Date Posted: 12/06/2020
For many ex-pats, having a domestic worker can be a life-saver. It is also a new experience for many.
Navigating the relationship to make it work can be complicated. We have some professional advice to help you and your employees work and live happily under the same roof.
Your domestic helper is the extra pair of hands you have always wanted. She watches over your kids, cooks delicious dishes, takes the initiative, is responsible, and does a great job of keeping the house clean.
If your helper does a good job, it is easy to leave her alone. After all, when everything is moving very well, there is no reason for your helper to not have your full trust.
How much do you know about your helper? Although this may be a personal question to some, she knows everything about your life. It is very healthy to know some things about her life, too.
As long as you don’t make it feel like she is being questioned, ask her what her favourite food is, ask her about her children. Showing a bit of interest in your helper’s life can make the relationship between you both a lot more personal.
As you become used to having her presence in your home, it is beneficial to make her feel like she is appreciated and valued. Treating your helper like part of your family can be positive for the mindset of everyone in the household.
Many employers do not understand that establishing a closer relationship with their employees can be a great benefit to them.
The maid industry today implies that helpers must be treated as an employee and that employers must act as leaders.
There is nothing wrong with letting your domestic worker know her role in your home! Treating your helper as only your employee promotes unrealistic expectations but also ignores the fact that the domestic worker has weaknesses.
Treating each worker beyond their duties means recognizing that they are human and have emotions and limits. Through this approach, the helper can see that her employer cares about her well being.
Open communication is one of the most essential pillars of the employer-domestic worker relationship. Parents and guardians must work together to create a job that encourages new ideas, constructive criticism, and different solutions.
How can employees keep communication open? Leave the morning and afternoon debriefing to become a part of the helper’s schedule. Talking about the household challenges of the day is a concern for the employer’s family. This will also keep the employer informed of daily problems.
Child care and cleaning are jobs that require a lot of confidence from the helper. Since the helper comes from a different culture and country, it can be challenging for everything to go well at the beginning.
The type of trust needed in the relationship with the employer/employee is trust in the abilities of the other, which begins with honesty and transparency.
The respect we are talking about in the relationship with the employer is reciprocal, respect that both parties appreciate and take into account at all times.
Remember, the parents and caregivers are role models for the child, so you need to be courteous and fair at home. Self-respect also means valuing each other’s time and limits.
Make sure to celebrate her birthday. Please give her a gift or take her out for a family meal. Alternatively, you can offer a generous hongbao. It is a practical gift, but be sure to know which she might prefer; money or the gift.
Don’t forget to give her free time for important religious holidays, like Hari Raya Puasa or Christmas. You should also include her in every holiday your family celebrates.
6. Be generous with privileges.
In addition to giving her weekly rest days, you may also consider offering additional benefits. Whenever your family goes on a holiday, you could take her with you. You could even offer her an allowance while she is with you so she can buy some gifts for her family members.
These are just some of the things you can do to establish a great relationship with your helper. We hope that you see the benefit of using some of these. Treating everyone with love and respect will only give you the same back.