The term “Xilium” is loosely derived from the Latin word “auxilium” meaning “assistance” or “aid.” Just like its origin, Xilium as a company strives to provide excellent virtual assistant services through higher degree of skill and unparallelled customer service. Started in 2011, the company has successfully worked with real estate agents, medical professionals, small business owners, executives and busy individuals. Xilium’s workforce is composed of college-graduate professionals with years of experience in the field of outsourcing.
How does a company like Apple or Southwest Airlines use its diverse culture to its advantage? They use the differences as a competitive advantage to apply a focus to their products and services so that they better address their customers’ needs.
When looking at this industry it is comprised of the following types:
- Large outsourcing companies that have established call centers and bring large numbers of low-cost employees. This is even low-cost from the local market perspective.
- Shell companies that offer loose associations with contractors that work from home or from unstructured areas. These employees are also very low cost and there is little vetting and as a result quality work is less likely.
- Companies with dedicated offices that have a lot of general purpose employees. These offices operate under local country cultures which are usually hierarchical in structure reducing initiative and innovation from employees.
At Xilium we created an organization that put some of the best ideas in business culture and adapted them to fit with the local culture. We believe in hiring people that can self-manage many of their tasks. When interviewing and selecting candidates we share the philosophy that we follow the expectations of client communication and priorities. We establish measures for associates to meet and fit the business goals for the client and for Xilium. Often this means that the largest factor in the success of an associate is the client’s satisfaction.
To maximize this we allow flexibility in how and when work happens. Sometimes this means allowing the flexibility for the associate to work from home as is done in the US but this is always only a temporary situation. We believe strongly in the shared mind and mentor training. Not only do we develop programs for sub-industries that detail use cases and provide significant resources but these are used for training and adapted and added to as new clients are supported.
We understand that an associate that has ownership of their work and their relationships has the best chance at providing value to the client. It is important for the associate to know this because it encourages them to inject improvements and really participate in the designs, methods and skills brought back into the company. This has a strong benefit for our clients because as their associates share with others, other associates share with them and support them. It creates a dynamic learning environment that benefits everyone.
When associates work in this model it is often an eye-opening experience. We communicate that we expect them to be proactive and take ownership of their work. Management provides resources to support them and we see management’s role as serving the associates so they can give the clients what they need.
The company is entirely made up of local managers. Xilium is headquartered in the US but the associates are predominantly in the Philippines. In order to get the best business culture we found local management that jointly developed the processes and establish a business culture to maximize associates effectiveness. The most important things we have learned in establishing this company is that the associates have the biggest impact on our clients. They are the front lines and they sell our virtual assistant services.
Local managers have a close relationship with US managers. The US management mission is to clear hurdles and provide local managers what they need to be successful. At times it is communication and other times it may be advice and perspective on business needs. Local managers are empowered to make decision not only at a personnel level but at a financial level. Pushing decisions local means better decisions are made and improved performance results.
Training in the best US management practices is provided and the local managers work to adapt them to the local culture.
The result of this culture is a wholly new way of working for associates. Because we work to identify and train the associates to be independent and take ownership of their work and clients it provides a highly desirable work environment. Xilium turnover is dramatically lower than almost any competing local service organization. We are quickly developing a reputation as a top-tier company to work for and this gives us the best candidates to choose from. It creates a virtuous cycle of improving employee performance and better-talent employees.
Why The Philippines?
Of all the ESL countries the Philippines has the strongest English speaking population with probably the best conversational skills of any foreign population. The work culture is naturally deferential to authority but also forward speaking. This means it is more likely a person will be polite and communicative even under stressful conditions.
Pair this natural tendency with the management training and associates blossom quickly. With a helpful nature and a more confident and dynamic outlook, the result of our training and culture, Xilium associates are ideal additions to your company.