Manage Your Domestic Help: 12 Tips to Get It Right!
There is no urban homemaker who has not at some time or another faced a crisis involving domestic help… Here are some useful guidelines
- Know that you can’t manage the entire “show” by yourself and that’s why you have help. You need them more than they need you. Home helps now are in great demand. If you let them go, they will be “snapped up” the very next day for sure.
- Your help is not your clone and is unlikely to dust, cook and clean the way you would. You will have to lower expectations or be prepared to do all the work yourself. (And it’s stupid to repeat all the chores that your help has just finished with! Do this once a week if you absolutely must.) Sometimes, Put yourself in their shoes – it’s difficult to feel motivated about housework which can be pure drudgery. And remember, the perfect maid, cook or driver, doesn’t exist! So, the sooner you learn to adjust and accept, the better.
- Reward them fairly. Increase their salary when they deserve it – definitely every year, and a bonus on a festival of your choice. Sometimes give them a tip when they are least expecting it. Be generous. A happy help works harder than a disgruntled one.
- Have more than one help ideally, a live-in maid and a part-timer work well in a household of a couple of adults and one or two children. If you can’t afford this in terms of space or money, get in a couple of part-timers. This way you are not handicapped or held to ransom if one of them plays truant.
- However angry you may get at them for not following instructions repeatedly, be firm but try not to raise your voice; keep your tone neutral. (Studies indicate that a poor salary is not the main reason that corporates leave jobs; they do so because they feel belittled; the same theory applies to your help).
- Hygiene and security are top. Do not hire anyone who is unwilling to submit to police verification or have their health and hygiene pulled to the standards you follow in your home. Explain things to them; be kind. Their upbringing would not be the same as yours. They need to be taught, not humiliated.
- If hiring a maid or baby sitter to look after younger children, try her out for a few months. If she’s not interested in the children even though she is efficient; or if your child simply does not take to her, let her go. Child care has a significant emotional aspect to it.
- Spend some time talking to your help; maybe every weekend. Take a genuine interest. Your maid is not a robot doing your bidding for salary; she too is a human being and needs to interact, share and feel respected. But at the same time keep a distance and avoid talking about private matters, or arguing in front of her. You don’t want information being repeated or being misused. Also. Be discreet about displaying your jewelry, cash and other valuables in her presence. Why tempt her?
- Make sure your part-timer gets at least a cup of tea and snack when they are in the house; if they work through a meal time, it’s good to have them eat in the house.
- If your house help is ill over a fairly long period of time, get them to show you their prescription and medicines. If it’s someone who has been with you for a while, you should take them to your doctor and pick up the tab for the consultation and medicines.
- If you have house guests, get your help/s to chip in with more work but reward them once the guests leave, even if they too decide to give them a tip.
- While you may enjoy cooking, and not mind doing housework – it might even prove cathartic certain circumstances it cannot and should not to be the sum total of your existence. Unless you have help, you may find yourself unable to get way to read that book which opens your mind to new thoughts; enjoy a stimulating conversation; see a movie; listen to music or even indulge in hobbies, all of which fill your life with freshness and interest and make you better human being.
What did you think of these tips? Please comment below…