What Motivates the Filipino Employee?
Happiness at work, or job satisfaction, plays an important factor in keeping an employee engaged and motivated at work. As there is really no one “secret” to keeping employees satisfied with their work and the company they work for, bosses and HR departments, strive to keep their employees happy by rolling out different incentive programs such as a rewards and loyalty program, referrals and performance-based bonuses.
Motivating Your Filipino Workforce
The question in our local setting is this: How do you motivate the Filipino workforce to be on top of their game and do their jobs well? While there are tried and tested ways on how to keep employees happy and loyal, Filipinos are basically family-oriented, often working to provide for their families, not necessarily working for personal fulfillment or working for career recognition or growth. So how do you motivate the Filipino employee to stay engaged and be satisfied with his job, performing at his best?
Here are some motivations based on a study profile on what kind of rewards matter for Filipino employees:
1. Intrinsic Motivation
When one is motivated intrinsically, one looks for improvement in one’s self through skill development and competency. Filipinos are more driven in their jobs if their jobs help them become better. Extrinsic motivations such as trophies, money or medals are great but if you want Filipinos to stay happy in their jobs, give them chances to improve themselves. Roll out trainings, encourage and support additional certification programs they can enroll in. When they feel they are improving themselves, they feel happier and perform better.
2. Cash Trumps Awards
As we have mentioned, the typical Filipino employee works to provide for his family and if they can earn more for them, the better. This is why they prefer to be rewarded with cash than receiving awards or being celebrated. The next preferences aside from cash would be travel and food incentives for employees. This is important to keep in mind when carrying out incentive programs. Bosses and HR executives would be better off offering cash incentives.
3. Non-Competitive and Performance-based Awards
If you want to motivate your employees, make them perform better. As we have said, Filipino employees strive for self-improvement and compete with themselves relentlessly. Rolling out incentive programs that do not pit them against one another rather have them compete with themselves is a more effective way in letting them perform better. It is also a way of acknowledging how they work and contribute to the company’s success and performance.
As team players, they believe that rewards are better delivered on a team basis. While they aim for performance-based awards and incentives, it doesn’t keep them from being team players. Filipinos are family-oriented people and treat their co-workers as family, if with the right people. This is why offering rewards programs that allow them to perform, collaborate and deliver as a team motivates them more. This is actually an advantage as it is hitting two birds with one stone – cultivating team spirit in the company and motivating employees.
Filipino employees need to believe that they are contributing to the success of an organization before they can accept performance incentives. This is why open dialogue and forums work best for Filipino employees. They need to feel they are heard and are part of the “family” (organization) so they can be validated.
6. A Socially Responsible Company
Millennials these days are more drawn towards jobs that make them part of something bigger than themselves. People actually prefer to work for companies that are making meaningful difference in the world. The HR department can deem this a great way to extend help outside their core customers by adopting charity programs or supporting worthwhile causes. Filipino employees hold their bosses in higher regard when they see that they serve the greater need of the people rather than just making “money.” In turn, they perform better. Take note though that a company doesn’t need to be philanthropic, not necessarily. Employees just need to feel they’re doing something that makes a difference in the world, even if it’s for their customers.
7. A Company that Creates a Sense of Belonging
Filipinos are naturally friendly people who like to belong to group and treat them like family. Meaningful relationships with coworkers have a greater impact on motivating employees than rewards programs. These are crucial for engagement and productivity. Companies can cultivate this by carrying out team building exercises, thought-out work spaces or offices and even technology application tools in their workplace, especially the ones that involve office communication.
8. Appreciative Company Culture
This doesn’t necessarily translate to recognition and rewards in the workplace. Filipino employees need to be frequently reminded why they do what they do and how good they are at it. Meaningful recognition in the workplace in the form a personal e-mail from a boss commending an employee for a job well done, a thank you and pat in the back for taking in more work than is necessary from a supervisor or a constructive feedback on a recent performance from a mentor are just examples of an appreciative company culture that cultivates motivated, engaged and happy employees.
9. Clear Expectations
For this to happen, there needs to be clear communication on their job responsibilities from their direct bosses. Since they are also intrinsically motivated, they usually need these objectives to help improve themselves. They also need to get acquainted with the company’s mission as they are team players who want to contribute to the success of the organization and feel validated that they are partly responsible for it. Communication is the key to help them become more motivated in what they do.
10. Company Pride
Filipino employees spend more hours at work than at home, shouldn’t it be a given that they take pride in the company they work for? This actually serves the company as a whole because this pride can be felt even outside work, allowing people to know more about your company. Companies should encourage employees to identify with them, by communicating and actively carrying out the organization’s mission and vision statements. A mission statement isn’t just a manifesto displayed on boards or a website – it needs to be carried out and be the driving force for every goal set by the company. Employees need to be reminded frequently about this.
Motivating employees need to have a healthy balance of intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. Filipino employees may have the need to earn money as a driving factor in working but they essentially crave to be part of something bigger than them, to be able to feel that they are part of something the contributes to the betterment of society and the world as whole. This is why having incentives for employees that are intrinsically motivated but have tangible rewards motivate Filipino employees more. Running a well-thought of employee rewards program doesn’t only keep employee job satisfaction ratings high, it has the ripple effect of having happy employees which translate to better service delivery, happier customers and ultimately, a better bottom line for your business.