continue excelling. They are also effective methods of enticing employees who may be struggling to recommit themselves and redouble their efforts.
The amount of raise will depend on how well the employee has performed. If you have a way of monitoring the productivity or performance of your Filipino worker, this type of raise would be the easiest to implement.
2. Cost of living raises
Some businesses take the economy into consideration when giving raises. Inflation is a part of life. The cost of housing, food, utilities and gasoline can steadily rise, reducing how far the dollar can go. To help offset these burdens, you can increase workers’ salaries so they might maintain their standard of living. Like performance-based raises, these are given annually.
3. Goal-based raises
This is usually the arrangement with sales jobs. The raise is contingent to meeting certain goals. The goals must be measurable, specific, and related to the employee’s job duties.
At the end of the selected period, there’s an evaluation on whether the goals were attained and to what extent they were achieved. If the goals were met at the minimum level, the worker gets a raise. If the employee exceeded expectations, they got a bigger raise.
Giving raises to your virtual assistant is an important part of your business relationship. When you give someone raise it shows you
- appreciate their efforts;
- it demonstrates that you value their contributions;
- it expresses confidence in their abilities.
A raise also motivates the VA to continue producing high-quality work. It improves morale, job satisfaction and incentive for your VA. As your business grows, make this a standard practice in your business.
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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