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Elizabeth Ajetunmobi: Having Trouble With Your Domestic Staff? Let’s Try A Different Approach

Have you been getting the same not-too-pleasant experience with your domestic staff? Then it’s time to switch things around.

Elizabeth Ajetunmobi



An inspiring quote that gets me fired up every time is: To get different results, you have to do something different. This can’t be far from the truth, as it applies to everything that needs improvement.

Have you been getting the same not-too-pleasant experience with your domestic staff? Then it’s time to switch things around.

Appraise your present mode of operation
Have you been hiring a live-in domestic staff? Could it be that a person who comes in and leaves at the end of the day may be better for your home? Do you carry out an orientation exercise or onboard your staff?

Oftentimes, employers looking inwards will reveal the reason they keep having the same experience with their staff. List the skill set you require from potential employees.

Pay employees fairly
A lady narrated a story of how her former employer would pay her monthly salary in the middle of the following month. So technically, she was working for one and half month before she was being paid. This is not a fair way to treat people, especially your domestic staff who, most likely, would have planned how to allocate their salary to meet their several needs. If your staff works overtime, be sure to compensate them for it.

Be accurate and truthful about the job
Aymie Staffing Solutions recommends that employers accurately and truthfully describe job duties and responsibilities, working conditions, hours, and salary and benefits to their domestic staff. Some people hire a staff and make them believe they’d work with them directly. Once the staff resumes work, the story changes and the staff has to work with several relatives and friends.

Provide regular reviews to the staff
Employers need to have a meeting with their staff on a regular basis to check in on job delivery, changes or concerns from the employee or employer. An annual review should be provided, but regular open and honest communication is key to a strong and long working relationship.

Implement raises
It’s a great idea for domestic staff employers to give annual raises, keeping in line with cost of living increases and a year-end bonus to the staff, (typically equivalent to 1 week’s pay). Raises should also be given as the responsibilities of the role increase, or another child enters the family. The employer may offer a raise or bonus to their staff based on exceptional performance as well. Raises keep an employee motivated.

Adjust the written work agreement as needed
Changes on a job could be in form of increased responsibilities, larger family, longer working hours, there could even be significant changes in positions or roles. All the new developments would need to be reviewed, as well as remuneration.

Do away with a faulty mindset
There is a very common mindset quite a number of people have about certain jobs in Nigeria. We see some jobs as more important than others. There is dignity in labor, and as such every job is equally important. If you run a business and you employ a salesperson, I am certain you are aware they have the power to make or mar that business. The same is true about your domestic staff; they render essential services and should be treated as such, with consideration and respect.

Elizabeth Ajetunmobi is a Human Resource Consultant, an educator, a Family Life Enthusiast who provides support to families, guides them in order to create systems that help families thrive. She runs a staffing and placement agency alongside a training school for semi skilled and domestic staff. Her vision is to professionalize the domestic staffing industry in Nigeria. She is an alumnus of University of Nottingham. Obafemi Awolowo University, Park Royal Finishing School, China Europe International Business School. Her experience spans several fields including Education , Family Life, Child abuse, Human Resources and Finance. She is a member of CIPD(UK), Member,ILM(UK) and Teacher’s Registration Council of Nigeria. She is a WIMBIZ mentor and has been featured on TVC news as well as a guest columnist on BellaNaija where she shares insights on how to build a mutually beneficial relationship between a domestic staff and their employers.

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