Managing a team in the Philippines can be a rewarding experience, but it can also present unique challenges for managers. Differences in communication styles, family obligations, and a hierarchical structure can make it difficult to effectively lead. As someone who has lived and worked in the Philippines, I understand these challenges firsthand. In this blog post, I will share some practical tips on how to successfully manage a Filipino team, based on my experience and observations. By leveraging these tips, you can foster a positive work environment, build strong relationships with your team members, and achieve your business objectives. So, let’s dive in and explore these tips in more detail.
1. Communication Barriers and Misunderstandings
Differences in communication styles can create misunderstandings, so effective Managers must flex their communication style to ensure their messages are being accurately received and understood (don’t just ask for confirmation of comprehension, invite your team member to ‘show’ you they understand via a challenge test or demonstration).
2. Difficulty in Giving / Receiving Feedback
Filipinos tend to avoid conflict and may be hesitant to give or receive critical feedback. This can make it challenging for managers to provide constructive criticism and help employees improve their performance.
Effective Managers will benefit from giving lots of positive praise or encouragement for actions or behaviours they want to see repeated. Regular praise builds credibility and trust in the Manager, so when constructive criticism is delivered it’s appropriately received.
3. Family Obligations
Family is very important to Filipinos, and they may prioritize family obligations over work commitments at times. Effective Managers may need to be flexible and understanding when employees need to take time off for family-related reasons.
4. Hierarchical Structure
The hierarchical structure of Filipino culture can create challenges for managers who are used to a flatter, more informal structure. Filipino workplaces tend to exhibit a professional distance, with management or executives addressed as ‘Sir,’ ‘Ms.,’ ‘Ma’am,’ or ‘Boss,’ as a sign of respect and recognition of their higher position. Effective Managers should work hard to earn the respect they’re culturally afforded, which’ll pay dividends in loyalty and the tenure of their Team.
Managing a team in the Philippines can present unique challenges, but it can also be an incredibly rewarding experience. By implementing the tips outlined in this blog post, you can create a positive work environment that supports your team’s success. Remember to communicate clearly, build relationships, and lead with flexibility and kindness. By doing so, you can navigate the unique challenges of leading a Filipino team and build a high-performing and engaged workforce that feels valued and supported.
We’re excited to see the positive impact you’ll make as you apply these tips to your management approach. Thank you for reading and best of luck in your leadership journey!