feedback, the lifeblood of service

Anyone working in your home is counting on you to give feedback, a sense of belonging, and respect. As a former veteran of the corporate business world for 20 years, I have learned that working in Corporate America is very different than working with someone at home. Anyone I was working for or who worked for me had plenty of peers, colleagues, mentors and advisors. There were always group meetings, processes and systems to help us do our job well. All tools and techniques were available at our disposal to help us efficiently do what needed to be done. The entire organization effectively integrated our positions, and nurtured us as employees.

In the nanny world, everything operates very differently, and when someone works for you at your home it entirely revolves around you. Nannies, homemakers, child care professionals, chefs, and personal assistants look to you for support, feedback, advice and a sense of belonging. Even if they are fully experienced, professional and competent to do the job, these child care and elder care professionals need a personal or social connection to feel that they are doing a good job, and to personally feel good. This is an example of a basic human need which is often overlooked in the personal assistant world.

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As a parent and homeowner, I have sat down and had a glass of wine with my housekeeper from New Rochelle, NY, and shared stories about her children, despite her having poor language skills. My housekeeper will jump through hoops for me, not because I pay her an outrageous compensation, but because of the respect and warmth I offer to her. All of the service providers that come to the LifeWorx office receive a warm welcome, a cup of coffee and a chance to sit down and chat. Every professional we hire is the best available in their selective field, and we want to make sure they know it and receive positive praise and attention from us. We want them to know it, feel it, and live it.

However, getting too involved with the help in your home may take you down a path that is beyond your comfort zone. Fifteen years ago, my amazing housekeeper had issues about her daughter, ex-husband, church life and career. She would share these stories with me; even after I came home from a long day of work and wanted to relax. I would listen and make a few comments, but I never once told her that I do not have time to hear her share her life experiences with me. Sometimes her daughter would even come along to my house and spend time with us in my house. All of this was a small yet essential part of a creating a good home environment for the housekeeper. As a result of listening to my housekeeper share what was going on in her life, she was ultimately a better and more productive worker. Because I was so receptive to her, she was more receptive to hearing about duties and pending projects in the house that needed to be completed. A little act of kindness goes a long way, especially when we remember to treat others as we would like to be treated.

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