The Value of Filipino Family to the Labor Force

Each culture keeps different value on the importance of family in driving their behavior. When it comes to Filipinos’ family values, you’ll see a big difference among other nation’s ideals.

 When it comes to Filipino’s values on the importance of family, you’ll see a great difference from the Western ideals. It is very significant to acknowledge the cultural standards in both how Westerners deal with family and the Filipino value system. Basically, understanding it will teach you how to deal with your offshore workforce in a harmonious manner.

Family at the middle of personal growth

Traditionally, a person’s value and ideals are responsible for their actions, behaviors and character. And, a person’s closest relationship are most often formed from their birth and then developed over long years of communication, alliance and emotional and psychological progress. In Western culture, once the children grow, reach their legal age and develop the ability to promote their own independence, they can already separate from their family unit. From the time they move in to independence, it would also mean that they are no longer compelled to support or provide any assistance to their family root. Nevertheless, this may vary due as family members get older and require assistance, whether financial or a move into a facility such as a hospital or a home for the aged.

Apparently, the said practice is opposite to how Filipinos deal with their family. A Filipino family completely stays together throughout the lifecycle. Their complete and solid commitment to their family is at a different level. Filipinos hold and promote a more centralized approach to a family equally as a Western family grows older it becomes dismantled, with members pulling out and breaking links of dependence.

Family above all

As for Filipinos, family is always their highest priority. Their family gatherings are large, which usually consists of up to 30 persons and above all at once. As mentioned earlier, Filipinos deal with the transition to adulthood in an entirely different way, whereby Western parents raise their children to leave home as soon as possible, typically at the age of 18, while Filipino children aren’t forced to leave home as they turn 18, and instead, they are encouraged to continue to contribute and take part in a highly unified family. So, the concept of bringing elderly parents to a home for the aged or leaving them to external care provider is completely insane. Therefore, due to the fierce loyalty and dedication of Filipinos to their family, they center all their efforts and success as a means to provide for their families, particularly those family members who had migrated and settled in Metro Manila or overseas. Obviously, despite the inconveniences, many Filipinos still prefer to go the extra mile to proviade for their families.

Filipinos treat everyone like family

Typically, we use “sir” and “madam” to refer to people we don’t know, but Filipinos use “kuya” and “ate” which means older brother and older sister in Filipino. Also, when referring to the people they personally know, Filipinos use “tito”, “tita”, “uncle”, and “auntie” when addressing to close family relatives, friends, and even neighbors. It may be ironical for other foreigners to hear these unusual endearments to people outside of the family, this is actually a second nature to all Filipinos and only shows just how deeply rooted family ties are in their culture.

Office staffs feel like they belong to an extended family

By understanding the value of family to your labor force, you will understand a critical aspect of Filipino culture and how to property approach it when it comes to dealing with your Filipino staffs. More often, great employees leave their companies due to other inconsiderate staffs or those who are unaware of particular cultural differences. Most definitely, when employees feel like they don’t belong or in an unwelcoming and hostile workplace, they are more possibly to quit rather than stay.

To keep the staffs motivated and driven in the Filipino context, employers have to create an environment and office culture that feels like a second home for them.

Aizelle Joe