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How to Train Household Staff and Retain Them

How to Train Household Staff and Retain Them

When you hire new household staff, you cannot expect them to know exactly what you want or how you want it done. Even though you may have covered some of the job requisites during the interview process, you still need to develop an effective household staff training plan.

The purpose of your training plan is to ensure your household staff is trained to your specifications. The staff you hired will typically have had previous experience for the position they were hired to fill. However, their expertise is also directly related to what their former employers required, not necessarily what you want or expect them to do.

Establish clear and concise goals and objectives for each position.

Before you can train your household staff, you need to have clear and concise goals and objectives. Without these, your staff will not know what you expect or when you want tasks to be done.

You should create a new staff training plan with goals and objectives for each position. Make a list of what job tasks and duties you want the staffer to take care of and how often. For example, with a housekeeper, it is not uncommon to have them make the beds daily and change bedding once or twice a week. You need to make sure your new housekeeper understands these expectations.

Provide the necessary tools and equipment needed to perform job duties.

You need to make sure your household staff has access to the right tools and equipment needed to perform their job duties. For instance, if your housekeeper is expected to sweep, mop, and dust, you need to make sure he or she has access to a vacuum cleaner, mop, and dusting cloths, as well as the appropriate cleaning products.

Spend time training and working with your staff one-on-one.

The best way to ensure your staff is meeting your expectations is to spend time with them. When you are training your staff, let them know how you want the tasks completed. Show them where tools and equipment are located that they will need to do their jobs. Provide them with a printed schedule of what tasks and duties to perform, how often, and when.

It also is helpful to provide constructive feedback about how they are performing. Feedback is essential to let your staff know what they are doing right, what areas need improvement, and where they are lacking.

Rely on existing staff for household staff training.

If you already have someone in the same position, it is acceptable to have them train the new employee to your standards. For example, you may have a housekeeper and decided to hire another one because there is just too much work for one person. You could have your existing housekeeper be responsible for daily training and assigned job duties.

For larger households, you could designate the training to a trusted household manager or personal assistant who is familiar with what you want and require for various household staff positions. Just remember to still spend some time with the new employee to ensure the employee you designated has trained the new staffer to your specifications.

Schedule regular reviews with your household staff.

Chambermaid in uniform teaching trainee indoors

Performance reviews at set intervals help prevent potential problems and issues, as well as address any that you have noticed. Ideally, you would want to conduct monthly reviews with new employees during their first six months in your employ. For existing household staff, reviews should be either quarterly or bi-annually.

Address performance issues when you notice them.

You do not have to wait until a review to address performance issues. It is best to address these as soon as you notice them. By acting now, you can resolve issues before they get out of hand.

Let’s assume you have a housekeeper who is not completing his or her tasks on time. You would not want to wait to address this performance issue until a formal review. Rather, you would want to discuss the matter with the employee and find out why they are not completing their tasks on time.

They may have a valid reason, such as there is too much for one person to complete in the time given. Once you find out the reason why, then make adjustments as needed if necessary. In some cases, the employee may not have known they were supposed to complete specific tasks if they were not trained correctly.

Review your policies and procedures with your employees.

You will want to take time to go over any policies and procedures you have in place with new employees when they start their new jobs. It is also beneficial to review these with your employees during performance reviews if you notice they are not following them.

Some types of policies and procedures you may want to implement could include:

  • Dress Codes – You may have expectations of what your employees should wear while working to fit their specific job duties and roles.
  • Sick Days – You need to let staffers know how to inform you when they will be sick and not able to work.
  • Time Off – You will need to have a policy in place on how your employees should request time off.
  • Excessive Property Damage – You need to have a policy in place on how to address excessive property damage.
  • Missing Property – You need to have a procedure established that addresses what will occur if any property goes missing.
  • Being Late to Work – You want to verify your employees understand the importance of being on time for work and what they need to do when they are late. Your policy might include verbal and written warnings, leading to termination for excessive tardiness.

Praise household staff for doing a job well done.

A few kind words of praise and encouragement go a long way to keeping your household staff motivated. You can easily put a smile on one of your employees’ faces by simply telling them you were impressed with how well they did a particular task or how fast they completed it and thanking them for their commitment to your household.

Enable your household staff to take initiative.

It is worthwhile to encourage your household staff to take initiative and resolve problems and issues on their own when they occur. Yet, you need to define various situations when you should be notified first.

For example, you may want to know when something needs to be fixed or repaired that will cost over a certain dollar amount—like the dishwasher. For other general maintenance and repairs under this amount, you might expect your household staff to take care of it without involving you—like replacing burnt-out lightbulbs.

Reward your household staff when they go above and beyond.

Surprising an employee with a reward, like extra time off, a bonus, or some other reward when they go above and beyond their job duties and functions, lets them know how much you appreciate their efforts. You can also reward existing staff when there is a vacancy that could result in a promotion for them. Some people also give their staff a new title or a raise when bringing in new employees, to let them know they are still valued.

Replace staff when they are not working out or meeting your expectations.

Business man admires young Asian business woman

Sometimes, you will hire someone who initially you felt would be a good fit for your household and existing staff. Yet, after working for a while, you quickly discover there are performance issues or other problems where they are finding it difficult to meet your expectations.

It is perfectly acceptable to let them go. When you do, let them know why, so they can use the feedback as a learning experience and grow from it.

By using these household staff training tips, you will find the right employees to fulfill your household staffing needs and remain in your employ for years to come.

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