This post is on your request. You wanted me to share my staff time table with you all. As you might have noticed that my own daily time table hasn’t specified any cooking or household stuff in it. It is because I’ve delegated that work to my staff. I just manage it, giving me time for stuff that I love to do, and which they can’t do. I learnt that long ago. When my children were small, I realized that my husband wanted the food to be served on time, that’s all. He wasn’t particular that I should cook it myself. I was more particular about taking care of my children myself. So, the rest of the work, I’d delegate as much as was possible.
Here are the ways in which I delegated. I’ll share the time table I made for them. Don’t worry, I had ways to share with my illiterate staff too. Just stay tuned.
Tips on staff management:
First thing I learnt about staff management after my marriage was from my mother-in-law, ‘Shireen, you must train your batman (in forces that is what we called a full time domestic help), to cook a dish and serve it to you, if you are busy inside or outside your home, and cannot cook that day.’ In those days I used to do all the cooking myself.
Second thing I learnt was from my friend Zahida. She and her husband visited me in Samungli, Quetta, and I went into the kitchen to guide my helper about laying the trolly and bringing snacks in.
When I returned to my friend, she said,
‘If you have to stand on your servant’s head watching how he does the work you have instructed him to do, then it is no use. You might as well do it yourself. The whole point of delegating work is to be able to do something else at that time. If you can’t, then it isn’t worth it.’
It made so much sense.
Third thing was from my friend Seema Iftekhar, she would get the Officer’s Mess Cook to come and cook some fancy dishes for her to keep in her freezer or cook occasionally for her. I loved that. I mean we can’t afford to keep a highly qualified cook, but we can have him for an hour or two. Many times that is enough.
In this way you offer excellent food for your family, cooked by professionals.
Hiring and firing:
- Keep a person who is recommended, by someone you know, or is reliable source. Speak to previous owner, if possible.
- He or she has a proper CNIC card. Check it, and keep a photocopy of it. If they tell any tall stories of its unavailability. DROP THAT PERSON AT ONCE.
- Register that person with local police. (Even if he or she is part-time.)
- Keep their phone number as well as the one of some close relative also. Check it too.
- Know where he/she lives, in the current town.
- Clarify the work clearly. Ideally, even if you keep a person for a certain piece of work, tell them from the outset that it is a home, so it is possible you may have to do some other things also, within that time-slot.
- Usually, it is best to talk about time, and emphasize that it may be other chores too, depending on the situation.
- Do not specify leaves, as it may become complicated later on. But always be fair. Be clear about timings.
- Part timers: If you have more than one, restrict each one to do a specific piece of work. Otherwise, if something isn’t done, everyone will blame the other. So, it must be clear that if a plant has got damaged, it is the gardener who is to blame. In the same way, it would be inside the house too. Each person fully responsible for a piece of work.
- You fire a staff member if he/she is taking your peace of mind from your own home, continuously.
- Give a chance and a warning once or twice. After that make a smooth change.
- If you fire suddenly, then give one extra month’s pay.
- Keep, and fire with respect and dignity.
- Let go with gifts. (If you can do it, it is best.) – that is how Allah has instructed us to divorce your spouse. Why not fire a helper like that too?
Home staff management tips:
- Job description and expectations must be clarified at the outset. A staff member must know exactly what you expect from him/her. The quality of work has to be clarified within the first week.
- The Speak to them with respect and make sure they respect you, and wish you properly on entering the home. At the same time, they leave after asking your permission. (Depends on your situation.)
- Clarify the time constraints with them clearly. A time, acceptable to both.
- Pay them properly at a rate mutually acceptable. If you can’t afford, then make a smaller time slot, (as I did with the cook.)
- When you give them a chore to do, give them proper guidance, also answer any questions.
- Make a time table, and let the person read it, or explain it to you. Update time table regularly. In case of a completely illiterate staff member, make a chart with pictures and drawings.
- Your regular staff must be able to use WhatsApp properly, so he can share pictures if needed. Find out how educated he or she is. Let him use his abilities properly.
- Get a tutor for your staff who can teach them Holy Quran with meaning, and other basic subjects like: English, Urdu, Math, and Science.
- Provide them clothes, and food in a graceful way. Never make them sit on the floor to eat. Provide proper table and chairs in kitchen so they can eat comfortably.
- Make random checks, or supervise. If a problem is occurring too often, then change it, address it.
- Leave policy: Make fair rules for time-off and holidays. (Paid and unpaid leave; e.g. two months’ paid holidays in a year for full time staff. Specially if their family isn’t with them.
Here is the current time table. Usually, you add time slots too. My staff is very tuned-in now, they know what to do, and when.
Here is a sample:
Staff Weekly time table:
|Asad (General work + driver) Full time.||Faraz (Helper of mother & cook) Full time.||Maid (Cleaning) (3 hours, daily)||Gardener (one hour daily)|
|Monday||Breakfast: Boiled egg, toast, cheese, & tea. Onion juice for hair. Clean car from inside and outside. Have porch washed. Wash /clean car properly. Dust/ clean porch, chairs and windows of porch, lounge. Dust office /studio daily. Ironing of Madam’s clothes. (before 5 pm.)||Cook lunch: vegetable with meat. (Palak)and roties. Tea and dinner is simple and almost the same. Any changes are communicated. Dust Lounge, dining room, Drawing room.Clean and dust Begum Sarfaraz room well every day. Iron her clothes, and keep organized.||Clean Ground floor. Front porch. 3 Wash room tiles. Pets bowls.||Front lawn. (inside the house,) godi, clean flower pots. Clean side area properly. Indoor plants water.|
|Tuesday||Breakfast: aumlet, toast, butter, & tea. Check clean fans, cobwebs etc. GF, Clean car Clean windows. Clean motorcycle. Clean basement windows.||Cook: Daal and boiled rice. Grated chips. Fruit salad. Clean windows of begum Sarfaraz room, Clean kitchen cabinets. Lower cabinets. Ironing of Mrs. Sarfaraz’s clothes.||Clean basement. Kitchen, bedrooms. Bathrooms. Outside basement area also. Stairs to basement inside and outside.||Lawn (front) outside Spray all palms and water them too if needed. Weeding of all flowerpots.|
|Wednesday||Breakfast: Boiled egg, toast, cheese, & tea. Clean car and bench. Check clean fans, Basement. Polish furniture. Linen cupboard .||Cook: Curry & boiled rice. Remove things from table tops and clean.Tidy up Drawers of dining room.||Ground floor cleaning. Wash any carpets.||Side lawn outside. Clean and godi of all plants. Trim bougainvillea properly|
|Thursday||Breakfast: fried egg, toast, cheese, & tea. Onion juiceClean windows. Ground floor Cheese banani hai. Clean masala containers properly.||Cook: Kofta curry with fried rice. Clean upper cabinets of kitchen.||Wash all dustbins. Ground floor rooms. (all)||Roof and sides of house. Indoor flower pots godi, and watering.|
|Friday||Breakfast: small paratha , fried egg, & tea. Clean windows / fans of Basement. Clean /tidy kitchen shelves.||Cook : Liver with roti, salad, Weekly/monthly grocery shopping.Fruit and vegetable shopping.||Basement rooms, basement stairs.||Trim hedges. Branches of bougenvilla.|
|Saturday||Breakfast: Boiled egg, toast, cheese, & tea. Clean garden chairs, and tiles outside with maali. Make bread and rolls. (dabal roti)Clean kitchen drawers.||Cook: Chicken corn soup. Chinese rice and menchurin. Or chicken roast. Put paint tins for AC outlets. Clean them. Clean all dustbins Clean back yard properly.||Ground floor and outside: porch, and outside gate area.||Godi of all flower pots. Remove from walls and add manure to flower pots .|
|Sunday||Breakfast: toast , cheese and bananas or tomatoes. Clean your own clothes and room Clean your wash basin & wash room properly daily .||Cook or bring: Halwa & poories. Clean your own clothes and room Clean/wash your bath room properly, daily.||During pre Corona days, we often invited someone for brunch.|
|sort lined etc.|
You have to share the staff information with the nearest police station. Yours and your family’s security must never be jeopardized due to presence of staff in your home. Therefore, never involve them in personal and private matters.
Stay blessed and protected. 🙂