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  • Hiring Household Staff in Indonesia

    Great advice from "Seasoned Expats" on a wide variety of issues around Hiring Household Staff in Indonesia can be found on our sister site expat.or.id
    Last edited by wm; 15-01-16, 02:25.
    Danielle Surkatty
    Member of the Organizing Committee
    Living in Indonesia, A Site for Expatriates
    https://www.expat.or.id/

    Living in Indonesia Expat Forum
    Webmaster
    http://www.livinginindonesiaforum.org/

  • #2
    Nice! That's really thorough!

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    • #3
      HM ... if you have good advice/insight to add .. please share!
      Danielle Surkatty
      Member of the Organizing Committee
      Living in Indonesia, A Site for Expatriates
      https://www.expat.or.id/

      Living in Indonesia Expat Forum
      Webmaster
      http://www.livinginindonesiaforum.org/

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      • #4
        I'm serious, WM, your site is really good. It has all the data based info and then some. Anything else I might have to say would be completely subjective. But, here it is. (This is going to have some horrible generalizations, sorry. It's personal experience.)

        I reckon the problem most newcomer expats have with staff is that they have to manage and control them, but they have no idea what style of management/leadership is appropriate to their own personality, or that of their staff. I'll give one example only, "leader servant":
        Lots of expats are English teachers. Many teachers are "leader servants" we try to be more observant of the needs of our students than our own, and coax rather than force students into doing what we want them to. We scrap our lesson plan, when it seems not to be working out, and skip our coffee break to come up with something that will inspire the students.
        In return, we depend on the student's sense of fair play, that they will do the work when it's work time, no questions asked, because we give them a fair shake, and we prioritize their needs at personal expense. This "leader servant" method works for almost all language-mill classes. Students know when you do more than you have to or take pity on them, because you care, and they respond.

        Although it was my teaching mainstay, that "leader servant" method hasn't worked for me since, as a manager in business, or with the house staff. Pick your own reasons, but I'll site: 1. Huge income disparity making the worker feel underpaid, relative to myself, sometimes irrespective of what is shocking generosity on my part 2. Lack of ambition/opportunity to advance 3. Simple human nature that always wants more today than it had yesterday and undervalues what we were gifted in the past 4. Inconsistency (me) 5. Failure to conform to social norms concerning status (me) 6. Failure to clearly define wants and needs (me) 7.Failure to assess work results (me) 8. Failure to correct inappropriate action in such a way as to make it clear that it was a serious matter (me) 9. Failure to make a self assessment and realize that the problems resulted from a pattern of interaction, rather that a 100% failure on the staff's part (me)
        It's not that this "I'm your boss, what can I do for you?" method didn't work, it's just that it didn't work for me, with certain (most) members of staff. That method generally only works for people who don't do the things I did (4-9).

        But, I think that most employers, with most workers can get by with just not doing 6,7,8. It means; make a clear list of duties for the staff, and check regularly to see if they did them.

        Bad Management: If you don't check something for 3 months and then you suddenly do, and get angry because of noncompliance, the worker is going to think you are being unreasonable. (you are violating the established norm: "I always water the flowers at 1pm, and it is never a problem. Now, the Boss is losing his sh** about watering at 1 pm, for no reason. My boss is crazy." Fact: Boss requested no watering at mid-day, 2 months ago, and employee/boss immediately forgot/did not check work)

        Good Management: Check work every day for the first week (making it clear what is acceptable and not), and only once or twice a week after that. Always make a reasonable complaint Immediately when something is wrong. Do this, and there will probably never be any serious noncompliance for you to be angry about. (If you spend a week actually trying to get them to do it right, and they can't, you need to find a replacement, or change the job.)

        We're talking about house staff, it shouldn't be that hard. It's your house, you'll soon enough know if things are done as you want (AS LONG AS YOU CHECK).

        On the other hand, I think it takes years of experience and careful study of yourself and others to get more than 80% of the potential out of 80% of your staff, and I still don't have it. Nor do we need it, for house staff, unless your house is a hell of a lot more complicated than mine. A 50% result should keep you satisfied, in your three bedroom house with one live in maid who cooks and waters the grass.
        Last edited by Happyman; 26-10-14, 23:52. Reason: Clarity

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        • #5
          If there is anyone truly interested in the heavier management side of this topic (You better have a huge amount of staff, as it's a lot of work!) there is a reallllllly good book called Primal Leadership by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, Annie McKee. It's great, and in 10 years I might be done with it. (I'm a slow learner)
          Last edited by Happyman; 26-10-14, 23:13.

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          • #6
            We've obtained some early 2015 Household Help Salary survey information from Colliers International --- scroll down to Recommended Wages - January 2015 ... http://www.expat.or.id/info/hiringhouseholdstaff.html
            Last edited by wm; 11-11-20, 00:26.
            Danielle Surkatty
            Member of the Organizing Committee
            Living in Indonesia, A Site for Expatriates
            https://www.expat.or.id/

            Living in Indonesia Expat Forum
            Webmaster
            http://www.livinginindonesiaforum.org/

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