We all know how difficult it can be to get and keep domestic help. If you’ve found a good one, you need to make sure you’re doing it right, and not making any of these mistakes, amongst others:
1. Paying her poorly:
Ideally, the best strategy for keeping good help is to overpay and under-criticize, but not everyone can afford to overpay. So the least you can do is to offer a fair salary. Poor remuneration is always a bad move, especially for someone who works in your home. If you can’t pay what she’s asking, agree on something both sides are comfortable with. Also, promising her a raise after a probation period and then shifting the date repeatedly, is a no-no.
2. Making it all about money:
Money is important, but if you’ve ever been an employee you know there’s more to job satisfaction and remuneration than money. If you show no concern for your domestic assistant’s mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, helping her grow as a person, and letting her know you care about her future, you’re making a mistake. She lives in your home and takes care of your house and children. Don’t make her feel like an outsider. Does she want to further her education? Learn a trade? Find out, and let her know you’re willing to help her as much as you can. You’re more likely to get the best of her if she knows there’s more to it than the money.
3. Her job description is not clear.
Sometimes a domestic assistant doesn’t know what’s expected of her, what her duties are, and which ones are more important. This is a big mistake. It’s in your best interest to make everything as clear as possible. Don’t assume that she should know. For instance, if she’s primarily a nanny it means caring for the children is priority. If she’s primarily a housekeeper, her focus should be taking care of the house. What about her boundaries? Is she to clean the entire house, or is your bedroom out of bounds? Can she serve your husband food? Take her own food from the pot or wait for you to dish it out for her? Is she allowed to bathe the children, or is that exclusively for you and your spouse to handle? Is there a way you prefer for her to dress? When you let her know your expectations and preferences, as well as the rules she should adhere to, she can be more efficient, and avoid unnecessary blunders and frustration.
4. You’re not organized
Your domestic assistant needs to be organized, but if YOU are disorganized she will struggle. Whatever needs to be put in place, starts with you. If you set a routine, she can run your home more effectively. Whether it’s a timetable, or to do lists, if you’re not organized and providing tools for her to stay organized as well, you need to fix that.
5. You undermine her authority
Does she tell your children to do something and you counter her instructions or reverse her decisions? It’s one of the worst mistakes to make with someone who is helping you raise your kids; it demoralizes her and sends the wrong message to your children. Avoid undermining her authority. As she makes the effort to guide your children aright, back her up. If you can’t trust her judgment, then she shouldn’t be in charge of your kids. If you do trust her, it is important that you allow her to do her job and not try to micromanage her.