Here is Some Help to Manage Domestic Help

Getting a new job, moving into a new home or starting married life could be too much to bear at some point in our lives. So having someone reliable and trustworthy to help with your domestic day to day responsibilities can be a real stress reliever.

Here are the things that you could do to manage your new domestic helper

Be Helpful

A new place and new people can be very overwhelming even if the person has bags of experience. If they are a novice, things could be a little too much to bear so be helpful and walk them through your home and grounds. Only you know what you want so be the guide.

Start simple with setting a daily routine for your helper. If they can read and write, make a weekly timetable so that they can refer to it from time to time. If you prefer some tasks done a certain way, show them the same way. Also, explain how often you want certain household chores to be done and give guidance on how to use the household appliances and cleaning tools.


A good welcome and introduction starts with proper communication and reasonable expectations. So do tell the person your expectations. Not everything in one go but bit by bit, as they settle in. And encourage them to communicate with you. You can’t rely on someone to do a task if they are not 100% clear on what they have to do.

Remember, you cannot blame your helper if you fail to orient them well in the first place. So communicate. It will set the tone for the rest of their work life with you and will help them to adjust as quickly as possible.

Get to Know Them

We all like to separate business and pleasure but, your helper falls under a different category. Get to know them. Getting to know those who work with and for you on a personal level is one of the quickest ways to solidify your foundations. Learn about their families, likes & dislikes, and hobbies through informal talks and ultimately you will know what drives them as a person.

You can break the ice by sharing names of family members, by sharing their little quirks, personal boundaries and habits.

Build Trust

Give them full reign when they are home alone. Which means tell them the basic house rules and practices to follow, such as not to open the doors to unknown people. Also to knock on doors first and asking permission to enter a room. You should also give them a reliable number on which to reach you. And make sure they are able to call you.

If they do not have a phone; buy them a simple one and limit the use of their mobile phone to when they are working at your home and for emergencies. If they have their own phone, do not encourage the use of it during their work hours. You might want to ask them to switch it off or keep it on silent.

Trust goes both ways so lead by example and be reliable with your own commitment to your helper. When you say you will do something, do it. And do give consistent and constructive feedback on all the tasks done so that they know if they have done a good job.

If you do not like your domestic helper or the work done, do not become abusive; verbally or physically. Try to deal with them with patience or you will get into trouble with the law.

Paying attention builds trust and shows you value others.

Reward Them

Once in a while perhaps you may want to reward your helper for the good work done and help rendered, in small ways, or incentives like an offer for a small loan, a day off, or a small gift.

Treating your domestic helper well and fairly will only benefit you and yours. It is always worth it to make their employment a happy and fair one. And do know that sometimes a reward can be as simple as getting them involved in family outings or celebrations.

Above all be patient and understanding. And do contact the labor office for more information on your legal obligations so you do not break any laws.


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The founder, editor and lead writer who left university with a good grasp of public administration, economics, money, banking and international relations is also qualified in journalism and creative writing. She has been published in Drum and The BBC Focus on Africa Magazine and has been featured in several local and international publications.
An avid bird watcher with an extraordinary fondness for chikanda ( a Zambian delicatessen that vegans and non-vegans world-wide are putting on their bucket list ) she often tweets in poetry and short prose @kwachalelo