Singaporean work culture is characterised by its fast-paced and demanding nature, which means most professionals are left with limited time for household chores and other domestic responsibilities. To manage these tasks effectively, many Singaporeans employ household helpers. These labourers provide invaluable assistance with cooking, cleaning, child-rearing, and other essential tasks. The support of capable and dedicated helpers has thus become integral to the smooth functioning of many Singaporean households over the years.
The high demand for competent domestic help, alongside the country’s high standard of living and its convenient location in the heart of Asia, has made Singapore a popular destination for migrant workers from around the region. In fact, many local maid agencies now specialise in training and hiring foreign domestic helpers. Depending on your needs, you can go to a reputable Philippine, Indonesian, or Myanmar maid agency in Singapore to hire a capable maid.
Once you’ve found a maid to help keep your household in good order, you’ll definitely want to learn how to maintain a healthy relationship with your new employee. To start, try implementing these essential tips:
Communicate Expectations and Scope of Work Clearly
Clear communication is the foundation of a successful employer-helper relationship. Thus, it’s best to take the time to discuss and outline your expectations for your helper, as well as the duties and responsibilities you need her to fulfill. Define her working hours, her designated days off, and all other essential details regarding her work arrangements as clearly as you can. Doing this will get your working relationship off to a smooth start.
For example, if you require your helper to cook meals for the family, provide specific guidelines on preferred cuisines, dietary restrictions, and meal schedules. If you expect assistance with childcare, communicate your expectations regarding routines, discipline, and other requirements for the children’s supervision. Regular check-ins and open communication channels can also help address any questions or concerns that may arise along the way.
Train Your Helper Appropriately
Your domestic helper may be skilled and experienced, but every household has its own unique habits and practices. That’s why it’s crucial to familiarise your helper with specific routines observed in your household. Take the time to explain these procedures or activities in detail and provide training where necessary.
For instance, high-tech cleaning equipment or a home security system may not be familiar to all domestic helpers. So, if there are any household equipment or appliances that your helper will be using regularly, make sure to instruct her on their proper operation and required safety measures. The better-trained your helper is, the more confident and efficient she’ll be in carrying out her tasks.
Treat Your Helper with Kindness and Respect
You need to keep in mind that your helper is her own person, just like you and your family members, and thus deserve to be accorded mutual respect, kindness, and civility. Treat her as a valued member of your household by acknowledging and appreciating her contributions. Show empathy and understanding towards her needs and concerns. Take an interest in her well-being and make an effort to build rapport with her. With a positive and supportive environment, you can foster a stronger and more harmonious working relationship.
Respect Your Helper’s Privacy
While your helper is an integral part of your family, it’s important to recognize that she still has a right to personal space and privacy. It’s good practice, for instance, to let your helper hold on to any sensitive personal documents in her possession, such as her worker’s permit, passport, and other travel documents. Likewise, avoid asking to see any form of your helper’s private communications and make it a point not to bother your helper with work-related concerns on her days off.
You should also treat her personal space as you would want her to treat your own personal space in turn. Provide a designated area where she can store her belongings and spend her downtime. Always seek her consent before accessing her private spaces, instead of assuming that these are yours to enter whenever you wish.
Provide Comfortable Living Conditions for Stay-In Help
It’s imperative for employers to make sure that their stay-in help has everything they need to live comfortably. Provide your helper with a clean and private living space with basic amenities, such as bathroom access, good lighting, and adequate ventilation. Consider their comfort as well when setting house rules and schedules. For example, if your helper has food allergies or other specific dietary requirements, take those into account when planning meals. By creating a conducive living environment, you contribute to your maid’s well-being and job satisfaction. This leads to a more healthy and productive employer-helper relationship.
Resolve Conflicts Constructively and Promptly
Conflicts may arise in any relationship, and it is important to address such issues constructively and promptly. In the event of any discord or misunderstandings between you and your helper, strive to resolve these conflicts through open and respectful communication. Listen to their perspective and then work together to find mutually agreeable solutions. The timely resolution of conflicts prevents tensions from escalating and helps maintain a positive atmosphere within the household.
A strong employer-helper relationship not only benefits your household but also creates a supportive and rewarding experience for both parties involved. By implementing the above tips, you can cultivate a positive and productive working environment for your domestic helper.