- If you are a great employer, chances are you have good communication with your house help and they inform you when or if they will be coming back after the festive season.
- Unfortunately, some house-helps do not give any notice and may leave you 'hanging' in January without any household support.
If you are the typical Kenyan, living the typical Kenyan lifestyle, then you probably share the same experiences as your fellow Kenyans.
During the festive season, many Kenyans give their house-helps time to also go home and spend time with their families.
But as January operations resume and we start to go back to work after the holiday, we also expect that they will return.
If you are a great employer, chances are you have good communication with your house help and they inform you when or if they will be coming back after the festive season.
Unfortunately, some house-helps do not give any notice and may leave you 'hanging' in January without any household support.
The struggle to find a new one in time as normalcy resumes can also be very frustrating and challenging.
In case you have found yourself in the midst of frantically searching for house help in January, these are some of the top things to consider:
1. Do a background check.
As much as you may be in a hurry to find someone to help in running your household, make sure to do a background check on them.
First things first, are they over 18 years? Do they have a National ID to prove that?
You don't want to have a minor as an employee lest you stop being an employee and end up being an incarcerated individual.
Whether you are looking for one in an agency or you're cousin from upcountry is recommending a neighbour of theirs from back home, you need to know as much as possible about your house help.
This could also come in handy in case you need to trail them after they, say, disappear after they say they have gone on their monthly leave.
Also, it is good to know the people you trust to take care of home affairs.
2. Do you want them young or older?
A good question to ask yourself is whether you want your house help to be young or a bit older.
Some people may feel that if they are older, they are more mature, skilled in managing household affairs and might be easier to handle in terms of an employee-employer relationship.
Others, however, feel that younger house helps may be more energetic and their youth may have a naivety that makes them less stubborn.
Whichever one you might think is the best fit for you and your family may be what determines if they stay longer with you.
3. Salary demands.
One of the most contentious issues in a house-help and employer relationship is the salary.
In case your house-help is yet to return from her vacation now, you might consider the possibility that she is not coming back.
The reason? It's probably her wages.
Before getting house help, make sure they understand that you have a budget and that you too understand what they expect for their wages.
When you agree on how much, when, and how they will be receiving their salary and other intricacies of the job, make sure you follow through.
Did you agree to them doing specific duties and a time comes when you ask them to do more?
Did you agree to increase their wages after a certain period?
Have an open relationship with them so that they can be able to tell you when they are dissatisfied with the job.
4. Don't get too attached.
If January has not taught you yet, then you must know that you cannot get too attached to your house help.
Perhaps she is not even dissatisfied with the job but she just wants to transition into other jobs.
Or, she decides to give you some lessons in character development and leaves one day when you are at work and packing some of your belongings in the suitcase that you bought them.
You should always keep your options open just in case something unexpected happens.
Perhaps if you rely on a house help agency or bureau, you can have their contacts just in case you need someone urgently.
But then again, make sure you consider these tips when you just have to find a house help right there and then.