How to build and keep a good working relationship with your maid
If this is the first time that you are hiring a helper or are experiencing some challenges with respect to managing your maid, we certainly hope that you will find this article useful.
In this article, we will share some tips on how you can build and have a good working relationship with your helper. This is of paramount importance as your helper will be living in your home for an extended period, helping you in managing your household, assisting with elder care and/or taking care of your kids. With a happy maid, half a battle is won – you can concentrate and focus at the office, knowing that things at home are taken care of.
Another major benefit of keeping a good working relationship with your helper is that it can reduce turnover; an employment contract is typically 2 years. However, if both employer and maid are happy with each other, the contract can be extended for as long as both parties are willing. While employing a FDW to replace your current maid is not difficult (just go to a reliable maid agency), you would rather not, as turnover is not only costly in terms of monetary costs, but also comes with uncertainty that the new maid may not be as capable and will need time to adapt to your environment again. Another consideration for parents with young children is that your children may not be used to a new face in the house, especially if the primary duty of the maid is child care. As such, it may well be a good idea to renew your maid’s contract.
I. RECOGNISE THAT THERE IS NO PERFECT MAID
This one seems obvious isn’t it? Well, that’s because we are reading it now. But in practice, many unhappy working relationship still occur because of this. This brings us to the next question: What is a good maid? This is a very subjective question and have varying answers. Probably a reasonable response to this question would be a maid that is able to meet close to your expectations and standards in doing things.
After all, it is actually quite rare to have someone who can do things in the exact same manner that we would expect it to be. Therefore, whenever we get anyone to be doing things, we would need to give some leeway – so long it is within an acceptable range, it is fine.
II. SET EXPECTATIONS AND GROUND RULES
When your new helper joins your home, it will be good to start by introducing the dos and the don’ts.
Be very clear when setting the ground rules – e.g. strictly no hitting of kids, no usage of mobile phone during the daytime / usage of mobile phone only in the evening during her rest time, no brining of strangers and friends into the house.
Once the ground rules are set, it will be good to orientate your helper into her job by setting the expectations. Here, you will let her know your standards of doing things. We recommend that you show or demonstrate to your new FDW the standards and way of doing things so that she is clear on it.
Additional Tip: If you are too busy to demonstrate/show your new helper on how the standards and the way things are done, you can get your current maid to guide her through too. This is usually done by requesting for a Handover Period, which is valid for up to 30 days. If you are unsure, you may seek assistance from your maid agency to assist you with this.
Providing a Work Schedule / Timetable
It may also be a good idea to provide your new helper with a daily time-table of tasks to be completed. It will help set out the objectives of the day for the maid to complete. This will the maid to stay focused on the tasks on hand during the work day and also prevent any conflicts with the employer arising from task dispute.
Recognise that your domestic worker is as much as a person as all of us are. Provide mutual respect to her. Respect can come in the form of: respecting her dignity, privacy and her rights.
Understand that your FDW’s native language may not be in English. As such, our accents and pronunciation may be different from what they are used to. Hence, in giving instructions, always ask your maid to repeat what
she has understood from your set of instructions to ensure that both parties
are in line with the same understanding.
Keep an Open Communication
Open communication is one of the contributing factor to a successful employer-maid relationship. Both parties should feel comfortable and encouraged to express their feelings and provide feedbacks. For a start, the employer can take the initiative to conduct a monthly engagement whereby both parties block out a time to talk about the good things and challenges that have happened in the household. Good performance should be acknowledged and solutions to challenges can also be shared during the session. This will cultivate harmonious relationship and forge stronger trust between both parties. If your FDW has made a mistake or something that displeases you, do let her know about it too (we normally recommend correcting on the spot, so she knows exactly where/what is not right).
After going through the pointers above, it doesn’t seem too difficult to have a healthy working relationship with your helper right? Many times is just takes mutual understanding on both sides to make things work.
Have other personal pointers that worked for you? Feel free to contact us to let us know about it.
Disclaimer: All information provided in this article is provided to the best of our knowledge and years of experience in the industry. GM Connection Pte Ltd and its staff disclaims any liability and shall not be held responsible in any way in connection with the use of the information provided.