IF ONE CAN AFFORD OR BE PRIVILEGED to have help at home of any kind such as house-keepers, maids, cooks and drivers, at no extra cost they also become our greatest teachers of people management skills, way beyond what one can learn by way of management degree or the experiences at the workplace.
They are best teachers for every aspect of people skills needed across all HR functions throughout an employee lifecycle. Let’s see how.
Starting with sourcing of these profiles is the first lesson in safe, cost-effective recruitment. Typically, you let a few close friends, relatives or colleagues know that you are looking for help. Going to an agency is usually a result of our inability to find the right profile through the network. Albeit in a very colloquial way without any help from the employee handbook of procedures and policies, the very first meeting with a potential hire helps the uninitiated learn and establish the essential of role clarity, work hours, total compensation, bonus and incentives if any. It is also the first time that one wakes up the reality of associated risks of such hiring and therefore key elements of risk mitigation and a draft process to follow if the first candidate does not get the offer.
A cook or a driver while servicing a four member household is more than a university to teach every key concept of resource management, process management, internal communication, customer and employee satisfaction. They can expose all our weaknesses around reporting structure, key processes and procedures, delivery obligations, money, effort and time management.
Nobody can train us better in our ability to set expectations, the art of extracting appreciation from the boss and the correct way to reprimand. Above all for those willing to learn, these gurus will expose our minds to the accommodating, accepting and fair treatment of fellow humans and while doing all this, they also teach us humility to understand what it takes to excel in the workplace especially in the services sector. Our personal staff is the absolute and final authority in teaching management of challenges of the one employee – many bosses environment.
They are the best and beyond the 36th chamber of Shaolin in teaching us the impact of sickness-absenteeism, poor performance and employee attrition.
While all of us have unique schizoid ability to behave somewhat differently at home and in workplace, our personal staff will seamlessly blur that gap.
The takeaway from all this is very simple, if we manage, engage and retain our personal staff very well, we are automatically best equipped to getting our teams to deliver well at the workplace.
Their(our personal staff) fearless acknowledgement of us being a “good boss” will always outweigh our pride in them.7