Here are 8 tips that first-time maid employers can easily use to make sure that you succeed in getting the best out of your maid. Like any relationship, building the trust and capacity of your new maid takes time and lots of effort both on her part and yours. But once the relationship succeeds, you can look forward to a higher quality of life as your maid becomes an integral part of your family.
1) Set aside time to train the maid
Take a few days off work to show her the ropes. After demonstrating the chores, get her to do them while you watch her, giving feedback – both negative and positive.
2) Have a time-table or checklist
Design a clear daily work schedule for her. Get her to read through them and ask questions if she is unclear. Translate into her native language if necessary.
3) Encourage her to ask questions
Be positive and approachable. This will encourage her to ask questions to clarify rather than hide her ignorance and make mistakes. Be aware that due to her language limitation she may be afraid or hesitant to ask questions or clarify what she doesn’t understand. Do remember to speak slowly as she is still getting used to Singapore English or your way of speaking.
4) Emphasise home safety
Alert her to the potential dangers in the home like open windows, a hot kettle near the edge of the table, pails of water in the bathroom etc. Assume nothing and tell her what not to do or where not to go.
5) Label poisonous household cleaners
To avoid confusion over chemical cleaners, have her label them in her own language and demonstrate the use of each type of cleaner. Make sure they are kept of out reach of young children. This may be obvious to us, but it may not be her practice in her home country.
6) Encourage interaction with your children
Give her time to play with your baby and young children, if any. Teach her some of their favourite games or songs. Allow the maid to flourish in her love for children.
7) Give her space
Even if she has to share the room with your children, let her have her own cupboard space where she can store her personal things. Nothing beats having a sense of belonging and feeling accepted in your home.
8) Be reasonable
While she is still new, expect some slip-ups and broken equipment. Be patient if she is feeling homesick. She will appreciate it if you allow her to contact her family. Treat her with kindness and she is more likely to treat you and your family members well.