Tips from Tam: Top-5 things homeowners dislike with domestic help
In the domestic-care service industry there are common complaints received from clients about their hired help. The list below consists of the top issues causing disruption in household helper and employer relations.
Stealing, of course, is number one on the list of things people hate to have happen in their home. This is especially so as trust is a big factor in the relationship between householder and hired help. The householder has entrusted her housekeeper with the care of her personal items. When things start to disappear it can be heartbreaking. Stealing is a sure-fire way to get, well ... fired. The feelings of violation and distrust ruin the relationship. Ultimately, the employee loses a recommendation and may end up in jail.
Begging is an annoying fact in helper/householder relations. Inevitably, the householder has an item or items that she may not be using. The helper feels like she could use it. Rather than steal or watch the item go to waste she asks if she can have it. This is annoying because the householder may have the item for sentimental reasons, may be treasuring the item but yet finds it hard to say no. The householder may feel like saying no would make her seem mean but she doesn't want to give away her belongings. It's not a good idea for the helper to beg. Although it's better than stealing, a conscientious employer will offer items as she sees fit. So if it's not offered, one can rest assured it has value to the householder. Don't beg.
Dishonesty here refers to behaviour other than stealing. It includes breaking things and hiding them, wasting work hours, lying about previous employment/providing false references and not completing given tasks in reasonable time. A helper/gardener should avoid a pattern of dishonesty. It erodes the relationship with the employer and will result in termination.
4 Constant chatting on the cell phone
Incessant talking on the phone during work hours is not only annoying but a theft of time. It's not appropriate for helpers to be talking all day on their phone, taking call after call even if they are working while talking. It's unprofessional, disturbs the householder and let's others in on conversations they usually do not want to hear.
This is another householder pet peeve. Helpers socialising with other household staff in the community during work hours is a complaint received at Executive Housekeeping and is considered a primary offence on our list of what not to do. The householder does not want to find out her helper has been gossiping about her or is having inappropriate relationships within the community. This disturbs how the householder feels about her neighbours and invites a lifestyle she may find distasteful.
Executive Housekeeping Jamaica encourages all household employers to create a job description for their staff. Keep a copy of this article for your staff if it reflects your own views. It is important that your employees know exactly what to expect from you and the role they are in. It helps in the training process and to initiate better working relationships.
Our next article will provide a sample job description for household helpers. It can be customised for your personal use. Keep reading and look out for more Tips from Tam.
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