1. Not checking for the tops skills you need for the staff before the interview
Before leaving for the market, you have an idea of what it is you’d like to buy. The same is true for any staff you are willing to employ. Write out the must-have skills you require from your domestic staff. This exercise of writing the core skills you need is so important because it will help you recruit the best person for the job. You will not recruit out of sentiment or desperation. Remember that the skills you required five years earlier when you did not have kids might be different from the skills you require presently. The skills required for a family of five kids with toddlers will be different from the skills required in a home where you majorly have pre-teens and teenagers.
2. Accepting just anyone in your home
I believe that people have the right to choose the staff for their home. Back in the day, you’d mostly get domestic staff brought to you and you just hope they would be good for you. You need to know what you want. Sometimes, you might need a live-in person, other times, live-out person, a mature person or a young adult. There have been cases where people get children (which is, in fact, against the law) as staff and because they are unable to deliver the value they require, they become really frustrated. Check out your family dynamics before employing a domestic staff or going through a staffing agency.
3. Allowing them to find their way around your home without an adequate introduction or orientation exercise
This is a no-no. I know you are tired from work, but you need to find time to show them around your house. Show them how to use electrical appliances, how you want your home cleaned, even how meals should be prepared. They need to know about allergies and other matters that may touch on family well-being. To make this easier, have a staff handbook such as The Domestic Staff Guide to Effective Work for your staff. This document could be used as many times as you need to.
4. Giving out gifts too early
It’s such a beautiful thing to help people and make them happy. However, your staff is in your home to work and add value to your family. If you start off with giving them things too early, your staff might start to relax and cultivate an entitlement mentality. So add this to the staff’s welfare package. You can say to them that you would review their work every three or six months, and if they do well, you can increase their salary or do something special. This makes the job exciting. Trust me, your staff would look forward to that.
5. Poor welfare package
My people, let’s be frank, being a domestic staff is not an easy task. Please let the remuneration motivate them. A lot of times, they take on a low paying job and keep looking for another job whilst in your house. If you promised to increase their salary after a time, please do so in order to retain them and ensure they don’t leave you without adequate notice.
6. Trying to be friends with your staff too soon
They are there to work, and while they may make decent companions, they need to understand their major role in your home.
7. Hiring out of pressure and desperation
Don’t just send your staff away when you are not certain you would get a replacement immediately. Don’t just hire the first person you come across. Having to juggle so many balls including handling house chores can be daunting, but I’d advise you, take your time to interview someone that will fit your lifestyle and deliver what you need at that point in time, instead of hiring because you have a major work project at hand.
Life with your domestic staff doesn’t need to be difficult, you just need to know what to do about it.
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