So, you’ve hired outside assistance. Either your laundry is piling up, you have dust bunnies under your bed, your plants need watering or your children need some stimulation. We have all been there; we need more time in the day. Working full time, having children and maintaining a house is not an easy task. And gone are the days of your other half coming home from work, cracking a beer while you whip up dinner, fold laundry and get the kids lunches made for the next day. This is 2013! We live in the now, which means that everyone pulls their weight. Which also means that we all take on too much and work really hard.
Sanity? That is about to go out the window. Enter side door: Hiring help!
Nanny, Housekeeper, Dog-walker, Driver, Landscaper or PA.
It is extremely important to enter into this agreement as a professional. First and foremost, have a contract. This should detail everything from job description, rates of pay and length. Whether you mean to or not, people tend to forget that all these jobs are hard work. If we couldn’t or didn’t want to handle it, why should someone else be able to do it blindfolded while juggling?
Put yourself in their shoes. Do not expect the impossible. If you can’t vacuum the house, with a child on each hip, have the kitchen clean, dog walked and bills paid, why should someone else be able to?
Clear communication – your expectations should be set out from the beginning. You as a customer or employer and the one doing a service for your family. This means regular meetings of what seems to be working and what is missing. It is all in the way that you present a topic on how someone will respond. By being calm, confident and friendly can make a situation turn from good to ugly in 2 seconds.
Be Respectful – The old saying ‘Treat others as you want to be treated’ rings true still today. Be kind. Be friendly. Be sincere. Speak to them the way you wish to be spoken to. Do not talk down, do not berate and do not ask someone to do something you wouldn’t or couldn’t do. You can knock someone’s self esteem down a notch by saying or demanding the wrong thing.
We often lose track with our busy lives and start to think of our employees or contractors as the ‘Hired Help’. Key is – remember they are human; they have feelings and you owe it to them and yourself to treat them with the utmost respect. Because after all, do you want to be known in your neighbourhood as the “Monster Boss who everyone is scared of doesn’t want to work for’?
I know I don’t.