Getting it right from the start ; New to Singapore ? never had a Maid ? advice and tips when hiring and training your Maid in order to ensure a committed and helpful realationship.

One of the highlights of life is Singapore is having a maid in your home. Having a person who cleans, shops, cooks and baby-sits six days a week can indeed make a real difference to one’s quality of life.

Hence, it is important to hire the right person and create an environment that fosters harmonious and mutually beneficial relations. Browsing through expats’ forums and listening to expats, you can’t help but feeling overwhelmed by stories of negative experiences. So what can you do to avoid these pitfalls and hopefully find the right person?

Maids are usually requested to perform three kinds of duties: cleaning, cooking and looking after children. Before interviewing, you may want to ask yourself the following questions: looking at my family culture, style and current priorities, what kind of personality and skills are most important to us? Do you wish to favour somebody who is a ‘cordon bleu’? Or rather an experienced nanny for your toddlers? In terms of personality, would you prefer a young or older person? Somebody bubbly and chatty or rather with a discrete quiet energy? Is her command of English very important to you?

Once you have interviewed and feel you have found somebody you connect with, it is crucial to check several references carefully.

Once the helper has settled in your home, it is not uncommon for cultural misunderstandings to occur. She probably comes from neighboring countries where cultures and ways of life vary considerably from yours. In this respect, training your employee is key. From the very start, be clear about boundaries and spend some time explaining how your family functions and how you like things done. In some instances, this early process can be frustrating but taking the time at the beginning will pay off in the long run.

Having a full-time maid at home may also require some adjustment from family members and it may be important to explain children how to treat her and show her total respect. And having a helper does not mean that children have to stop doing house chores!

You may also introduce regular reviews when you sit together and share how things are going on both sides. This is a good opportunity to communicate at a deeper level and express feelings and concerns if any. In this case, start by showing appreciation for all the good work done and share the specific things that you feel need improvement. You may wish to look together for appropriate solutions.

And when things do work well overall, be grateful that you benefit from this so precious help!

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