Your maid plays a significant role in your family members’ lives – she is the one who picks your kids up from school everyday without fail. She ensures that your elderly parents do not forget to take their medication on time.
She will prepare a delicious meal for the family when you are too tired to enter the kitchen after an exhausting day at work.
Your maid is the extra pair of hands in your household that you can always depend on when you need it most. It would be tiresome to bear the brunt of mental stress of finding a new helper, should your current maid leave due to work-relationship issues.
Therefore, you must make an effort to get closer to the person whom you trust to be spending more time with your kids than you.
Here are eight ways that will help you build a better relationship with your maid. You can look for maids through maid agencies in Singapore.
1. Make her feel comfortable
Making her feel comfortable is imperative for your maid to feel at ease in her working environments.
You can start by making sure that she has a proper space to reside comfortably.
This essentially means that resting and placing her personal belongings in her own space is indispensable. If you are unclear on what exactly entails proper accommodation, you can follow this list of criteria provided by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
Ensure that your domestic worker’s accommodation meets the following criteria:
- There has to be proper shelter from the elements of the weather.
- Basic amenities such as a mattress, pillow and blanket should be provided.
- There must be sufficient ventilation for her physical well-being. In the absence of ventilation, install an electrical fan in her room.
- Ensure that there are no harmful equipment or substances in the room (e.g. dangerous mechanical tools or chemicals).
- To prevent scenarios such as modesty or outrage of modesty, your maid must not share a room with a family member who is a male.
- Ensure that your domestic worker has adequate space and privacy. The best way to administer this is to provide a separate room for your domestic worker.
Once your maid feels comfortable, she will be able to focus more on carrying out the duties given to her.
She might even be more motivated to keep the house clean as it feels like her second home.
Helpful read: Cost of Hiring a Domestic Helper
2. Tell her your expectations
Your maid is not a mind reader because if she could read minds, she would not be working in this profession.
State your expectations of her from the start clearly to avoid any misalignment of expectations in the future.
The most optimum method to deliver your expectations to her is to write it down on a list in a simplified manner. Doing this will make life easier for both you and your maid as she can simply refer to the list if she happens to forget any of the stated tasks.
Valuable time and effort will also be saved in the process as you do not need to indulge in the perfunctory task of reminding her of her duties daily.
However, you should still be there to guide her along the way, especially if she requires further clarifications. This will reduce the occurrence of potential conflicts between you and your helper with regards to expectation differences.
To make things easier, both you and your maid can agree upon a working contract. The contract may contain terms from this simple checklist:
- Employment period
- Duties to perform
- Working hours per day
- Off days
- Household rules
- Meal arrangements
- Medical expenses and leave
- Use of phone
- Conditions for termination of the contract
3. Lead by example
Every household has its own set of house rules. Thus, you should not set unrealistic standards on your helper and expect her to reach those standards magically. What you can do in this situation is to lead by example.
Show her how you would like each household chore to be carried out. Demonstrating the do’s and don’ts to her is more effective than simply telling her verbally.
This will allow her to adapt to her new working environment in a shorter period of time. Furthermore, your maid will appreciate the gesture of you leading by example.
It means that you are not expecting her to complete tasks that even you are unable to complete. Check out this list of directory of maid agencies in Singapore.
4. Encourage her to communicate with you
Communication is the key and foundation basis for all forms of relationships – talking to your maid is a simple yet effective way to bond with her.
This helps to clear any doubts or issues that she may have regarding any household rules. Most domestic workers usually take some time to open up as they may still be getting used to their new working environment.
Do not assume that everything is fine just because your maid did not raise an issue or problem.
Instead, you should take the initiative and encourage your maid to voice her concerns. Assuring her that you can be her confidant, for not only professional reasons but also personal ones, will forge a closer and stronger bond between both of you.
Always remember that English may not be your maid’s first language and that your language might be too profound or abstract for her to understand at times, especially since most Singaporeans are used to speaking ‘Singlish’ at home.
Therefore, you must have patience while you relay any form of instructions to her. You can even teach your helper a few ‘Singlish’ phrases as time goes on. This will make her life easier when she has to visit the market to buy groceries for her family.
5. Build trust with your maid
If she makes mistakes or fails to perform specific duties, refrain from scolding her. Instead, you should try to talk to her privately.
A good rule of thumb is this: Treat your maid like how you would want your employer to treat you! Refrain from scolding her for her wrongdoings immediately. You have the option of helping her to realise and correct her mistakes in a more tactful manner.
Also, giving your maid some personal time and space by allowing her to leave the house during her off days conveys a sense of trust in her. This shows your maid that you trust her in making wise decisions during her time off.
Greater trust will strengthen your relationship with her.
6. Respect her privacy
At times, it may be easy to forget that your maid is also a human with feelings. As such, your maid should be entitled to keep her personal belongings with her. These include her financial and travel documents, such as her bank book and passport.
‘Confiscating’ her banking documents on the grounds of safekeeping would not only result in a sense of distrust between you and your maid, but it might distract her from carrying out her daily chores competently. Without the assurance that one is being paid for their service and work, your maid might not be able to focus on her work.
Retaining ownership of their bank account is very important to domestic workers. It is their only way of sending remittance to their families back in their home countries. You should always try to give your maid her privacy whenever it is appropriate.
Similarly, you should also ask your helper to respect your privacy in return. For instance, she should be prohibited from looking at or touching personal document of you and your family without your permission. Respecting privacy will only be successful if it is mutual.
Helpful read: Commonly Asked Questions When Hiring Maids In Singapore
7. Reward her
It is human nature to want to feel appreciated. Showing a token of appreciation for her works can go a long way. You can make her feel your appreciation by rewarding her when she has done an excellent job.
Rewards can take the form of monetary, such as monthly bonuses, or an extra day off during the week. It does not necessarily have to manifest in the form of financial rewards – even the smallest and most heartfelt gesture, such as a simple home-cooked meal can be done.
When your maid recognises your gratitude for her, she would be motivated to be more consistent in her work. She might even go the extra mile to care for you and your family as a result of that.
Rewarding your maid will also provide a sense of satisfaction in completing her chores. As a result, there will be a higher level of productivity in your household.
8. Involve her in family outings
Finally, for your maid to truly feel part of the family, you should try to include her in your family gatherings or outings. Having a whale of a time in family outings can be the perfect opportunity for your maid to bond with everyone!
Of course, it will also be a blessing to have an extra pair of hands available during family outings in the park. You will be glad that your maid is there with you when your kids decide to run a marathon around the park that day.
You should also make it a point to celebrate your maid’s birthday along with the birthdays of your family members. This will undoubtedly cultivate a sense of belonging in her with your family.
Treat her as if she is a valued member of your family, and soon she will reciprocate and integrate herself as your family’s helper. Integrating your maid into your family also goes a long way in minimising potential disputes and conflicts in the relationship.
Your relationship with your maid is directly related to her productivity and efficiency. It also creates a more positive living environment for everyone in your household, including her. Maintaining a positive relationship with your maid will make it easier for her to love working under your household more. She might even come to see your family members as her own.
Having a strong relationship with your maid can prove to be worthwhile even after her contract with you expires. Long term benefits, such as her volunteering to be your tour guide if you were to visit her country, can be reaped from a good relationship. Despite not working for you anymore, she would still be ecstatic to be your caretaker once again.
Needless to say, there are many positive benefits to be reaped from building a better relationship with your maid!
It is never too late to build a better relationship with your maid. Start today!
Find Reliable Maid Agencies in Singapore
Homees provides a list of the best maid agencies in Singapore. If you are looking for maid agencies to match your personalised requirements, you can contact Homees for a more quick and fuss-free experience.
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