How To Train and Manage Your New Domestic Helper
Everything could be too much to bear at some point in our lives and the need for someone reliable and trustworthy to help with your day to day responsibilities can be significantly life-altering.
Congratulations and lucky for you, you have found a suitable domestic helper to assist you and make your life easier. Indeed, the purpose of you hiring a domestic helper in Singapore is to help you out around the house but before anything else, you have to help yourself to help her get familiarize and guide her on “What, Where and How” to start taking care of your home. A fair amount of training and management is required and here are the things that you could do to train and manage your new domestic helper:
1. Be Explicit
You can’t rely on someone to do a task if they are not 100% clear on what they have to do. Start with setting a daily routine for your helper, you may want to do up a weekly timetable so that she can refer to it from time to time.
Personal preferences vary and the same task can be done differently by different people and might take a different amount of time. If you prefer some tasks done through a process and a method, convey the same to them. Besides giving concise instructions for example: show her on how you prefer things to be done, explain how often do you want the household chores to be done and guide her on how to use the household tools and appliances in your home.
In addition to avoid being uncomfortable in the future, it is also important to let your helper know of yours and/or other family member’s personal boundaries and habits, the basic house rules and practices to follow, such as not to open the doors to unknown people, knock on doors first before asking permission for entering a room. You may even limit calls through the home fixed line or limit the use of their mobile phone to only after their working hours. Or you might ask her to switch off or keep their phones on silent when the baby is sleeping. Remember, you cannot blame your helper if you fail to orient her well in the first place.
2. Exercise Patience & Understanding
The maid agency would have imparted some basic training skills to your domestic helper, but employer would have to still recap training your domestic helper based on your own house rules, preferences and family culture. If the domestic helper is to look after your children, it is going to take some time for the helper to get used to your children’s habits as well as for your children to get used to her. Likewise, if the domestic helper is hired to take care of your elderly parents, they might not be able to get used or open up to the new helper right away. Patience is the key here.
Domestic helpers who are hired to cook meals for the family, need to align their cooking styles with that of the household and for that, the employers need to spend some time outlining the food interests of each of the family members, along with their allergies to different food substances. This would require some time and constant practicing to get familiarize therefore your patience and understanding towards them is very important.
Give consistent and constructive feedback on all the tasks done by the helper so that they know if they have done a good job. However, if you do not like your domestic helper or the work done, do not resort to abusive behaviour verbally or physically, try to deal with them with patience or you might get into trouble with the law. You may also consider speaking to the maid agency to see if they are able to provide counselling to the helper in view to resolve any misunderstanding or general uneasiness.
3. Establish Mutual Trust
Trust is the assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone to do what she needs to do. Lead by example and be reliable with your own commitment to your helper. This would implicitly drive your helper to do the same with her commitment to you. When you say you will do something, do it and at the same time count on her. Research shows that believing in others can be counted on to do what they say they will do is an important precursor to the development of trust. People do really perform better when they feel entrusted, show your helper that you trust them and they will be more reliable.
4. Get to Know Her
Regardless of the helper’s background, your helper is just like other people who deserve to be respected. Getting to know those who work with and for you on a personal level is one of the quickest ways to solidify your foundations. Learn about their families, likes & dislikes, and hobbies through informal talks and ultimately you will know what drives them as a person. You can break the ice by sharing personal anecdotes about yourself so that your helper will feel more at ease about opening up.
Once in a while perhaps you may want to reward your helper for the good work done and help rendered, in small ways, or incentives like an off for a day or with a small gift that they need. Treating your domestic helper well and fairly will render tangible and intangible benefits. It is always worth it to make their employment a happy and fair one.
Everything could be a little too much to bear at times. Even in a friendly and welcoming country like Singapore, your domestic helper could still stagger at times. Help her to help yourself. It is for you to train, guide, manage and help her out during this adjustment period until the day when you no longer need to, and she is perfectly able to do things on her own.
A happy worker will always try to get things done efficiently and will even go out of the way to help you, clean the house and look after your children and elderly parents. A healthy employer-employee relationship and good training are crucial in this regard, which starts with proper communication and reasonable expectations.
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