One of the ways to achieve work-life balance is to engage the services of domestic staff and here are some tips on how to manage your domestic staff. At the Lagosmums 4th annual Parenting conference and exhibition, one of the topics discussed was “work-life balance” as a real challenge and struggle for the busy mum and family today in Lagos.
Domestic staff help to ease the stress around the home and provide more time for your family and your work. But having domestic staff can also be counterproductive if they are not well managed.
Here are some tips to manage your domestic staff.
- Background checks are important before your domestic staff resumes his/her duties. Insist on speaking to an ex-employer
- Get a general domestic staff screening blood test done at a reputable clinic or hospital. No use saving money going to a cheap clinic where you cannot rely on the results.
- Make sure you know at least two persons that are her relatives or guarantors.
- You need to know where she lives (family house or her base)
- Try and be responsible for her toiletries. This might sound harsh and old fashioned but you might be shocked at what you might find.
- If you have girls avoid hiring a houseboy, also with your son be careful with what a house girl does for him like giving him a bath the older he gets etc.
- If she has no reason to enter your matrimonial bedroom then let her stay out of it
- Inappropriate dressing, these are things that you might unconsciously allow but think about this – who are they trying to impress? their priority is the housework or caring for the children.
- Carry out medical tests at least 6 months after they start in your home; especially if they will be caring for young children.
- Take time to discuss job description and expectations and also carry out reviews now and then. Important to let your domestic staff know how they are doing and how you feel about their performance.
- Avoid discussions in which highly personal information is shared (financial, sexual, marital, medical, religious beliefs) and learn to re-direct conversations of this nature
- Always be security conscious. Be careful in your conversations, dealings and try not to be too predictable in your routine
- always try to be fair in your dealings with your domestic staff. Consider your position as an opportunity to contribute your Corporate Social Responsibility quota to society.