In this day and age where we always read or hear yaya horror stories, I’d imagine that every parent are very careful on finding the right person in taking care of their children. I was talking to a friend a couple of weeks ago and she mentioned that our family are very blessed with the yayas that we hire. But I believe that it isn’t just us who are blessed, we are also blessed to have them. Just like what works in employees and their employers, it usually is team work. But if I would describe Nayj and I’s method with our yayas, we are very patient, kind and very considerate with them especially if they are the types of people who are worth keeping because of the quality of their work.
Before I go into detail, I’d like to say that this how-to was based on how we were able to find and keep our yayas, how we establish our working relationship with them, since we hired them last year. We just experienced one of them leave at the start of the year so what works for us won’t always work for everyone. So, let’s start.
1. Keep the circle small. Accept referrals from people you know. Start with your relatives, your closest friends and even your experienced kasambahay’s referrals. They usually are the ones who are trustworthy and may malasakit to your children. We don’t recommend agencies as I think it should be your last resort. Not to mention the expensive rates!
2. When you start working with them, adjust half way. Just because you are their employer and you are paying them, don’t always expect them to adjust for you. The first few months are quite rough because it’s the “getting to know” stage. Observe where she’s good at, her weakness, how she’d like to be trained or how she prefers to communicate, etc. Then adjust her roles and responsibilities depending on what she can do.
2. If she made a mistake, don’t get mad easily. Instead, teach her the correct way of doing things with your expectations. Don’t always make her feel like she’s a failure. Just like every new employee, she needs training and you should be patient with her learning too. Be open also with their ideas if they recommend a better way of doing things. I believe it should be a two-way learning.
3. Give credit where credit is due. If she deserves a raise, give it! If you cannot afford a raise yet, offer small things that you can buy for her – like a 20 pesos load or a big bottle of shampoo. Praise how good their Adobo or Sinigang, or how nicely they have cleaned the bathroom or how they have taught your kids to do “beautiful eyes” or learn how to smile. Small things matter.
4. Give them their personal time off as you have discussed when you hired them. Be clear about when they should be home on your agreed time. And when they are out, don’t bother them on their day off. No text nor calls unless they aren’t still home from what you have agreed. They deserve to enjoy it since they work almost the entire week for you anyway.
5. Be considerate about their needs, be considerate about their work. Just like you, they also get tired. If they’ve been taking care of your kids the entire day, let them rest after dinner and take care of your own kids naman. Be the one to put them to sleep or consider giving them help on feeding or bathing them to ease the workload whenever you are free or aren’t that tired to do so.
6. Learn their culture, family background, their lifestyle or their love life. The purpose is to know where you think their salaries are going to. Not because you want to pry but because you want to care. You’ll know the importance on giving their salaries on time and their need to take a day off para mag allot ng time mag-pera padala.
7. Let them know their boundaries. They can’t order what they want when you dine out, you do that for them. However, once in a while, its good to give them a treat. Educate them about the language that they use around your kids, what food they should and shouldn’t let them eat. You care but then you should let them know who’s the boss.
8. The good cop and the bad cop. You and your partner should have two roles on how you treat them – the one whom they can always talk to and someone who’s more authoritarian. That way, when you think they no longer listen to you, it’s time for your partner to take charge and talk to them more on a more serious tone on whatever matter you’re having issues with.
9. Make sure you’ve laid out how you are budgeting your money to keep them from doing salary advances or borrowing money from you. If you really have no money to lend them, don’t. You may be the ones paying them but your priority is still your own finances and your family.
10. Treat them like family. Once in a while, take them to out of town trips and let them enjoy when you think you can handle things on your own even just for a few hours. Let them eat what you eat at home, provide their basic needs and talk to them like they are your friend.
Some of you may think that this sounds like it’s very one sided. However, Nayj and I believe that if you treat your yayas good, they would also return the favor. We are also hearing how they’ve been very proud that we are their amo. But then again, this still depends on the person you are hiring.
Now that yaya Joy has left our family early January to return to her own family in Davao, she only had nice things to say about us and we are open for her to return if she wants to. A new yaya will be joining our family in the middle of February (fingers-crossed!) and I am hoping that she’ll be as responsible, very caring to the twins, hindi na kailangan utusan, fast learner and very masipag just like yaya Kristy and yaya Joy.