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How to create a happy employer and helper relationship

  1. #9
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung
    ok.... i think we all need to back down.

    as i said in a previous post, like mothering, we each do the best we can by our own families and situations. these situations are different for everyone.

    i don't think that ANYONE here is trying to do bad by their helper. i hope that we each treat them the way we would want to be treated. (again, this would be different for everyone.)

    lets all agree to live and let live. if there's nothing of use to add to the thread, stop.

    as for how i've built a solid relationship with my helper:
    1) only ask of her what i would be willing to do myself
    2) try to offer assistance/advice when asked. when not, butt out (i actually AM able to do that, believe it or not.)
    3) respect the HUGE contribution she makes to our family
    4) ensure my own children treat her with the respect she deserves
    5) remember that without her, i wouldn't be able to do the work that i do and hubby wouldn't be able to do the work that he does
    6) not get jealous of the love my children have for her. remember that the more people who love and cherish my children, the better off they are.
    7)remember how lucky we are to be able to have a helper and not have to resort to daycare

    more concrete things:
    1) given her more holidays than is mandated by law
    2) invited her husband over on 3 occasions to come and stay with us (he works in saudi arabia)
    3) in the process of trying to hire him so they can be together after 20 years of marriage
    4) invited her son to hk for christmas
    5) provided her with a proper bedroom that also has a tv and dvd player
    6) invited her friends for a bbq that i prepared
    7) given her money to buy her friends lunch on sunday (they went shopping and decided what to cook and one lady made a special meal for them all~ i think it fed 8 people!)
    8) gone into the local filipino shop and had my kids pick out special snacks and a magazine for her just to say thank you
    9)when we moved to an area with terrible mobile reception, had a landline installed for her, which i pay for
    10)always back her up when my m-i-l is scolding her for doing precisely what i asked her to do

  2. #10
    LeahH is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Hong Kong, Mid Levels
    All of the above advice is great. Additionally:

    We call each other by our first names - no Sir/Mam

    When we are going out on weekday nights/weekends we give them at least a day's notice (more if we can) and always ask if they are able to babysit. Of course they have hardly ever said no, but on occasion they have had important evenings scheduled (baptism/leaving parties etc.) and we have amended our plans - give and take.

    We have a white board for messages in the kitchen. We write key things down so they aren't forgotten, as do they - it has definitely meant less misunderstandings!

    Be sensitive to the fact they are a long way from home and family - they have access to our home computer and landline to keep in contact with friends.

    Ensure my kids respect them as caregivers and figures of authority, not 'servants'. When we are not around, their word is law. As they get older, they will be asked to tidy their own rooms etc. and put toys away themselves. Absolutely they will carry their own school bags - my pet hate is seeing helpers burdened down with multiple heavy school bags walking 5 paces behind children perfectly able to carry their own stuff

    Empower them - they do the shopping independently and plan meals, with my input as required. Value that contribution - I consistently tell them what a load off my mind not worrying about meals and shopping is!

    I regularly ask for their advice with regard to the kids - they see them day in day out (sadly more than I do when I am working) so before I decide on a course of action or discipline, I check with them that we are all on the same page.

    Really thank them for doing the truly horrible jobs (e.g. our dog threw up on the bed last night and cleaning it can't have been pleasant).

    These ones are finances permitting of course:

    We installed the Philippino channel in their room (we hear lots of laughter at night as they watch their favorite programmes)

    Instead of paying for one flight home, we brought my helpers daughter and husband over for a holiday in our house while we went away for 2 weeks. Often helpers have mixed feelings about going home as their extended family put their hands out for money and it can not be much of a 'holiday'. This way her husband and daughter got to understand a little of her life here and had a nice holiday alone together.

  3. #11
    Bumps Guest
    Carang I really love the idea of going into a local filipino shop to get some treats.... or to even take them there! I have not seen one in Hong Kong. Which one do you go to? Yes, lets bring it back on track!

  4. #12
    aussiegal is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Do you mean complimented or complemented?

  5. #13
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung
    there are usually little shops dotted around hk. we live in sai kung and there must be 3 or 4. my kids LOVE to be able to pick out special treats for her and she really appreciates that we do it. my kids not only pick out the treats but when we get home, they each give them to her and say,
    "thank you for taking good care of our family etc"

    as a matter of fact, when we were teaching the kids about various occupations, we taught exactly that...she takes good care of our family.

    we dont' do the sir/ma'am thing either... we do first names as well.
    Last edited by carang; 06-30-2009 at 05:34 PM.

  6. #14
    Bumps Guest
    LeahH - I love your post too. I also do the whiteboard idea - it really helps - we even do jokes or drawings ... which is funny.

    We have a facebook account that her family is included in and we post to them regularly with photos.

    I mark down dates in my diary that are important to her such as her mothers birthday, her father's anniversary, her anniversary with her partner. i put the appropriate ones on the board, help her send gifts off and send one of my own, understand the need for time and space on certain days and make her particular days special - such as birthday/ anniversary.On her birthday and anniversary she has a half day and I book her into have a massage. Our treat.

  7. #15
    Bumps Guest
    Black goes with white, yes?

  8. #16
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung
    we've always tried to give our helper her birthday off as well. and usually $500 to get something for herself...

    we also had her friend (who lives on the other side of hk, where we used to live) come to spend the night at our house. i bought them some shandys and rented a movie they wanted to see and they were happy to hang out but too shy to do it in the living room.
    Last edited by carang; 06-30-2009 at 05:46 PM.

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